Audi A7 Sportback (2014-2017) review
What's not so good
Audi A7 Sportback (2014-2017): what would you like to read next?
Audi is running a scrappage scheme. You could get an extra discount on this model if you trade in your old car.
A well-built cabin is the first that greets you as you open the door. It may not boast quite as much tech as the A5 but the material choice is beyond reproach. Space for passengers is good all round, there’s a near-perfect driving position and the boot, although a bit shallow, is quite long, so practicality isn’t an issue.
What may be an issue to some and won’t bother others at all is the driving experience. While not bad, it’s classic Audi – great grip and straight-line speed but as soon as you start cornering with a bit of verve, the A7 starts to understeer hopelessly all over the place. Those who aren’t the keenest of drivers will find the A7 predictable and easy to live with.
There are no puny four-cylinder engines to be found under the A7’s bonnet. Instead, you get a choice between a 333hp 3.0-litre petrol V6 or a V6 diesel that has the same capacity but is available in several power levels ranging from 218 to 320hp.
As standard, you get an infotainment system with sat-nav, climate control, front and rear parking sensors as well as cruise control so it’s pretty decent even in entry-level SE Executive trim.
The A7 is a better-looking alternative to the A6
While some other makes offer more excitement, the Audi’s swooping looks and wide range of engines still win it many fans. Quality is beyond reproach and the BiTDI engine is mighty – well worth a look if you can afford it. For everyone else, you can’t go too far wrong with even the base 3.0 TDI.
If you’ve ever read up on any other Audis then the A7′s driving characteristics won’t come as a great surprise.
The A7 feels great while just cruising around and quickly feels out of depth if you start dialing up the speed
The Audi A7 is offered with a range of 3.0-litre diesels and a 3.0-litre petrol. The sporty S and RS7 get two versions of the 4.0-litre V8 that is used in other RS models.
The specs suggest that if you aren’t hellbent on getting the petrol versions, the diesels make a lot of sense. They both are quite fuel efficient — the 218hp 3.0-litre TDI does over 55mpg while the 320hp 3.0BiTDI does mid forties. What’s more impressive is that they don’t feel short on power. The base ‘Ultra’ version is offered without quattro (Audi’s four wheel drive system), while you can tick that option on higher variants for increased grip.
All engines are smooth and ensure brisk progress, while refinement is excellent. Some note a distant grumble in the diesels but hardly enough to intrude. The most powerful BiTDI can send some vibrations through the pedals and steering wheel, but this is a small price to pay for its prodigious torque figure, which makes overtakes a breeze.
Powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine, the S7 is slightly quicker to 60mph from standstill, but a 30mpg is going to create a hole in the pocket. And that’s why the S7 isn’t as popular as the diesels: the 3.0BiTDI can do 0-60mph in a little above 5s and still return about 45mpg. But if you’re looking for the ultimate version, there’s the RS7. Just don’t ask about the fuel economy.
What may come as a surprise is the way the A7 rides, at least on models not cursed with the rock-solid suspension of S Line variants – it’s genuinely comfortable and beautifully judged. Models with air springs are good too, allowing you various options to adjust the car’s ride and handling.
The handling itself is biased towards stability and grip rather than adjustability, making it an easy car in which to make unruffled progress but not one in which to have much fun.
The A7 has a fantastic interior, and given the stratospheric bar Audi sets itself, that’s quite an accolade.