2014 Audi A7 Sportback launched from £45,875

What is it?

A refreshed version of Audi’s distinctive A6-based fastback, the Audi A7.

So what’s new?

Several small changes, but certainly nothing too drastic styling-wise. There wasn’t a lot wrong with the A7 to begin with – the large, low and long look is quite elegant and helps the A7 stand out from its stablemates.

Audi couldn’t resist a few styling tweaks though. Most notable are the new headlight designs front and rear, which have adopted a new LED graphic at both ends and a neat ‘sweeping’ indicator, where the LEDs light up in sequence in the direction the car is heading. The headlights themselves use LEDs for extra illumination.

A new SE Executive trim level replaces both the old Standard and SE options. Standard kit includes 19-inch alloys, four-zone air conditioning, leather seats, parking sensors front and rear, navigation and a powered tailgate.

What’s under the bonnet?

The usual range of A7 engines, with power outputs from 215hp to 444hp. The biggest changes come in the form of the S7, which sees a power increase of 30hp to hit that 444hp mark (the RS7 is still even more potent, at 552hp), while changes to the S7 also liberate a little extra economy – 30.4mpg is now possible.

If you really want to boost economy than the A7 TDI with Audi’s new Ultra technology will be right up your street. Audi’s single-turbo 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine produces 215hp yet also achieves 60.1mpg and emits 122g/km. It’s brisk too, at 7.3 seconds to 62mph, and has a 149mph top speed. Some of the TDI’s improvements over its predecessor come from a new seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox, replacing the old Multitronic CVT which was an old-style torque converter automatic gearbox.

Anything else?

new audi a7

Audi has tweaked cars in the sporty S Line spec too. Mercifully, the changes include an option to deselect the Sport suspension option, which means you can have the S Line’s cool looks without suffering its punishing ride quality. You can also drop down to 19-inch wheels from the standard 20-inch rims for further ride improvements.

Further up the range the Black Edition, S7 Sportback and RS7 Sportback all benefit from the styling and kit additions too.

How much does it cost?

The most economical A7 is usefully also the cheapest to buy – an A7 3.0-litre TDI diesel Ultra in SE Executive trim will set you back £45,875, before you go wild with Audi’s expensive options list. If you want S Line trim on the same model, you’ll have to find an extra £2,790.

Four-wheel-drive quattro models begin at £47,630 for a 3.0-litre TDI SE Executive, the ultra-potent BiTDI diesels start at £56,575, the 3.0-litre TFSI petrol at £53,380 and if you want either of the top-end performance models, you’re looking at £63,375 for the S7 and £84,480 for the RS7.

Any alternatives?

Perhaps the A7′s closest rival is the regular Audi A6, which offers many of the same engine and trim combinations but is rather cheaper to buy. A more natural comparison might be with the Mercedes-Benz CLS, one of the first executive cars to attempt the four-door coupe. It can’t match the A7 for frugality but pricing is similar and it does project a different image.

In a line:

Audi’s appealing A7 saves you even more money at the pumps.

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