Audi A7 Review | Motors.co.uk

Find out more about the Audi A7 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

Loading...
3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Beautifully styled
  • Practical, unlike many executive cars
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • Rivals are better to drive
  • Poor rear headroom
  • Expensive options list
  • MPG

    39 - 64

  • CO2

    117 - 170 g/km

Model Review

Inspired by the Audi Sportback concept and introduced as a challenger for the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the Audi A7 is basically a sleeker and slightly extended A6 but that certainly makes the difference in looks and practicality.

The sloping roofline and incredibly stylish interior means the A7 has plenty going for it and with the executive coupe market rather limited it can certainly make a mark.

First brought to market in 2010, the A7 received a minor cosmetic update in 2016 but it’s fair to say it needs a refresher and a new model is likely to be coming in the next couple of years.

With the feel almost more important than anything in an executive car, the A7 does achieve that and it certainly provides practicality that some luxury models can’t.

Latest Model

Coming with four engines, three trims and a wide range of options, Audi gives drivers the opportunity to make themselves at home and the right performance for their preferred driving style – yet all are based on the same 3.0-litre V6 turbo engine.

Something that no Mercedes can match the A7 on is how they’ve packaged the model itself, and despite the small sacrifice of rear headroom both the Audi and Mercedes CLS are graceful-looking vehicles and standout options in the executive sector due to that fact.

As with much of the Audi range the A7 comes with both an S and an RS version and both come with a 4.0-litre petrol engine with quattro four-wheel drive and a limited top speed of 155mph – although the RS7 comes with 560bhp, 140bhp more than the S7, meaning more potent performance.

With a wide-opening boot, lots of rear space and supreme levels of comfort, the A7 could be the ideal cruising machine.

Value for money

As with most executive saloons the A7 comes well-equipped from the standard and in the SE Executive trim the A7 comes with all-weather LED head and tail-lights, leather seat trim, four-zone air conditioning, three-spoke leather sport steering wheel, MMI navigation system and Audi’s music interface.

Also coming with cruise control, Audi parking system plus, hill hold assist, dynamic suspension and a retractable rear spoiler, it’s clear the A7 comes with plenty of accessories. However, the £47,885 starting price may be too steep for many as used options in a higher spec are available for a similar or lower price.

For just £39,941, a 2014 S7 with a 4.0-litre turbo petrol engine producing 420bhp is available and that offers much improved performance and lots of extra gear. That means this model comes with adaptive air suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, parking system advanced with corner-view camera, electric sunroof, power-operated boot lid and active noise cancellation.

Technology-wise the 2014 S7 also comes with safety systems such as active lane assist, high-beam assist, adaptive cruise control with pre-sense plus braking assistant and Audi side assist, helping make the S7 much safer. With the additional performance and added accessories, it is worth looking at both used A7 and S7 examples as you might find a more powerful option for a lower price in the guise of the S7.

Looks and image

Recently Audi has been nailing the design on its coupes and sport models, and the A7 is no exception to the rule. With the sleek roof line, strong front-end and Audi’s trademark grille, the A7 is great to look at and with the sportier stance on the road it sets itself apart from many executive models. The frameless doors maintain the sleek coupe look. The interior is just as stylish and well-thought out, as everything dial and facet is well-built and exactly where it should be.

With quattro all-wheel drive fitted to all but the base Ultra engine, the A7 has a lot of grip to offer and handles well, but more fun is to be had with the rear-wheel drive Mercedes CLS.

To drive on the open road, however, the A7 is a supreme car to drive and be in. The steering is precise and body roll is very limited and with the help of Audi’s drive select you can alter the ride to your preference. But it must be said that excitement levels are rather low for an everyday driver and the sportier modes may be a better option. The chassis, however, is well-balanced, poised and very comfortable – it just doesn’t grab you as much as the Mercedes does.

For an executive cruising machine, look no further than the A7 as the suspension is comfortable, composed and smooths out many of the road’s bumps and creases to give an excellent ride.

Although the standard suspension can feel firmer at slower speeds it performs really well at higher speeds and is brilliant holding station on a long drive. For the best overall coverage of ride and refinement, the optional air suspension does the best.

One issue for the A7 is its lack of a middle rear seat belt, which for some could discount the model in terms of practicality, but the two passengers on either side of the central position will be very comfortable indeed thanks to the excellent legroom and supremely comfortable seats. Taller passengers may be less at ease due to the sloping roof line, which does reduce headroom quite a lot.

Space and practicality

Thanks to the extended wheelbase and long body, the A7 has plenty of space and practicality to offer, and with the 60/40 split rear seats capable of folding almost flat the extensive boot space goes from 535 litres up to 1,360 litres.

With the boot space already the largest in its class, the wide-opening boot lid and relatively high boot means it’s easy to access. The sloping roof-line does, however, compromise looking out the back.

Despite not being safety tested by Euro NCAP, it can be assumed the A7 would have performed just as well as the A6 it is based on, which achieved a five-star score and 91 per cent on adult safety.

Audi provide plenty of safety systems to be fitted as optional extras, such as night vision assistant, speed limit display, adaptive cruise control with pre-sense front, side assist with pre-sense rear and Audi’s lane assist, but most of these come in optional packs and on the A7 they cost a fair bit.

With the lack of a middle seat, some families may find practicality wanting in the A7, but it does still come with Isofix points for child seats and the accommodating boot does allow you to carry child seats and prams.

The high safety rating and extensive space in the back may mean it can be the right family coupe for you, but the high mark-up and more premium feel may signal that families should elsewhere.

Engines

Despite the A7 only being fitted with one size of engine – a 3.0-litre diesel –it does come in four states of tune, with three fitted alongside the quattro all-wheel drive system and one coming with an extra turbo in the top spec BiTDI model.

All bar the top BiTDI unit come with a seven-speed tiptronic semi-automatic transmission. The smallest TDI ultra produces 214bhp but still performs smoothly and at a decent level, while also being the most efficient and cheapest to insure. The most powerful BiTDI quattro unit comes with an ample 315bhp and is paired with an eight-speed auto gearbox with a manual mode.

The S models come with a 4.0-litre TFSI petrol power station and it offers 444bhp, making it the highest emitting unit of the lot.

Running costs

Despite the size of the car the A7 does pretty well on fuel economy, especially with the TDI Ultra unit that can attain close to 60mpg and emits 122g/km CO2. With quattro fitted efficiency does drop and emissions increase to around 140g/km CO2, meaning higher running costs. Insurance groups start around the 33 mark for the SE Executive fitted with the TDI Ultra unit, with groups going up to around 45 for the top spec Black Edition. The S7 fits into group 48.

From the TDI Ultra, road tax costs are at £160 for the first year with £140 from that year after, with the rest of the range going upwards of £200 for the first year and £140 from then on. The TDI Ultra is the cheapest to run and own, and because of its perfectly good performance it could be the best overall to own.

Things to look out for

Thanks to the Volkswagen Group ownership, reliability has been good for Audi and the A7 has done well to not suffer many faults. As it was based on the A6, which has also done well with reliability, expect the A7 do continue doing well. The build quality is also superb so the Audi isn’t likely to fall apart inside.

Rivals

The A7’s true rival is the Mercedes-Benz CLS, which does have a more exciting drive, but the A7 is a better cruiser. Although the Porsche Panamera is the same size and shape, it is much more expensive from the base model and the BMW 5 Series GT isn’t currently part of the line-up and would have been a rival had it still been in production. So your choice comes down to whether you want the more practical and smoother driving Audi or the more exciting Mercedes CLS.

Depreciation warning

Lower-spec models will hold a value closer to their original price after a three-year period, but expect most models to perform well and hold around 50 per cent of its value. As Audi does well on the used market with most of its models, it will be appropriate to expect around half of the original value.

Which A7 to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

40 TDI Sport 5dr S Tronic Sportback

Most MPG

40 TDI Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic Sportback

Fastest Model (0-60)

S7 TDI Quattro S 5dr Tip Auto Sportback

Trims Explained

As the A7 is currently available in just three trims – SE Executive, S line and Black Edition – but all three do come with a good level of equipment. As well as the S and RS versions, there is plenty of choice in the A7 range.

SE Executive

In the base SE Executive spec, the A7 is fitted with MMI navigation and music interface infotainment system, a seven-inch information screen, Bluetooth connectivity, Audi sound system, parking system plus and four-zone air conditioning. The model is also fitted with 19-inch alloys, dynamic suspension, Audi’s drive select, retractable rear spoiler and cruise control, as well as keyless go and all-weather LED front and rear lights.

The starting price of £47,885 is a bit on the steep side but is suitable for its finish and refinement.

S Line

With the S line, Audi adds 20-inch alloys, sport suspension, S line bumpers, grilles and skirts, front sport seats and S badges around the car. You also get alcantara trim for the doors and Audi’s Matrix LED headlights, meaning you do get a more premium feel.

For the S line, Audi sets the price at £50,675, which could be justified by the sportier design.

Black Edition

For the A7 Black Edition, Audi installs 21-inch alloys, privacy glass, piano black inlays, three-spoke leather sport steering wheel and a Bose surround sound system. The main point of this trim is the black styling pack, which adds high-gloss grille surround, window capping strips and roof-trim strip and matte black front grille, number plate holder and front side grilles. The S line sport suspension is also added.

The A7 Black Edition starts at £54,850.

Summary

  1. Very well refined
  2. Efficient diesel engines throughout
  3. Beautifully designed
  4. Well built
  5. Surprisingly practical
  6. Not the most exciting to drive
  7. Running costs can be quite high
  8. Options list is expensive
  9. Incredibly comfortable drive
  10. Used models are at a good value

Related News

View Audi News Archive
View All Motors.co.uk Reviews