Coupe-styled four-doors have found a home at the upper end of the automotive market. Almost every European luxury brand offers one (or more) to draw buyers who want something with more visual impact than a conventional sedan. Audi doesn't go so far as to call its A7 a coupe, but the car's dramatic roofline and large liftgate certainly distinguish it from the related A6 sedan.
2016 Audi A7 Overview
What's New for 2016
The A7 receives updated styling at the front and rear, plus revised instrumentation and infotainment controls.
Choosing Your Audi A7
As expected in an upper-level Audi, every A7 comes with all-wheel drive. The standard 3-liter supercharged V6 develops 310 horsepower, and has a combined rating of 21 mpg. The optional 3-liter turbo diesel (TDI) V6 is good for 240 horsepower and delivers an excellent 29 mpg in combined driving. An eight-speed automatic is used with both engines.
Due to the diesel's generous torque, it motivates the A7 just as swiftly as the gas engine. The difference, of course, is the TDI's added efficiency -- and the extra $2,100 you pay for it.
All models come with Audi's Drive Select system with four different driving modes.
The A7 dispenses with the "base" Premium trim level found on lesser Audis and goes right to Premium Plus:
Any A7 can get rear thorax airbags, 20-inch wheels and a no-cost black headliner.
The Premium Plus covers all the bases in terms of luxury and safety. The main reason for the $2,100 upgrade to the Prestige is, in our view, to access a handful of high-end options that are purely a matter of personal taste.
2016 Audi A7 Review
Sophisticated styling inside and out, spirited performance, and excellent fuel economy make Audi’s 2016 A7 hard to resist.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2016 Audi A7 is available in two trim levels, each with the choice of either a 333-horsepower supercharged 3-liter V6 gasoline or a 240-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3-liter V6 diesel engine. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed Triptronic automatic transmission with Quattro all-wheel-drive.
Premium Plus models start at $68,300 and include a sunroof, leather seats, navigation, keyless entry and start, Audi drive modes and an advanced blind spot monitoring system.
Prestige models start at $70,950, adding a 630-watt 14-speaker BOSE Surround Sound System, a nifty head-up display and more.
Very little compares to the joy of racing around in a forced induction Audi with Quattro all-wheel drive. A longtime champion of the all-wheel drive sports sedan, the handling dynamics of Audi’s iconic hatchback "four-door coupe" are exemplary in every way. Audi has spent decades developing a luxury car that is just as comfortable in hairpin turns as it is sitting in line at the tollbooth or at highway speeds and beyond.
Equally impressive is the fuel economy and performance numbers that Audi has somehow managed to finesse from its V6 gasoline and diesel engines. The A7 is no small vehicle, but even with 333 horsepower on tap the gasoline V6 is rated at 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The diesel makes the gasoline variant look absolutely thirsty, boasting an incredible 25 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. That is econobox territory.
Straight-line performance is also excellent. The gas engine propels the A7 from zero to sixty miles per hour in only 5.2 seconds; some outlets have reported that number to be as low as 4.7 seconds! Buying the fuel-saving diesel means losing some horsepower, but gaining 103 pound-feet of torque, which equates to a vehicle that seats five comfortably, achieves 38 mpg on the highway and can still get to sixty from a dead stop in only 5.6 seconds.
- The start-stop feature is not as subtle as I would like it to be. Unlike many new vehicles that render the constant on and off as nearly imperceptible, the Audi’s makes a little fuss.
- The ride quality tends to favor sport over luxury. For someone like myself this is a plus, but if you want more riding comfort and less road feedback, opt for the smaller wheels -- if that isn’t enough, bring an extra seat cushion because, frankly, the A7 is a brilliant car and the small compromise in comfort makes complete sense.
Audi has a long history of creating high-quality interiors that offer superior levels of driver friendliness and passenger comfort. The 2016 A7 continues that legacy of while bringing new levels of technology to the formula. The 3G LTE WiFi of the 2015 model is replaced with a faster 4G LTE system that can operate up to eight devices. The 4G system also allows the Audi’s navigation to take advantage of Google’s sophisticated Earth mapping programs, giving the A7 a familiar feel to anyone who has used the ubiquitous smartphone app.
The A7’s hatchback design offers incredible practicality and increased cargo space. It is likely that you won’t hear it directly from Audi, but the A7 could easily qualify as one of the “hottest hatchbacks” currently on the market. Of course, the S7 and RS7 variants would be even hotter.
- Rear-quarter visibility is limited due to the design. Thankfully, Audi has included a blind-spot monitoring system as standard equipment.
- That swooping rear roofline also inhibits rear passenger headroom. While it won’t be a problem with the kids, I would encourage would-be purchasers to bring the tall high schoolers along for the test drive.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
I absolutely love experimenting with Audi’s drive select system. Controlled through the A7’s 7-inch screen, it offers four distinct driving modes. Each mode adjusts parameters of the steering, throttle response, and transmission shifts allowing enthusiasts like myself to tweak the car’s parameters almost like a video game.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
As good looking as that rear roofline is, the design presents real world compromises.
The Bottom Line
The highly regarded 2016 Audi A7 tops many automotive magazine’s lists as the pinnacle in luxury four-door coupes -- besting more expensive rivals like Porsche’s Panamera and BMW’s 6 Series Gran Coupe. If you are a driving enthusiast looking for a practical vehicle that offers stunning good looks and has the mechanicals to match, the amazingly efficient A7 deserves a spot at the top of your shopping list.
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