The Audi A7 was once considered a risky offering in a market that had never seen a large luxurious high-performance hatchback. Risks occasionally pay off; Audi's big beautiful five-door has become a regular—if still dramatic—sight across the country. For those willing to follow a slightly different path the A7 offers an extraordinary blend of aesthetic refinement, accommodating space, and rousing all-conditions performance.
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2017 Audi A7 Overview
What's New for 2017
The A7 makes its upscale-supercruiser way into 2017 largely unchanged. The new Competition trim level adds a bit of a performance-image edge, and an improved smartphone interface and Bose sound system are fitted to the standard infotainment package. The diesel powerplant option has been shelved pending the outcome of VW/Audi's troubles with the EPA.
Choosing Your Audi A7
The Audi A7 is closely related to Audi's more traditional A6 sedan; the two share underpinnings and many mechanical pieces. However, the A7 forgoes the A6's traditional silhouette in favor of a gracefully sloping rear topped by a large power-assisted liftgate.
All A7s are powered by supercharged 3-liter V6s. (The more powerful S7 and much more powerful RS7 with their turbocharged V8s are covered separately.) Drive is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via Audi's quattro system. The resulting transfer of force should be more than adequate for all but the most aggressive drivers: an A7 will hit 60 mph in about five seconds and clear a quarter mile in under fourteen. Given the A7's impressive pace, all-wheel-drive hardware and significant curb weight (well over 4000 pounds) the EPA estimates of 21 MPG city and 29 MPG highway are all the more respectable.
Standard equipment for the A7 includes Drive Select, which adjusts the car's dynamic profile to driver preference; Audi's MMI infotainment system, which incorporates handwriting-recognition technology, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD radio and SiriusXM receivers, and fourteen Bose speakers; four-zone climate control; leather upholstery; and a sunroof.
Available packages include Driver Assistance (adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, Audi's pre sense collision-mitigation system), upgraded front seats in the Premium Plus and Prestige, and a cold weather suite of rear-seat and steering wheel heaters.
The S line Sport and Comfort Seating packs are available on the Premium Plus and Prestige models; the Competition essentially includes much of both of these. Infrared night-visions sensors and an atmosphere-warping Bang & Olufsen sound system are among the standalone options.
The A7 is available in three trim levels:
The Premium Plus remains our top pick; unless ventilated seats are on the must-have list the few extras obtained by stepping up to Prestige don't go far enough to justify the difference. Drivers who are interested in the A7 Competition will want to weigh both the standard A7 with the S line Sport package and the S7 before committing.
2017 Audi A7 Review
Marketed as a “four-door coupe,” the all-wheel drive Audi A7 is a ravishing luxury hatchback with a sporting attitude accompanying it.
Pricing and Equipment
Three well-equipped trims accompany the 2017 Audi A7: Premium Plus, Prestige, and Competition.
Audi prices the Premium Plus from $68,800. At this price level your four-door coupe comes with full LED headlights, an MMI navigation system with touch and voice control, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, Audi side assist with Audi pre sense rear, and a rearview camera. Also present are stainless-steel door sill inlays, fine grain ash wood inlays, a sunroof, leather seats, and room for five
All Prestige models ($71,350) bring in soft-closing doors, ventilated twelve-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment, perforated leather seating surfaces, and a head-up display with navigation information.
The top-of-the-line Competition trim ($77,125) offers the most dramatic presentation of the three. This model is outfitted with 20-inch double-spoke titanium-matte finish wheels, S line appearance trim, a sport suspension with red brake calipers, and Valcona leather seats with diamond stitching.
All three models benefit from forced induction as a 3-liter, supercharged V6 is used. This engine makes 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Competition models squeeze out slightly more energy, creating 340 horsepower.
The 2017 Audi A7 is EPA-rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, and runs best on premium fuel.
- Start out with a supercharged V6 engine, add Quattro all-wheel drive, and combine these with a riveting body style and you have one of the most attractive and fun-to-drive luxury cars anywhere. The 2017 A7 achieves high scores in the performance department, delivering exemplary handling and superior off-the-mark acceleration. Indeed, when you stomp on the accelerator you’ll go from 0 to 60 mph in about five seconds.
- Decades of honing its award-winning Quattro all-wheel drive system means Audi has perfected this engineering marvel. Sharp curves as well as rising and falling roads are handled with ease in the 2017 A7.
- This model’s ride quality skews toward sport over luxury. Choosing smaller wheels is one option for a smoother ride as is setting your seat comfort level accordingly.
- If you’re looking for a six-speed manual transmission, you’ll be disappointed. Models such as the S5 offer one, but not the A7.
- From strength-to-strength, Audi offers beautifully laid-out interiors with high-quality materials and superior fit and finish. It’s fairly understated when compared to some other luxury marques, but it is also reassuringly simple as well as soothing.
- Sometimes you want more detail on a navigation map and that is precisely what Audi brings in thanks to Google Maps. Here, you have the option to add detailed information about landmarks and businesses—especially beneficial when you’re traveling in an unfamiliar area. Further, you can activate Google Earth too.
- Last year, Audi rolled out 4G telecommunications technology and WiFi hotspot via Audi Connect. The system is easy to activate from the Audi MMI main menu. Once activated, you can connect as many as eight devices.
- While the front seats are as comfortable as they come, the rear seats fall short in the legroom and headroom departments. Tall passengers will find the rear compartment especially challenging.
- The sloping roofline makes for a visually appealing styling statement, but when it comes to hatchback room, taller items are more difficult to fit inside. At least you can fold down the rear seat to greatly expand your storage area.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Audi is improving its connectivity options. This year, A7 models are both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible. Audi’s MMI interface infotainment system is also standard and comes with navigation.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Our hopes that the turbo-diesel would return for 2017 have been dashed. Audi’s parent Volkswagen Group is still working on a plan to make this engine acceptable to federal and state authorities. Until then, there is no diesel option.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a grand touring four-door coupe, the Audi A7 delivers. You might also consider the S7, especially if you place a premium on performance. Both models offer a compelling reason to consider Audi in a market where BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche compete.
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