Eight years after its introduction the Audi A7 is still an appealing alternative to the notion that upscale cars must be formal, conventional sedans. The luxury hatchback from Ingolstadt holds its place for 2018 as both a trendsetter - with five-doors such as the BMW 4-Series Gran Sport and Audi's own A5 Sportback following the A7's example - and simply as an attractive, comfortable all-weather touring machine.
What's New for 2018
Audi makes minor changes to the A7 for 2018. The supercharged V6 is retuned for a mild power increase. Last year's Competition trim level has been converted to an option package. Owners who opt for the Premium Plus trim receive the same LED interior lighting as Prestige buyers while the Prestige picks up a corner-view camera system. Audiophiles may be disappointed to learn that the optional Bang and Olufsen sound system is no longer available.
Choosing Your Audi A7
The Audi A7 is built on the same chassis as Audi's more traditional A6 sedan and the two share most major mechanical components. All 2018 A7s are powered by supercharged 3.0-liter V6s which benefit from last year's Competition engine tuning, boosting output to 340 horsepower. Drive is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels via Audi's trademark Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Standard equipment for the A7 includes Audi Drive Select, which adjusts the steering, throttle response, and transmission programming between several different presets (there's also an Individual setting, which lets drivers tailor the car to their tastes). Audi Connect, Audi's telematics suite, is also standard and packs 4G LTE hotspot, which is controlled via Audi's MMI infotainment system. Speaking of infotainment, the A7's MMI includes navigation, voice control, handwriting-recognition technology, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio, and fourteen Bose speakers. Four-zone climate control and a hands-free power tailgate are also standard.
Available option packages include Driver Assistance (adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, Audi's pre sense collision-mitigation system), Comfort seating with upgraded leather and adjustability, and a cold weather suite of rear-seat and steering wheel heaters. The S Line Sport package includes stiffer suspension tuning, somewhat busy-looking 20-inch wheels, and a subtly revised front end. The Competition package incorporates the S Line, swaps in attractive 10-spoke rims in the same size, and adds a sport rear differential and a long list of trim changes. Standalone options are limited to rear-seat side airbags and the S Line's 20-inch wheels.
The A7 is available in two trim levels:
In case it wasn't obvious, the differences between the A7 Premium Plus and Prestige is remarkably minor, and the price reflects that. Standard ventilation and a head-up display are both nice features that help justify the Prestige's $2,700 price premium, although ultimately, the smarter play seems to be grabbing the Premium Plus and applying that savings to the options catalog – we recommend the $2,000 Driver Assistance Package and the $750 Black Optic Package.
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