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.
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2018 Audi A7 Overview
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.
2018 Audi A7 Review
The 2018 Audi A7 Sportback may be the ultimate mid-size luxury car as it supplies hatchback utility, an excellent interior, and terrific technology. However, it's not as roomy as you might think, given the rear seat falls short in the legroom department.
The Audi A7 Sportback is essentially an Audi A6 with a hatchback. The advantage here is 24.5 cubic feet of storage space. That's part of the cost you pay for this model as well as the fact you get standard all-wheel drive and a supercharged V6 engine. This isn't a budget model by any stretch of the imagination.
We chose the A7 Sportback Prestige for our best value model as it adds such features as a head-up display with navigation information, a corner view camera system, and power door closers. These extras add just $2,700 to the price over the base Premium Plus model, while leaving out costlier upgrades to the paint, seats, and the overall interior.
- Model: 2018 Audi A7 Sportback Prestige
- Engine: Supercharged 3.0-liter V6
- Output: 340 hp / 325 lb-ft
- Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 20 City / 29 Hwy
- Options: None
- Base Price:$73,375 (including a $975 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$73,375
The 2018 Audi A7 Sportback has a 340-horsepower supercharged V6 engine that supplies 325 pound-feet of torque. This year, the engine gains seven horsepower, adding to its already stellar performance.
Along with robust off-the-mark acceleration, we like how smoothly the eight-speed automatic transmission operates, sending power to all four wheels as needed. This model’s weakness is in steering that's largely devoid of communication, but this is something we've found in competing mid-size models, so we weren't especially surprised.
The A7 Sportback offers a firm ride, no matter the wheel size selected. Its strongest attribute may be with its handling as we absolutely like how it performs on twisty roads. Competition is stiff in this segment with the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz GLS Class, and Porsche Panamera its toughest rivals.
We're fans of Audi’s design, but the A7 Sportback may be the most handsome one of all. Its eye-catching design improves upon the A6, as its front fascia delivers a more planted look. The aggressive shape of the roofline, especially toward the rear and ending in a sharp tail, do everything to amplify this model. There's not a square inch of sheet metal that seems wasted or out of place.
The interior meets everything we expect from Audi, including choice materials, a well-crafted layout, and a soothing cabin. All controls are within easy reach and we're fans of Audi’s MMI infotainment controller. However, tall passengers sitting in the rear may find space a bit too confining, especially as the roof tapers and impacts headroom. The standard storage space is quite good and you'll find ample room to bring your gear with the rear seat folded, including a bicycle, tent, or skis.
The Best and Worst Things
The A7 Sportback’s best attribute is its styling. It's especially stunning on the outside where Audi took pains to make a hatchback attractive. What we're not fond of is this model’s disengaged steering. All we ask for is some communication, but the A7 remains largely silent in that department.
Right For? Wrong For?
If you're torn between a sedan and a utility vehicle, the A7 Sportback offers a happy medium. You get a significant portion of crossover utility without losing sedan comfort. The standard all-wheel drive – Audi’s renowned Quattro system, which is the pacesetter among luxury brands – may be the clincher here.
On the other hand, if you think you're getting an A6 with its attendant manageable price, the A7 Sportback will disappoint. We held the line on options, but this model could quite easily cost you $80,000. Price creep is common among luxury makes and Audi offers its share of packages. Even simple things such as certain metallic paints will add thousands to your final cost.
The Bottom Line
If you enjoy dapper styling, excellent ride-to-handling balance, and cutting-edge technology, then the 2018 Audi A7 Sportback should be on your list. The trade off in rear seat room means taking a closer look at the very similar Audi A6, while remembering the utility edge is one of the A7 Sportback’s strongest attributes. In all, the A7 Sportback is a winner in our book.
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