Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
Prices vary by style
The Audi RS 7 Sportback is available in a single trim of the same name that starts at $114,995 including destination.
The RS 7 is fitted exclusively with a performance-tuned 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It makes 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard.
It's even more powerful than the previous RS 7 thanks to larger turbochargers. Compared to the turbocharged V6 found in the Audi S7, the RS 7 delivers 147 more hp and lb-ft of torque.
The RS 7 can get from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It's strong launch from a stop is aided by a launch control program incorporated into the enhanced transmission.
The Audi is also equipped for efficiency with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that allows for extended engine-off situations and a cylinder-deactivation system. Fuel economy has yet to be confirmed by the EPA.
The Audi RS 7 is slightly larger than the previous generation. The main benefits are seen in the improved rear seat spaciousness that now fits three across, bringing passenger capacity to five.
It also offers 18.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 49.1 cubic feet with the back row out of the picture. The solid amount of space is a testament to the sportback's practical shape.
Despite the RS 7’s price tag, Audi charges extra for some of its active safety features. On the list of standard equipment are automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a surround-view camera, and front and rear parking sensors.
For $2,250, the Driver Assistance Package adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, rear automatic emergency braking, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and an intersection assist system. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are available on their own for $500, as is a night vision assistant system for $2,500.
Audi brings the connectivity with a 10.1-inch upper touchscreen and an 8.6-inch lower touchscreen dominating the center console. The infotainment setup includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, HD radio, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Also standard are wireless charging, four USB ports, and a 16-speaker Bang and Olufsen audio system.
On the list of options, a head-up display is available as part of the Executive Package ($2,500), while a 19-speaker Bang and Olufsen 3D audio system is $4,900.
The Audi RS 7 Sportback is significantly more expensive than the A7 on which it's based, however, there's a lot of unique content worth noting. Adding to the RS 7's feel of exclusivity are a unique front and rear fascia, grille, and exhaust outlets. It's also equipped with 21-inch wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power tailgate, and LED headlights and taillights.
Inside, the 14-way sport seats feature heating, ventilation, and memory for the driver. The seats are covered in Valcona leather with honeycomb stitching and RS embossing. Other standard features include a sunroof, four-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, and a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display
A Black Optic Package will coat the exterior flaps, blades, side sills, and window trim with a gloss-black finish for $2,750, or the Carbon Optic Package will construct those trim pieces out of carbon fiber for $6,650.
Those looking to maximize the RS 7’s performance will take note of the $8,500 ceramic brakes, which dissipate heat much more effectively than the standard steel rotors while simultaneously cutting 75 pounds of weight – despite being larger in diameter. Their performance, along with the 10-piston brake calipers, is enough to unlock a 190 mph top speed.
The 2021 Audi RS 7 isn't about being subtle. The standard high-performance upgrades over the A7 are impressive, but it seems unfathomable to not include the active safety technology of the Driver Assistance Package as standard at this price.