Tracy Metro: If radiating an image of luxury is all it takes to get VIP parking, then driving a 2012 Audi A7 will ensure that you never have to walk very far.
Jeff Thisted: That's right. With the A7, Audi's created a radical new design that elegantly combines the style of a breezy four-door coupe with the functionality of a hatchback.
Tracy: This four-passenger, five-door luxe vehicle is sleek, running long, low and wide. Now you know that I love the Audi, and this is pure Audi with the extra-large front grille and the LED running lights.
Jeff: This A7 comes equipped with the Premium Plus package and the sport suspension options-the sport options which add 20-inch wheels, a sport suspension and a whole lot of other goodies.
Tracy: As you'd expect with this Audi A7, everything is top of the line-the firm leather seats and this beautiful inlaid wood which I really like. You also have the option of brushed aluminum as an inlay.
Jeff: As part of the Sport package, our test A7 came equipped with a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters. They make for effortless, racing-style gearshifting.
Tracy: These two LCD screens manage controls, information and entertainment. This center-mounted screen cleverly rises up from the dash when you need it.
Jeff: We highly recommend the optional navigation system. It includes Audi's multimedia interface, which is bundled with Audi Connect Wi-Fi in the Premium Plus trim. The handwriting recognition feature alone makes it worth the price of admission.
Tracy: The Audi A7 has a one-of-a-kind four-mode system called Audi Drive Select, which can be controlled right down here with this MMI dial. It controls the kind of driving experience that you want to have. You can control your steering, your shift points, your throttle response rate-you get it, right, Jeff?
Jeff: I get it, and it's a great way to customize exactly how you want to interact with the 310-horsepower supercharged V6.
Tracy: Now the way I like to drive the A7 is in the Dynamic mode. It's a lot of fun to drive the car this way. At its best, the A7 will get you from 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds. But I did feel a little bit of a lag when we accelerated from a dead stop. It took just a moment for the supercharger to really kick in.
Jeff: In a luxury vehicle, I like a very quiet ride. The A7's 20-inch wheels are noisy at speed, and the open storage area of the hatchback doesn't help much. And you won't get that quiet, vault-like cabin you've come to expect with a luxury car that has a base price of $60,000.
Tracy: Yeah, comparatively you'd be looking at spending over $10,000 more on the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, I'm talking about the four-door coupe.
Jeff: That's right; the A7 has better fuel economy, though. It gets 18 city, 28 highway. That's 3 miles per gallon better on the highway than the CLS550 and slightly better than the BMW 535i xDrive GT.
Tracy: The newest member of the Audi family is loaded with style and class, and we especially love the Premium Plus package because it's a great combination of technology and value.
Jeff: The 2012 Audi A7 is a powerful, well-mannered five-door luxury coupe with a handsome, swoopy style all of its own. It's well worth a look!