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2015 Audi A7: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Audi A7, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Audi A7 Review

For a car that could’ve been treated as a mere styling exercise, the 2015 Audi A7 is a remarkably well-integrated package. Based on the understated A6 sedan, the A7 is blessed with a gorgeous fastback roofline, but it’s much more than just a pretty face.

Unlike the A6, which starts out with a demure 4-cylinder engine, the A7 comes stocked with Audi’s stellar supercharged 3-liter V6. There’s also an available turbodiesel V6 that delivers an incredible 38 miles per gallon on the highway, not to mention great acceleration. Moreover, the A7 can carry four adults and their luggage, which is highly unusual for a car with this kind of curb appeal.

The A7 still isn’t the best choice from a practicality standpoint, as the rakish roofline limits rear headroom and leaves a relatively shallow cargo area beneath. But it’s handy enough that folks considering luxury coupes or sedans could be swayed. Throw in the A7’s gratifyingly Germanic road manners, and you’re looking at one of the most all-around appealing cars on the market.

What’s New for 2015?

All A7 models now come standard with quad-zone climate control, blind spot monitoring and a collision-mitigation system. Also, the Prestige models gain LED headlights and a head-up display. See the 2015 Audi A7 models for sale near you

What We Like

Gorgeous looks; capable handling; optional diesel engine’s amazing performance and fuel economy; finely crafted interior; pleasantly practical hatchback trunk

What We Don’t

Limited rear headroom relative to A6 sedan

How Much?

$66,825-$73,075

Fuel Economy

The Audi A7 comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive with a 40/60 front/rear torque split. The 3.0T models are powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 rated at 310 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque, while the TDI models have a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that generates 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the A7 3.0T at 18 mpg city/28 mpg hwy, which is pretty good for a 4,200-lb luxury car with this kind of power. But the real star here is the A7 TDI, which checks in at 24 mpg city/38 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Audi A7 is offered in two trim levels, Premium Plus and Prestige, with either a supercharged gasoline engine (3.0T) or a turbocharged diesel engine (TDI).

The base 3.0T Premium Plus ($66,825) comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlamps with LED running lights, LED taillights, a sunroof, a power hatchback, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, a collision-mitigation system, keyless access with push-button start, the Drive Select system (which gives the driver electronic adjustments for steering, transmission and throttle calibrations), quad-zone automatic climate control (including separate rear controls), leather upholstery, heated power front seats with adjustable lumbar and driver memory functions, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth and iPod integration and a 10-speaker audio system. The infotainment system is Audi’s top-of-the-line MMI Plus, which includes a high-resolution widescreen display, a navigation system with Google Earth compatibility and voice recognition software, Audi Connect with online services (including mobile Wi-Fi) and the MMI Touch handwriting recognition pad.

The TDI Premium Plus ($69,225) adds the turbodiesel engine.

The 3.0T Prestige ($70,675) tacks on Audi’s S-line exterior treatment, adaptive LED headlamps, a head-up display, LED cabin lighting, cooled front seats, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel and a Bose surround-sound audio system.

The TDI Prestige ($73,075) adds the turbodiesel engine.

A7 options include a Sport package (19- or 20-in wheels and sport-tuned suspension); a Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel and rear seats); a Black Optic package (requires Sport package and adds glossy black trim and special 20-in wheels) and a Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control, upgraded collision-mitigation system, corner-view camera system and an advanced lane-departure warning system).

Standalone-option highlights include an infrared night-vision camera, a high-end Bang & Olufsen audio system and power-closing doors.

The A7’s rear-passenger compartment is perhaps its weakest feature, hamstrung by a radically angled roofline that looks great from the outside but limits headroom on the inside. Still, the fact that it has doors of its own makes it more convenient than any coupe can manage.

Cargo space beneath the power-operated hatchback starts at a generous 24.5 cu ft. with the rear seatbacks in place, a measurement that seemingly doubles when you flip those seatbacks forward. For reference, the A6 sedan’s trunk can swallow just 14.1 cu ft. of your stuff. The A7 is exceptionally versatile for a luxury-performance car, no doubt about it.

Safety

The A7 comes with standard stability control and 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes. Eight airbags are standard (front, front-side, front-knee and full-length side-curtain), with rear-side airbags optional.

Numerous safety technologies are offered in the A7, including active lane assist (provides automatic steering correction if the car wanders from its lane without an active turn signal) and a corner-view camera system (notifies the driver of oncoming vehicles and other obstacles that are hidden from view while turning). There are also two different collision-mitigation systems: the standard system offers pre-crash driver alert, rear brake-light warning flash and accessory preparation (including seatbelt-tensioning and window-closing), while the Driver Assistance package’s upgraded system adds automatic emergency braking.

Behind the Wheel

Very few automotive interiors are nicer than that of the Audi A7. We’ll concede that Rolls-Royce and Bentley have the A7 beat, but after that, we’re not sure. The materials used are simply superb, and practically every button, lever and knob oozes class. There are also some thoughtful touches here and there that set the A7 apart from its already classy A6 platform-mate, including a larger standard MMI display screen (8 inches versus 6.5) and a more elaborate driver-information display.

Under the hood, the 3.0T gas engine is a gratifying choice, delivering smooth, strong acceleration from pretty much idle to redline. But the TDI turbodiesel is our favorite. Audi quotes about the same 0-to-60 miles-per-hour sprint for both engines, 5.5 seconds, yet the TDI’s superior torque makes it more fun around town. It also returns a remarkable 38 mpg hwy, making it one of the best combinations of power and efficiency we’ve ever experienced.

In corners, despite sharing most of its mechanical bits with the A6, the Audi A7 seems even more athletic and composed. The low-slung, cockpit-like driving environment only adds to the effect. The A6 is already a great driver’s car, but the A7 takes it up a notch, at least in terms of feel. The ride can be a little flinty on rough pavement, though, even with the standard 18-in wheels. The optional 20-in wheels may be tempting, but they might be a bad idea where comfort is concerned.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe The sleek Gran Coupe is a 4-door version of the 6 Series that offers two excellent turbocharged gas engines (an inline-6 and a V8), though it lacks the A7’s diesel option.

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class The CLS isn’t a handy hatchback like the A7, but it does provide standard V8 power with considerably more muscle.

2015 Porsche Panamera The astoundingly nimble Panamera is more expensive than the A7, but it’s similar in concept and certainly worth the stretch if you like the styling.

Autotrader’s Advice

Although the TDI diesel engine will run you an extra $2,400, it’s worth it. Thirty-eight mpg has never looked or felt so good. Find a Audi A7 for sale

 

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