New Car Review

2017 Audi A7: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2017

To some people, the 2017 Audi A7 might not be a looker. That's okay. To each his own. For the rest of us, the A7 appears simultaneously tech-y and elegant, the sort of car a Silicon Valley executive with an art collection might buy. This is a premium midsize hatchback. Some might even call it a "4-door coupe." There's a lot to like either way, as it's based on the excellent A6 sedan.

The A7 carves an even more upmarket niche for itself, starting out with a well-equipped trim level and dispensing with the A6 range's least powerful engine. The sportier S7 and RS7 models are reviewed separately.

Cargo space beneath the power-operated hatchback is a generous 24.5 cu ft. with the rear seats in place. For comparison, the A6's trunk measures 14.1 cu ft. The A7 is undoubtedly versatile for a luxury/performance car.

What's New for 2017?

A new Competition model joins the lineup. A 14-speaker Bose Surround Sound system is now standard throughout the range, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

What We Like

Gorgeous looks; capable handling; finely crafted interior; practical hatchback trunk

What We Don't

Limited rear headroom compared with the A6 sedan; more expensive than the A6

How Much

$69,750 to $77,500

Fuel Economy

The badge says "3.0T," so it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume a turbocharger is involved. But the A7's 3.0-liter V6 uses a supercharger to kick out 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates are 21 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving -- pretty good for a powerful luxury car.

The Competition variant makes 340 hp, but the same amount of torque. Both versions are linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard.

There were no EPA figures for the Competition at the time of this review, but they shouldn't be too different from those of the regular car. However, this model is more likely to be bought by someone wanting to explore the car's sportier potential, leading to greater real-world consumption.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Audi A7 comes in Premium Plus, Prestige and Competition trim levels.

The Premium Plus ($69,750) brings 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps with LED running lights, LED taillights, a sunroof, a power lift gate, 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 provides electronic adjustments for steering, transmission and throttle calibrations), quad-zone automatic climate control (including separate rear controls), leather upholstery, heated 8-way power-adjustable front seats with driver's-side lumbar and memory functions, a powered tilt-telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth, iPod integration, and a 10-speaker audio system. The infotainment system is Audi's top-of-the-line MMI Plus, which includes an 8-in high-resolution touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, USB sockets, navigation with Google Earth compatibility and voice-recognition software, Audi Connect with online services (including mobile Wi-Fi), Bose Surround Sound and the MMI Touch handwriting recognition pad.

The Prestige ($72,300) adds a head-up display, cooled front seats with passenger lumbar adjustment, power-closing doors, and LED cabin lighting.

The Competition ($77,500) has that extra power, plus a sport rear differential, stiffer suspension tuning, sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, 20-in alloy wheels and red-painted brake calipers.

Options include a Sport package (19- or 20-in wheels and a sport-tuned suspension), a Cold Weather package (a heated steering wheel and rear seats), a Black Optic package (requires the Sport package and adds glossy black trim plus special 20-in wheels) and a Driver Assistance package (automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and an upgraded collision-mitigation system, a corner-view camera system and an advanced lane-departure warning system). Standalone option highlights include infrared night vision, Bang & Olufsen audio and power-closing doors.

Safety

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

Many safety features are offered, including active lane assist (with automatic steering correction if the car wanders from its lane in the absence of an active turn signal) and a corner-view camera system (notifying the driver of oncoming vehicles and other obstacles hidden from view while turning).

There are also two different collision-mitigation systems: The standard system offers precrash driver alert, rear brake-light warning flash and accessory preparation (including seat belt tensioning and window closing), while the upgraded Driver Assistance package adds automatic emergency braking.

The A7 has not been crash-tested by any agencies in the United States.

Behind the Wheel

Few automotive interiors are nicer than the A7's. Materials are superb, fit and finish are exemplary and practically every touched surface exudes class.

The 3.0T engine is a fine choice, delivering strong and smooth acceleration virtually from idle to redline.

Despite sharing most of its mechanicals with the A6, the A7 seems even more athletic and composed through corners. The all-wheel-drive system sends 60 percent of its power to the rear wheels and 40 percent to the front, making for a pleasing balance, though it can redistribute whenever necessary.

The ride can be a little jiggly over rough pavement, even with the standard 19-in alloy wheels. It might be tempting to go for those 20-in alloys, but ride comfort will suffer, especially with the optional sport suspension.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe -- A 4-door version of the 6 Series that offers two excellent turbocharged gasoline engines (an inline-six and a V8). All-wheel drive is optional.

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class-- Not a hatchback like the A7, but does offer more muscle if required thanks to an excellent turbo V8.

2017 Tesla Model S-- More expensive, but there's a ton of money to be saved on fuel bills. On top of that, it's a joy to drive and look at.

Used Porsche Panamera-- Similar in concept to the A7, it also has a beautiful cabin, plus a choice of excellent engines to exploit a brilliant chassis.

Autotrader's Advice

At this price level, anyone considering an A7 can most probably afford whichever model they want. But the regular Premium Plus already comes well-stocked. And from the driver's seat, no one will really care that it doesn't have that extra 7 hp or those red brake calipers.

Find an Audi A7 for sale

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Used 2017 Audi A7 3.0T Premium Plus
Used 2017 Audi A7
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Used 2017 Audi A7 3.0T Competition Prestige
Used 2017 Audi A7
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Audi A7: New Car Review - Autotrader