The 2018 Audi A7 is a premium midsize hatchback in the final year of its first generation. It’s based on the excellent A6 sedan (also due for an update), so there’s a lot to like beyond the looks. Undoubtedly versatile, the A7 carves out an even more upmarket niche for itself than does its conventional sedan sibling.
Some might call it a "4-door coupe." The sleekly handsome A7 appears simultaneously tech-y and elegant, the sort of car a Silicon Valley executive with an art collection might buy. Yet it’s also remarkably practical. 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 sportier S7 and RS 7 models are reviewed separately.
What’s New for 2018?
The equipment from the discontinued Competition trim has become an options bundle for the Premium Plus and Prestige levels. And that erstwhile trim’s power boost to 340 horsepower is now standard. See the 2018 Audi A7 models for sale near you
What We Like
Gorgeous looks; impressive handling; finely crafted interior; high level of standard equipment; practical hatchback trunk
What We Don’t
Limited rear headroom compared with the A6 sedan; more expensive than the A6
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 generate 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. This is linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates are 20 miles per gallon in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving. Pretty good for a powerful luxury car.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Audi A7 comes in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
The Premium Plus ($70,675) brings 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlamps with LED running lights and taillights, a sunroof, a powered hands-free tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot monitoring, collision mitigation, keyless entry/ignition, 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, ambient LED cabin lighting, heated windshield-washer nozzles, an adaptive rear spoiler, Bluetooth, a 14-speaker/630-watt Bose Surround Sound system, an 8-in high-resolution touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, satellite radio, two USB ports, two SD card slots, navigation with Google Earth compatibility, voice/handwriting recognition and Audi Connect with online services (including Wi-Fi).
The Prestige ($73,375) adds a head-up display, cooled front seats with passenger lumbar adjustment, power-closing doors and a corner-view camera system.
The Competition package brings a sport rear differential, stiffer suspension tuning, sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, 20-in alloy wheels, red-painted brake calipers, upgraded leather and a 4-seat configuration.
Other options include an S-line sport package (a black cloth headliner, 20-in wheels and a sport-tuned suspension); the Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel and rear seats); the Black Optic package (gloss black trim plus special 20-in wheels); and a Driver Assistance package (automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, an upgraded collision-mitigation system and an advanced lane-departure warning system).
The A7 comes with stability control and 4-wheel antilock 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 (which notifies 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 pre-crash driver alert, rear brake-light warning flashes and accessory preparation (including seat belt pre-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 fronts for a pleasing balance, although 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
2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class — Not a hatchback like the A7, but does offer more muscle if required, thanks to an excellent turbocharged V8. A new generation debuts for 2019.
2018 Tesla Model S — More expensive, but there’s a ton of money to be saved in fuel bills. On top of that, it’s a joy to drive and look at.
Used Porsche Panamera — Similar in concept to the A7, the Panamera also has a beautiful cabin, plus a choice of excellent engines to exploit a brilliant chassis.
The Premium Plus comes with a ton of great equipment straight from the factory, but anyone fortunate enough to consider buying an A7 can probably afford the Prestige anyway. Test-drive the normal suspension against the sport suspension and 19-in wheels against 20-in wheels, and think about the ride quality you’ll want to have for the next few years. Opt for the Driver Assistance package as well; there’s no point skimping on safety features. But keep in mind a new generation is coming along for 2019.