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2018 Audi S7: New Car Review

Let’s assume the 2018 Audi S7 will be the final year of this generation. An all-new A7 (which is the basis for the S7) has already made its official debut and goes on sale later this year as a 2019 model, so a fresh S7 can’t be far behind.

In the meantime, this premium midsize sport hatchback hits the road with a glorious V8 engine. There’s no guarantee that its successor will do the same (it will probably be a turbo V6). And there’s something special about a V8, the way it delivers its power and how it sounds. The current S7 isn’t able to offer the same kind of technology as newer Audi cars, but with such a spine-tingling engine and thrilling performance, no one is going to care too much.

Like its regular A7 sibling, the S7 is not primarily for carrying a full complement of people and cargo; its fastback roofline cuts a dash, but also cuts practicality. Even so, it will take four adults plus some luggage, and its styling compensates for any compromises. Speaking of styling, the fact that this S7 is due for replacement and still looks as modern as it does is a great testament to Audi’s design approach.

What’s New for 2018?

There have been no significant changes for this model year. See the 2018 Audi S7 models for sale near you

What We Like

Phenomenal twin-turbocharged V8; sport-sedan handling; finely crafted interior; handsome looks; relatively good fuel economy

What We Don’t

Limited rear headroom; shallow hatchback trunk

How Much?

$82,175-$84,125

Fuel Economy

The S7 has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 rated at 450 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual. All-wheel drive is standard.

Fuel economy is good for a high-powered sport sedan, thanks in part to cylinder deactivation enabling the engine to cruise on four cylinders. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 16 miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Audi S7 is available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.

The Premium Plus ($82,175) starts with 19-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, an adaptive rear spoiler, quad exhaust tailpipes, LED head lamps/tail lamps/running lights, adjustable air suspension, quad-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, blind spot monitoring, a head-up display, power-folding exterior mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, heated windshield-washer nozzles, a power lift gate, Audi’s Drive Select system (featuring electronic adjustments for steering, throttle and transmission), leather upholstery with diamond stitching, power-adjustable sport steering wheel with shift paddles, heated/8-way power-adjustable sport seats with driver’s-side memory settings, a self-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, parking sensors front and rear, a garage door opener, a Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system with an 8-in touchscreen, Google Earth-based navigation, Wi-Fi and a 14-speaker/360-watt Bose surround-sound system with two USB ports, two SD card slots and satellite/HD Radio.

The Prestige ($84,125) adds an upgraded head-up display with navigation information, a corner-view camera system, soft-closing doors, LED interior lighting and 20-in alloy wheels with performance tires.

Options include: Driver Assistance package (adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane-departure prevention, automatic high beams and a corner-view camera system); S Sport package (variable-ratio steering, sport rear differential and sport exhaust system); Cold Weather package (heated rear seats and heating steering wheel minus the flat bottom); Comfort Seating package (22-way power-adjustable front sport seats with memory settings, plus ventilation and massage functions, as well as special leather upholstery); Black Optic package (gloss black exterior trim and 20-in alloy wheels); simulated suede (Alcantara) headliner. The Prestige trim is eligible for 21-in alloys, night-vision assistance with pedestrian detection and an upgraded Bang & Olufsen 15-speaker/1,300-watt audio system.

The S7 doesn’t have that tiny middle seat in the back, so it’s officially a 4-seater. Trunk space behind the rear seats is 24.5 cu ft. Those seats will split and fold down, though, for a little extra versatility.

Safety

The S7 comes with stability control and 4-wheel antilock ventilated disc brakes. Eight airbags are standard (front, front side, front knee, full-length side curtain), with additional rear-side airbags offered as an option in the Prestige model. The S7 also offers blind spot monitoring, lane-departure prevention, collision mitigation with automatic braking, a surround-view camera system and night-vision assistance with pedestrian/large-animal detection.

Behind the Wheel

This car is no lightweight (roughly 4,500 pounds), but you’d never know it from the driver’s seat. It feels more like a compact sport sedan when pushed. Audi has worked some serious magic here, starting with the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that keeps power and grip working in harmony during hard cornering. The steering also feels responsive and precise, giving a strong sense of confidence and control. Yet the air suspension brings a smoothness to the ride quality.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe — The 650i Gran Coupe with its twin-turbo V8 is aimed squarely at the S7. Also getting a bit old now.

2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class — The 402-hp CLS 550 is a twin-turbocharged beast with surprisingly capable handling for a Benz. A new generation is due for the 2019 model year.

2018 Porsche Panamera S — Even a standard Panamera can cost more than an S7 when the usual array of Porsche options are added, but the S7 is a credible rival to the Panamera S.

Used Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG — The E63 sedan enjoys a more powerful V8. A certified pre-owned (CPO) example with a good warranty can be acquired for new S7 money.

Autotrader’s Advice

Even though the Premium Plus model has almost everything, buyers at this level usually want absolutely everything and can afford the extra few thousands for the Prestige. It’s another $2,000 for the Driver Assistance package, which is a worthwhile investment.

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