The New Audi A7
If you want all the opulence of an Audi A6 or Mercedes E-Class Coupe, but with more distinctive styling, the Audi A7 could be worth considering. It’s a low-slung, rakish, 4-door coupe that also rivals the BMW 6 Series GT and Mercedes CLS, offering a combination of generous space for passengers and luggage, and a wealth of high-tech equipment. The A7 is a more premium offering than the previous model, with an interior that’s almost as sumptuous as the larger A8. It also has the same mild-hybrid engine technology which aids fuel economy and enhances performance.
You can have your A7 with choice of either three diesel, or one petrol engine. 50TDI Quattro it’s a 3-liter V6, has plenty of pulling power at low revs, and can briskly get up to motorway speeds without breaking a sweat. This engine will match the BMW 630d for acceleration but it won’t keep up with the Mercedes CLS 400d, and although the A7 is refined overall, there is a little bit more engine vibration coming into the cabin compared to the Mercedes. If it’s refinement you’re after, the 55TFSI petrol is a much smoother operator. Although being a petrol, it does mean that you have to explore higher revs to get the best out of its performance.
Both engines share one annoying flaw, 8-speed automatic gearbox, is slow to kick down when you want to overtake, put your foot down, and there is a bit of a delay, So to overcome this you can just use the manual shifter. One piece of kit that works well on all A7 engines is Audi’s 48-volt and mild-hybrid system. It enables the car to coast for extended periods, with the engine off at speeds from 34mph to 99mph, not that you’ll be travelling at 99mph in the UK, and that’s helping save fuel. It’s not all good news though, because the A7 does not have the sporty handling that it’s svelte image might suggest.
The A7s ride is also pretty firm on the standard sport suspension, but this can be improved by adding the optional air suspension. This treats you to a wafty high-speed ride that makes the A7 one of most relaxing long-distance cruisers. It’s not as adept at low speeds though, over potholes it can be more jarring that you might expect. Then when it comes to interior quality, well the A7 as almost as premium as the A8 luxury saloon. There’soft touch materials, slick switches, and chrome surrounds that give it that opulent feel. The A7 borrows its infotainment system from the A8, which means you get two screens. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dash is brilliant, you get a really sharp set of instruments and you can customise it to show the most useful information to you.
Although price vary depending on what engine you choose, generally speaking the A7 undercuts the BMW 6 Series GT on price, and is about the same as the Mercedes CLS. If you’re company car driver, the cheapest option for tax is the petrol, however if you’re covering a lot of miles you will probably prefer diesel.
To sum up the A7 is a beautifully made high-speed cruiser, but it’s not the most fun car to drive and that infotainment is a little tricky to use on the move.
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