- Very dapper exterior
- Grand tourer handling with luxury sedan ride
- Comfortable, hugely adjustable seats
- High-tech center stack including Google Earth maps
- More space than a sedan
- Rear seats short on leg room
- Very little feel or feedback from the steering
- Sleek hatch impinges on cargo height
The 2017 Audi A7’s combination of sexy exterior style and healthy interior practicality make for a grand touring luxury sedan par excellence.
The 2017 Audi A7 is an automotive standout. The mid-size hatchback is not only one of the best-looking cars on the road today, it’s also one of the best performing. Starting with its roots firmly planted in the A6 lineup, the A7 skips the base powertrain and aims for a higher-end customer—and doesn’t stop. Starting with the A7, the hatchback also is offered in a high-performance S7 version and a stratospheric RS 7 model. We cover those separately.
The A7, however, is excellent, rating a 8.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Audi A7 styling and performance
A reaction to the coupe-like Mercedes-Benz CLS sedan, the Audi A7 is one of the most beautiful cars on the road. It's actually a hatchback with a shapely rear end mated to Audi's corporate and rather elegant front end. Up front, the A7 features Audi's signature LED headlights and "singleframe" grille. The look from the front doors forward is almost exactly the same as the A6 sedan, which is handsome in its own right, but the fast rake of the roof at the rear creates a very sleek, fastback shape. Great for cargo—though a bit shallow in its dimensions—the A7's combination of sexy exterior style and healthy interior practicality make for a grand touring luxury sedan par excellence.
After a 2016 update to the design, the 2017 model gets tweaked bumpers at both ends, an expanded color palette, and new wheel patterns.
As with even the most sexy of Audis, the interior of the A7 is understated, cool, and simple. The dash is a chorus of cutlines, but Audi's mastery of materials carries it off without a hint of chaos. A range of available trims and upholstery hues offers plenty of customization.
On the powertrain side, only one engine is offered as Audi pulled its diesel version until the company complies with regulations for diesel emissions. The automaker admitted in 2015 that its V-6 diesel engine polluted more than initially admitted.
That leaves just the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic, and the A7 comes standard with quattro all-wheel drive in the U.S.
Considering its size and luxury, the A7 is surprisingly agile and quick. Only after pushed well past the limits of sanity does the A7 exhibit the typical Audi foible: nose-heavy understeer. It’s sporty, but not at the expense of ride quality.
Audi A7 comfort, safety, and features
The A7’s cabin is comfortable and shod with high-quality materials throughout. Rear-seat passengers may look for the same leg room and head room as front-seat riders, but those cases will be few. Up front, the adjustable seats make it easy to find the right position, regardless of the occupant's body type. Fold down the rear seats, and cargo capacity climbs, even if the space does remain shallow under the sharply sloped roof.
Interior changes for 2017 include new LED ambient lighting packages, aluminum and wood dash accents, improved Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a wireless charging pad, and an available rear-seat entertainment package utilizing a pair of tablet PCs.
Audi adds plenty of high-tech gadgets to the A7’s handsome style and luxury appointments, but it’s an equal mix all the way around. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system is standard and it comes with navigation. MMI is fast, slick, and good-looking thanks to an Nvidia Tegra 30 processor. The instrument panel's LCD can display Google Earth data, too, as well as driving directions, car information, and much more. High-speed data connectivity, MMI Touch input, and an optional Bang & Olufsen sound system further upgrade the A7's features.
Available safety features include adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop and still resume following the car ahead, a night vision system, a forward collision warning system with emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and lane keeping assist.
The A7 is fairly efficient given its size and power. It scores 20 mpg city, 30 highway, 24 combined, according to the EPA.