The 2012 Audi A7 earns a 8 out of 10 here at FamilyCarGuide. While the A7 is considerably more fashionable and exciting than most sedans, and its hatchback design and folding rear seatbacks do promise more versatility and space compared to traditional trunks, its somewhat tight back seat—combined with the height limitations of its long-sloping window glass—might or might not work depending on the size of the kids. That said, the A7 is hard to beat for refinement, and has a quiet, isolated interior and a firm but never punishing ride.
The 3.0 TFSI engine in the A7—a direct-injected, supercharged V-6 making 310 horsepower—produces plenty of torque without revving high, while the eight-speed automatic unobtrusively goes about its business in relaxed driving. Handling is everything a family buyer would want—a little on the light side around town, but confident and secure on the highway. Gas mileage is pretty good, too, at 28 mpg highway.
Crash-test ratings haven't yet been released by any of the major agencies, but the A7 comes with a full roster of expected safety features—plus emergency braking assist and strong xenon HID headlamps—and can be optioned with a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, and a so-called Pre Sense system that will sound a warning chime to help avoid a potential accident, or even help out with braking if it decides a collision is imminent.
While the A7 starts around the $60k mark and is close to our price ceiling, affluent parents will appreciate all the onboard tech. Its roster, in fact, includes a number of features from the brand's A8 flagship—including 3D Google Earth maps with Sirius Traffic updates, Google Voice search, an awesome Bang & Olufsen sound system, Audi Connect (wireless hotspot), and MMI Touch, which lets you enter destinations, phone numbers, and the like by simply tracing a letter or number at a time on a little scratchpad. We see it as considerably less distracting—once you're used to MMI's menu idiosyncrasies—compared to pointer- or touch-screen-based systems.