What is it?
The Audi A7 first arrived in 2010 and showed a different, more style-focused side to Audi. Slotting between the A6 and A8 in the German firm’s line-up, this large hatchback-cross-saloon soon became an integral part of Audi’s line-up, appealing to those wanting something a little different to the norm.
Rivalling the Mercedes CLS and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, the A7 proved you could successfully combine style with spaciousness. Can Audi continue its success with a second-generation model, though?
Virtually nothing has been carried over from the old A7 for this new car, which adopts Audi’s latest technology, including the twin touchscreen system that first debuted on the flagship A8.
Audi has also upgraded the engine line-up, while the design has been smartened up, taking on board the brand’s latest Singleframe grille, as well as advanced LED lighting.
What’s under the bonnet?
It’s a relatively simple engine line-up on the A7 – there’s one petrol, one diesel and a plug-in hybrid. All use an S tronic automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel-drive too.
Starting with the petrol, which is known as the 45 TFSI, which uses a 242bhp 2.0-litre engine that can take the A7 from 0-60mph in six seconds.
If you’d prefer a diesel, the 40 TDI delivers 201bhp from its 2.0-litre unit, allowing a 0-60mph time of 6.8 seconds, but Audi also claims up to 50mpg.
At the top of the line-up is the 50 TFSI e, which uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor for a combined 295bhp. A 17.9kWh battery allows for a claimed 40 miles of electric driving on a charge, with Audi claiming impressive efficiency figures of around 200mpg and 31g/km CO2 emissions.
What’s it like to drive?
The Audi A7 shines the brightest when it’s out on the open road, as this is a fantastic car for longer motorway journeys thanks to its superb refinement and comfort. The petrol model is particularly quiet and serene. Choose a model with adaptive air suspension for a true carpet-like ride.
The A7 also performs on more winding roads too, and feels nimble thanks to the addition of all-wheel steering, which allows the rear wheels to turn to improved manoeuvrability and stability. It’s a big improvement over its predecessor.
How does it look?
One of the best things about the A7 is the way it looks. The previous version was already a looker, but things have only improved as part of this update. There’s the wider grille at the front that gives the A7 more presence, aided by the striking LED lighting at both the front and rear, which feature hundreds of small LED elements to offer a particularly eye-catching signature.
If you want the most in the way of style, though, take a look at the high-spec S line and Black Edition models, which get larger alloy wheels and a sportier design to elevate the A7 further.
What’s it like inside?
Even a few years after its debut, the A7 remains modern and futuristic. All cars get two touchscreens (one looking after the media, and a lower display there for climate menus), as well as a digital dial display. The quality throughout is superb, too.
Despite the coupe-like roofline, the A7 still offers a great deal of interior space too. There’s plenty of room in the back for adults to sit comfortably, while the 535-litre boot is a great size, and more practical than a saloon because of its wider opening.
What’s the spec like?
There are four versions of the A7 available, though all get a good amount of equipment. The line-up starts with the Sport, with standard features including 18-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, four-zone climate control and the trio of digital displays we’ve mentioned already.
The Sport Edition brings 19-inch alloy wheels, along with a range of gloss black styling elements, with the S line building on that with 20-inch alloy wheels, a sportier bodykit, HD Matrix LED headlights and leather and Alcantara upholstery. The flagship Black Edition brings darkened 20-inch alloy wheels and a full black exterior styling pack.
The Audi A7 is a fantastic alternative to a traditional large saloon car, offering far more in the way of style and practicality. However, this isn’t at the compromise of quality and comfort, which are two areas where the A7 also excels. Combined, it makes this Audi a terrific all-rounder.