Audi A7

The Essentials

  • Price from £44,440
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 55.4mpg
  • What is it? Stunning coupe looks, a practical hatchback tailgate and five-star luxury.

Great

  • Interior takes plush to a whole new level
  • So quiet you can hear even your passengers think
  • Smooth and powerful to drive

Gripes

  • Optional extras can double the price
  • Limited rear visibility is balanced by parking aids
  • That sloping roofline makes big hair inadvisable
  • Drive

    Thoroughly accomplished performer but don't expect a dazzling display of driving dynamics

  • Inside

    Like stepping into a luxury hotel on wheels. Neat touches include the push-button operated tailgate and optional ventilated massaging seats

  • Safety

    We'd expect more than six airbags for such a high-calibre car, and too many advanced safety features are cost options only

  • Reliability

    The A7 is closely related to the A6, which has a slightly dubious reliability record

  • Space

    Seats four six-footers comfortably. Taller rear passengers will notice the sloping roofline. Five doors and folding rear seats add practicality

  • Standard and extras

    Plenty on offer as standard or you can nearly double the price of the car by letting rip on the options list

  • What's it like to drive?

    The A7's driving characteristics don't quite live up to the promise of its looks, but the A7 is far from disappointing. Although the steering isn't as engaging, nor the handling as dynamic, as it might be, even the lowest powered diesel offers a decent performance, and the engines get progressively faster, up to super-fast, turbocharged V8 petrols. Each engine is impressively smooth, helped by a super-slick automatic gearbox fitted to every model. The car's ride is a little firm at low speeds but it smooths out as soon as you increase the pace. If you can afford it, it's worth ticking the box for the optional adaptive air suspension which keeps the car's body composed and controlled on twisty roads (without it the car feels slighty floaty). The A7's cabin is wonderfully hushed, however, and most versions are four-wheel drive.

  • What's it like inside?

    Luxurious interiors have become an Audi trademark and the A7 continues the good work. The dash sweeps around the driver and looks fantastic. A new improved version of the MMI control system makes it easier to operate all the interior technology from one point. Those up front have masses of space, those over six foot might find the rear headroom snug, however. That sloping roofline also reduces boot space, but folding rear seats and the electrically operated hatchback door are practical touches. Standard equipment is generous and includes leather seats, sat-nav, a powered boot door, Bluetooth, wi-fi capability and an iPod connection.

  • How reliable is it?

    The A7 is closely related to the A6, which has below-average reliability and is expensive to repair, so expect a similar story here.

    Six airbags are fitted, which isn't overly generous for a car of this calibre - usually the driver's knees are offered protection too. More high-tech safety kit is on offer if you're willing to pay for it.

  • Should I buy one?

    Using aluminium rather than steel in much of the bodywork keeps the Audi A7 light and emissions low so running costs will be respectable for the class. Let rip on the options list and you can bump the price up significantly. Resale values are predicted to be strong.