Audi A7 Sportback
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Review Of The Audi A7 Sportback
Looking for an objective review of the Audi A7 Sportback? OSV have got you covered, from engines to lease deals.
Looks can be deceiving where the brand new 2017 Audi A7 Sportback is concerned. If you spot it in a showroom, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a slick new coupe – only to be confused when the salesman starts talking about a “luxurious five-door hatchback.”
Nope, he hasn’t gone totally bonkers. The new A7 sports coupe looks, but it’s very much a practical 5-door exec hatch that’s a stellar alternative to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class saloons. It’s premium, powerful, and stylish.
The Sportback is getting more and more popular as a body type, and can offer more space than a regular compact hatch. If you think it’s time to get on board with it, join OSV as we take a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 Audi A7 Sportback review.
It might look like a coupe, but we should probably qualify that a little bit more for you – it looks like a big coupe. Sure enough, this is a large car that tips the scales at 1,700kg. However, it’s 20% aluminium, which means it’s a lot lighter than it could have been.
As a result, the A7 Sportback is an assured handler. Add Quattro four-wheel drive, and traction is up there with some of the grippier cars in this sector and beyond.
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The steering is where things come undone slightly. It’s not as responsive or as agile as we’d hoped, given its looks. But the fact that the brand’s Drive Select system is standard across the range cushions the blow somewhat, as lets you adjust both the steering and suspension setups until you get the feel you want.
In terms of the engines, we like the A7 Ultra diesel. It’s an erstwhile performer that can offer good running costs, and comes wit a brand new 7-speed S tronic automatic ‘box that changes gear smoothly. It can do 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds, which is respectable.
The BiTDI diesel engine is marginally quicker, but it’s hardly noticeable. It literally shaves one tenth of a second off the 0-62 time but costs more.
The petrol models are when things start to really hot up. Here you’ll find the high performance S7 and RS7 lying in wait. They come jacked-up with four-wheel-drive and V8 twin-turbo engines that ensure sporty handling.
The RS7 in particular is a muscly character that delivers up to 597bhp. That’s enough to allow it to cover the 0-62mph dash in 3.7 seconds. As fast as it clearly is in a straight line, it still suffers from being overly heavy when you take it into corners.
If you want to stick to the standard A7, a 3.0-litre TSI petrol can do 0-62 in 5.3 seconds. Quattro can be added if you want/need it.
Interior, Design & Build
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The interior is a comfortable, quiet place to be. An acoustic windscreen is a helpful addition, as it helps to filter our exterior noises as much as possible. It’s totally possible to feel super snug in this car, especially during the colder months when winter bites. And if you add air suspension, you get unrivalled ride quality.
One disappointment is that the car doesn’t get Audi’s rightly praised Virtual Cockpit. Without it, the dash still looks fab, and the controls and dials are easy to operate. Each button feels sturdy, and you get the impression that this is a cabin built to last.
In terms of practicality, the A7 is hard to fault. It’s a fair old size, which is good news for passengers upfront and in the back. The boot measures 535-litres when your rear seats are up and 1,390 when you fold them down. It’s a lengthy if shallow boot that accommodates awkwardly-shaped items quite well. It’s also easy to access.
A couple of issues: The middle seat is pretty much useless for adults as it’s too narrow, while the sheer length of the car makes it trickier to park than you average compact hatchback.
Equipment & Safety of the Audi A7 Sportback
Standard kit is good across the range. The A7 SE Executive sits at the bottom of the range, and its kit includes LED headlights, heated leather front seats, sat nav, automatic wipers, automatic headlights and keyless entry.
Move up to the S Line, and you’ll benefit from sports seats, while the Black Edition models add 21” alloys and the BOSE surround-sound stereo system.
The options list is extensive and filled with attractive candy. Paint finishes and wood inserts for your dash alone could easily see your final bill escalate. More useful options include air suspension and a reversing camera.
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Costs Of The Audi A7 Sportback
Prices for the new car start out from £46,800 and rise to £60,000. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from as little as . For more information on our lease deals, check out our page here.
In terms of running costs, it comes as something of a pleasant surprise that the A7 Sportback is so affordable to keep on the road, given its size. The car has to do without Audi’s cheapest 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, but still manages to average respectable economy figures.
The most frugal model is the Ultra diesel. In front-wheel-guise, it averages fuel economy of 62.8mpg, and emits just 118g/km of CO2. This means you pay £30 a year in road tax.
The TFSI petrol models will obviously be more expensive to run, but returns of 36mpg aren’t bad. Meanwhile, the high performance S7 model has claimed fuel economy of around 29.9mpg.
Pros and Cons Of The Audi A7 Sportback
Top Quality Interior
Audi are known for their luxurious interiors, but they’ve outdone themselves here.
It’s a hatchback indoors. Outside, it’s a slick coupe.
The fact that it’s surprisingly so well ensures that it’s an assured handler.
Audi have tried to merge executive styling with the practicality of a hatchback. It’s worked to a degree, but there are issues such as poor rear headroom.
Pricey Optional Extras
If you’re one whose head gets turned by optional extras, you may as well forget the listing price as your final bill will be nowhere near it.
Audi A7 Sportback vs BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe vs Mercedes Benz CLS Coupe
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparisons section of our 2017 Audi A7 Sportback review.
Audi A7 Sportback vs BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
The new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is one of the most entertaining cars to drive in any sector. It’s also stylish, offers four seats, and affordable running costs.
It’s hard to ignore the fact that this is a sizeable car. Take one look at it, and you might question how a “grand” coupe like this could possibly handle well. However, handle well it does.
Its handling is helped by an active steering system that’s available as an optional extra. It’s well worth adding, because it gives you steering a more responsive, crisper feel by turning the front and rear wheels ever so slightly.
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There is a good selection of engines available, starting with a 640i Gran Coupe petrol model that’s quick, but not as quick as the explosive 650i Gran Coupe that feels as though someone left a stick of dynamite in its engine before sending it to the showroom. Both models get a ferocious sports exhaust as standard which sounds absolutely amazing.
However, if you want to blend economy with performance and drivability, the 640d GC diesel model is your best bet. It’s just as fast as the 640i, but is cheaper to keep on the road. It can return 51.4mpg and costs just £145 a year to tax while doing 0-62 in just 5.4 seconds.
The 640i, meanwhile, can return fuel economy of 37.7mpg.
We like the fact that the 7 Series GC gets variable dampers as standard, as these allow you to tweak the suspension to soften or firm it up. Over long distances, then, the car can be remarkably quiet, comfortable and composed, while adding the optimal Active Drive system will further enhance your experience.
However, it must be said that this BMW Gran Coupe is not as comfortable as the standard 7 Series saloon. It gets almost as many luxurious touches, though, including the on-board concierge service included in the ConnectedDrive feature.
BMW describe this GC as a 4+1, which means you can squeeze a fifth passenger in here somewhere – OSV is just not so sure where exactly! (we hope they don’t mean the boot). If they’re referring to the middle seat, we’d argue that anyone sat here will have to cope with restricted headroom, thanks to a raised seat.
Legroom on the whole is good though, while the boot measures 460-litres with all the seats up, and 1,265 with the rear bench folded down.
Audi – £46,800 – £60,000
BMW – £60,000 – £72,500
Audi A7 Sportback vs Mercedes Benz CLS Coupe
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The new Mercedes CLS Coupe blends the awesome presence of an executive saloon with the shape and style of a coupe to dramatic effect.
Continuing with the theme of drawing inspiration from two different sectors, the new car also manages to blend on-the-road fun with comfort. Adaptive damping (which is standard across the range) ensures good ride quality, while air suspension is available as an optional extra. If you add it, you can adjust the suspension setup to suit your mood or the conditions.
The steering is well weighted and direct, the body control is good, and there is a reasonable amount of grip on offer. As a bonus, the CLS Coupe manages to feel a lot smaller than it actually is.
The engines are all lively and quick. The 220 Blue TEC diesel opens the range. It’s powered by a 2.1-litre 168bhp diesel engine that can get you from a standstill to 62mph in 8.5 seconds before maxing out at 155mph.
However, if you want to strike the right balance between performance and economy, the 350 BlueTEC diesel is a more appealing option. Its 3.0-litre engine delivers up to 201bhp, and can get you from 0-62 in 6.2 seconds.
The petrol engines faster, with the CLS 400 doing 0-62 in just 5.3 seconds, and the high-performance 63 AMG doing it in 4.1 seconds. But do you really need 577bhp?
Running costs are goo. The 220 BlueTEC is the most frugal of all, and can return 61.4mpg while costing £110 a year to tax. But check out the numbers averaged by the much quicker 350 Blue TEC – 52.3mpg and an annual road tax bill of £145.
So this isn’t exactly an expensive luxury. However, there is plenty of luxury inside. Comfort is second to none, and the plush cabin has taken its cues from the classy S-Class. Metal, wood and leather trims abound, and standard equipment includes LED rear and front lints, Bluetooth connectivity, heated front sports seats, and the brands COMAND online infotainment system.
However, one drawback of buying a car like this is that it isn’t the most versatile. Four adults can sit in comfort, and everyone gets ample leg and headroom. The rear windows should be bigger, but storage spaces are everywhere, and include a sizeable glovebox and a useful box in your centre console.
The boot is generous too, and measures 520-litres. However, where the Audi A7 has an advantage over the CLS is with its folded seats that come as standard. If you buy this Mercedes, you have to pay extra.
Mercedes – £47,000 – £87,000
Verdict Of Our 2017 Audi A7 Sportback Review
This is a 4-door coupe derived from an exec saloon that’s got the practicality of a hatchback. Bit of a mouthful. But is it trying to be too many things at once? Perhaps a lesser brand would not have been able to pull this one off. But all Audi really had to do was refine their popular Sportback template so that the new Audi A7 Sportback is one of the most vital cars around right now. An excellent car.
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