The elegantly styled A7 comes with a choice of engine types including a recently introduced plug-in hybrid version. There is luxurious touches at every turn and this vehicle is guaranteed to stand out in any crowd with its eye-catching streamlining and distinctive features.
The goodWireless internet connectivity - wow
The badLuxury comes at a cost (especially the optional extras)
Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI e quattro 367PS Competition (2020)
I doubt anyone could have imagined some years back that manufacturers the world over would need to add hybrid technology to their cars to meet stricter, cleaner guidelines? But in some cases, it really works and the Audi A7 is a perfect example of that.
Clever engineering sees the mating of a 2.0-litre petrol engine to an electric motor powered by a 14.1kWh battery for a total output of 367ps. And that power means that this stylish Sportback model can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in just 5.7 seconds and has a maximum speed that is electronically limited to 155mph.
Any critic of plug-in hybrid technology will be forced to sit up and listen when it comes to the fuel economy figures with a combined 141.2mpg and carbon emissions of 46g/km, which in itself brings plenty of savings to the business driver.
Clearly that sort of fuel efficiency could only be achieved if the maximum EV range of about 25 miles was fully utilised and the A7 was charged regularly in-between. But, they are still impressive figures for a car that looks like a rocket and has a driving performance to match.
With the practicality of four doors along with the jaw-dropping styling of a streamlined coupe, the A7 looks awesome from every angle thanks to its LED headlights with LED rear lights, gloss black radiator grille and black air intakes. There is an additional charge port so the car can be plugged in, privacy glass, and the 20-inch alloys along with red brake callipers and Tango Red metallic paint simply added to the all-round charm.
Step inside and the interior oozes elegance with the highest quality fixtures and fittings throughout. Creature comforts include full leather upholstery, powered seats that can be heated, twin touchscreens – one 10.1-inches and the other 8.6-inches – with haptic feedback. The only difference on this model is that you are offered additional information regarding the electric driving range, energy consumption and the likes.
The 12.3-inch virtual cockpit tft display, behind the steering wheel, can be personalised too with superb 3D graphics for the sat nav.
The climate control is easy to adjust on the fly which is a blessing these days and connecting a smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto takes a matter of seconds. A wireless charger beneath the centre armrest is another plus factor.
The Audi A7 starts up in complete silence, provided of course there is enough charge in the battery, and the power and acceleration are instant with rapid gear changes through the seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission. There are steering wheel-mounted paddles for extra driver engagement, along with a Drive Select feature to switch through the various driving modes called Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. No prizes for guessing that Dynamic is the most exhilarating choice.
In addition, there are buttons to easily access the Hybrid, EV and Battery Save modes, which are pretty self-explanatory.
When it comes to performance, the A7 is the perfect car for any long journey. Out on the open country lanes, it seems to glide through sweeping bends with as much power as you dare make use of. The road holding is confident and assured with accurate steering that offers plenty of feedback. Then on motorways, it cruises effortlessly at the national speed limit eating up the miles.
The all-round visibility is akin to most coupe models, so not that great. That is mainly down to the narrow rear window, wide B pillars and low-to-the-ground driving position. But that was my only criticism and really does go with the coupe territory, so is to be expected.
Comfort levels are sublime with powered seats and memory settings so getting the ideal driving position is simple. And back seat passengers are treated to ample leg space too. They also have their own individual climate control system, along with cup holders and a tray in the fold-down central armrest, door bins, plus nets in the seat backs.
Up front there is a lockable glovebox, door pockets, plus a small centre storage box where the wireless charger and USB ports can be found. The boot can accommodate 380 litres of kit although this limit increases to 1,235 litres thanks to 40:20:40 split folding rear seats.
And when you also factor in the wealth of safety specifications, driver assist systems and Audi’s accomplished quattro all-wheel drive, this plug-in A7 model really is the complete package. Admittedly, the cost will cause a few gasps with a starting price of £68,425, increased to £73,095 on the test car, but sometimes you get just what you pay for and this model is ideal for the fleet market with its attractive tax savings.
Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI 320PS quattro S line tiptronic
The combination of style, luxury, sophistication, practicality and awesome driving dynamics rarely come together in one car, but that’s exactly what Audi has achieved with its A7 Sportback.
Of course being from the Audi marque, the A7 boasts all the premium quality associated with the brand with the finest materials and latest technology incorporated to produce a very attractive and upmarket car. But it’s not all about the bells and whistles as this particular Audi also offers outstanding versatility with bags of space for two back seat passengers and the generously-sized boot with a capacity ranging from 535 litres to 1,390 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.
The four-door coupe is ultra-streamlined in its design with smart 20-inch alloys and Matrix LED headlights helping to give it a truly powerful appearance. The interior is equally luxurious in its lay-out offering a sophisticated cabin environment that simply oozes Audi class throughout.
Techno treats and creature comforts on the mid-range S line model supplied for the test were plentiful and included the likes of four-zone air conditioning, a pitch perfect BOSE sound system (£1,000 extra), Audi’s Drive Select system to adjust the car’s dynamics, sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, a colour touchscreen, a three-spoke multi-function sports steering wheel with gear-shift paddles and Audi’s highly efficient Multi-Media Interface.
The test car was priced at £56,700 (£68,505 with options) and was powered by a 320PS 3.0-litre diesel engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. It could reach 62mph from a standing start in 5.2 seconds and maxed out at a governed 155mph. According to official figures, the car delivers combined fuel efficiency of 44.8mpg with carbon emissions of 167g/km.
When it comes to performance and handling, the A7 Sportback really is the perfect executive car. It seems to glide across the Tarmac absorbing any bumps and dips along the way, and it eats up the miles while the driver sits comfortably and relaxed at the wheel. The road-holding is assured especially as the car features Audi quattro four-wheel-drive system and the steering is precise with barely a sound filtering through to the cabin from the outside world.
In busy traffic, the A7 Sportback cruises along with ease and then out on the faster roads and country lanes it delivers all the power and acceleration you could wish for. The automatic gearbox is perfectly tuned and you can opt to use the gear-shift paddles if you fancy taking a little more control. In addition, flicking through the Drive Select feature allows the driver to fine tune the accelerator, steering and suspension according to preference. It has to be said that even after extra-long journeys the driver will arrive refreshed and relaxed.
As one would expect from Audi, the A7 Sportback is jam packed with innovative safety features and the test car also had a Night Vision Assistant system priced at £1,510. This set-up uses a thermal imaging camera at the front of the vehicle. This camera reacts to heat that radiates from any object ahead and so warns the driver of any dangers on the road before they would be seen using the headlights alone.
It’s this type of ground-breaking technology that keeps Audi high on the executive driver’s wish-list and when you factor in the all-round luxury and comfort the A7 offers, it really is a sublime piece of equipment in every aspect.
Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 Tdi Quattro SE S tronic
If elegant styling, breath-taking performance and luxury levels beyond belief top your wish list when searching for a new car, then look no further than the Audi A7 Sportback.
For this sleek five-door beauty has it all.
It looks good enough to be a sporty coupe, has comfort credentials similar to a sedan and has all the versatility and space of a station wagon.
From the second you lay eyes on the A7 with its sculpted streamlining, neat light clusters, tinted windows, striking chrome twin tailpipes and ready-for-action 20-inch alloys, you know the drive is going to be something a little bit special.
And believe me, it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The cabin is packed to bursting with state-of-the-art technology and the list of creature comforts seems to go on forever.
The luxurious leather seats can be moved every which way to find the perfect driving position and they can also be heated at the push of a button.
There is four-zone climate control, which means rear seat passengers can adjust the temperature to suit them, a brilliant sound system which is compatible with every modern device, adaptive cruise control, a stop/start function to save fuel, sat nav and so much more.
In fact, this car is packed with so much top quality spec it could fill the whole review just listing it.
But for me, creature comforts aside, it was the overall comfort and performance that truly impressed. Even after longer journeys on more demanding roads, the driver is guaranteed to arrive refreshed.
And that’s because the A7 simply loves to perform. The 3.0-litre diesel-driven engine produces incredible power and blistering acceleration through the automatic transmission.
Road-holding is exceptionally good thanks to the quattro factor and the cabin noise is virtually non-existent even on faster or uneven roads.
The boot is very generous in capacity and this is easily increased thanks to split folding rear seats.
Another classy feature worth a mention is the way the boot is raised and closed at the push of a button – one guaranteed to turn heads at the supermarket!
I did think that parking may prove an issue due to the length of the vehicle, but the very effective sensors make you look like an expert even in the tightest of spaces.
As one would expect, Audi has packed plenty of safety features into the A7 making it one of the safest vehicles in its class.
Admittedly, it’s not cheap – £63.3k including £16k extras – but pound for pound, it’s outstanding value and, in the A7, no journey will ever be too long.