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2016 Audi A7 Expert Reviews

Expert Reviews

2016 Audi A7

New Car Test Drive
© 2016

The Audi A7 is a premium full-size performance sports sedan with coupe styling and a luxury feel. Its exterior is stylish and its interior is practical. Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive is standard. A7 seats four.

The 2016 Audi A7 tops its class on fuel mileage with the available turbocharged diesel engine: The A7 TDI rates and EPA-estimated 24/38 mpg City/Highway, for 29 mpg Combined.

The base engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6, and it’s very quick. For 2016 its horsepower has been increased to 333 hp from 310, yet the EPA fuel mileage rating stays the same, at 20/30 mpg City/Highway, or 24 mpg Combined.

Both engines are smooth as well as powerful, their fuel mileage assisted by an 8-speed automatic transmission, which keeps the rpm at a steady level, with a tall final drive keeping the rpm lower at 70 mph on the freeway.

For 2016, Audi A7 gets new LED headlamps, along with tweaks to the bumpers and aerodynamic touches. Inside, the shape of the switchgear is slightly changed for 2016, and the Multi Media Interface (MMI) can be enhanced with a head-up display. New available materials include Valcona leather and Beaufort walnut trim, also a black-out trim.

For 2016, the adaptive cruise control is able to bring the car to a complete stop and resume, a feature that might be used in stop-and-go freeway traffic jams. However, people behind you will be impatient and may be upset because these systems don’t do bumper to bumper as well as human drivers can.

The night vision system is improved for 2016, as is the system that senses a crash. On the outside, a new mesh insert on the rear bumper is available, and there are tweaked exhaust tips with certain trim levels.

The upscale Prestige model is more handsome to some, with black honeycomb replacing chrome at the front, diffusers and oval tailpipes added to the rear, and aluminum and carbon interior trim.

The Audi S7 has been significantly updated for 2016, as well. The 2016 Audi S7 is more powerful than before. The front and rear fascia have been updated with new bumpers, grille, front splitter, headlights, taillights, and exhaust outlets. Inside is upgraded trim, a new head-up display, and updated controls.

The 2016 S7 engine is rated at 450 horsepower and 406 foot-pounds of torque. The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission has been refined.

Model Lineup

Walk Around

The Audi A7 grille, front fascia, and headlamps have been sharpened for 2016, and the LED turn signals are way cool, as a row of white lights flash in sequence. Another thing: Audi has made Daytime Running Lights a thing of beauty. It’s art on the highways, instead of an ugly glare in your face.

The A7 resembles the A6, except for the grace of the roofline that makes it look like a two-door coupe instead of the four-door sedan that it is. The fastback slope down to the rear bumper is sleek, although the glass hatch cuts into cargo space, a tradeoff most A7 buyers will not care about.


The A7 interior is classy all the way, calm, cool and collected. Its style comes from the flagship A8. Elegant lines and materials abound, with lines that lines pass over and under the dash from different directions, yet the layout somehow remains centered on function. Despite the blends of materials and shapes, there’s not a hint of chaos.

Overall, the cabin feels spacious and open, especially with the available panoramic roof. When you add the A7’s high technology, the cabin emerges as exceptional. An improved MMI system is quicker, using a Nvidia Tegra 30 processor with twice the power, enabling the pop-up high-resolution LCD screen to display Google Earth data. The available HUD, or head-up display, is tidy and doesn’t intrude into the visibility through the windshield.

The seating for four is comfortable. The front seats are well bolstered and can be adjusted virtually to infinity, although the rear legroom could not be said to be ample. The rear seats fold for more cargo space, offering more than a sedan with a trunk, and more than a two-door coupe. However the sloped glass hatch limits not only the size of the items that can be carried, but headroom too, despite scallops in the headliner. Between limited legroom and headroom back there, the A7 is a compromised sedan. If you want your sedan to look like a coupe, which the A7 pulls off beautifully, don’t expect it to offer all that a sedan does, for passengers.

The steering wheel is slightly offset toward the right, which some might notice and others might not. The instruments are angled toward the driver, making him or her feel special.

The available Bang & Olufsen sound system is wonderful. If you love your music, the A7 can become your concert chamber.

Driving Impressions

The Audi A7 TDI model uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. It makes 240 horsepower and a gigantic 428 pound-feet of torque that delivers quick acceleration: 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. On top of that, you get green: 24/38 mpg City/Highway, for 29 Combined EPA miles per gallon.

The racier engine, the 3.0-liter supercharged V6, makes 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Its mileage is 20/30 City/Highway, 24 mpg Combined.

The handling of the A7 is quick, almost nimble, even with its size. It feels well balanced, unlike the Audi of old, back when they felt nose-heavy. Its Quattro all-wheel drive adds to grip and cornering when the car is pushed. Meanwhile, the ride is very comfortable.

Sports sedan shoppers will go for the S7, with its twin turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine and 450 horsepower with 406 pound-feet of torque. The exhaust note is magnificent. The S7 comes with the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters that changes gears very fast, but is smooth and tractable at everyday, civilized speeds. The S7 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, according to Audi.

The S7 handles well for a big sedan and can be driven fast and smooth.

Fuel economy for the S7 is an EPA-estimated 17/27 mpg City/Highway, 21 mpg Combined.

If that’s not enough there’s the RS7 with 560 horsepower and neck-snapping acceleration: 0-60 in 3.7 seconds.

Handling in both the S7 and RS7 inspires confidence, despite steering that is short on feedback. They both have adaptive air suspension that helps keep the car from leaning in corners, and makes for a softer ride.

The Audi A7 is a magnificent machine, no matter which one you’re talking about. There are four disparate models, if you count the S7 and RS7. The TDI is both fast and green, the V6 TFSI is supercharged and sporty, the V8 S7 is super sporty, and the RS7 is high performance.

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