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2015 Audi A7 REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/3/2017

Con: Compromised rear headroom; firm ride, especially with the 20-inch wheels.

Interior: Those who are familiar with Audi's interior design will likely be more than content with the A7's interior. It's handsomely designed and tightly constructed, with excellent materials quality. Audi's familiar Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system controls audio, communication and navigation functions via a dash-mounted pop-up screen and a knob and buttons on the center console. There's also a touchpad that includes radio preset numbers and allows you to enter letters and numbers into the navigation system using handwriting. In total, MMI boasts logical menus and crisp graphics, and after a short time it seems relatively intuitive. BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' COMAND are a bit easier to use, however, for the less technology-oriented customer.

The A7 is also equipped with Audi Connect, which includes 3G data connectivity with mobile WiFi for up to eight devices, Google Earth data for the navigation system and simplified Google search for POIs. The Google Earth feature is a cool concept, but in practice it's an example of form over function, as the "enhanced" map can be more difficult to comprehend at a glance than a conventional navigation map.

Fitting five passengers in the A7 won't be a problem, as long as they aren't very tall. Headroom up front is acceptable, but the sleek, sloping roof line limits rear headroom quite a bit (it makes getting in more difficult as well). Legroom however, is adequate all around. The A7's hatchback design enables easy loading of luggage and larger items that might not fit in the trunk of a conventional sedan. Official cargo capacity is 24.5 cubic feet, but lowering the rear seatbacks increases that volume significantly.

Body: The 2015 Audi A7 is essentially available in two trim levels -- Premium Plus and Prestige -- for both the 3.0T and TDI engines. The higher-performance 2015 Audi S7 and 2015 Audi RS 7 are reviewed separately.

Standard equipment on the Premium Plus includes 19-inch wheels, Audi Drive Select (providing adjustable modes for steering, gas pedal and transmission response), Audi Pre Sense Basic and Rear (see "Safety," below), a blind-spot warning system, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, a power liftgate, automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and keyless ignition and entry. Inside you'll find four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), driver memory settings, an 8-inch display screen, a rearview camera, a navigation system with voice controls, Audi Connect (providing Google Earth-enhanced navigation, Google search functions, smartphone app integration and mobile WiFi hotspot capability), the MMI infotainment system with console-mounted controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and an iPod interface.

The Prestige adds adaptive LED headlights, "S line" exterior trim, LED ambient interior lighting, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a head-up display and a 14-speaker Bose audio system.

Most A7 options come bundled in various packages. The Cold Weather package includes heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The Sport package adds special 19-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. Sport package models can be enhanced via the Black Optic package, which contributes 20-inch wheels and high-gloss black trim on the grille and window surrounds. The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, Audi Pre-Sense Plus (including a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking), a corner-view camera system (front and rear) and lane-keeping assist.

Stand-alone options on the Premium Plus include the Prestige's LED headlights and Bose audio system, while both are eligible for 20-inch wheels, special wood inlays and rear side airbags. The Prestige enjoys exclusive access to an infrared night vision display, power-closing doors and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Driving: Regardless of which powertrain you choose, the Audi A7 has strong acceleration and can pass slow-moving traffic in what seems like a blink of an eye. We really do like the A7 TDI as it delivers one of the most thrilling diesel driving experiences on the road today. With 103 more pound-feet of torque than the gas engine, the TDI V6 blasts away from stoplights and dispatches highway dawdlers with ease. This is a genuine high-performance car that just happens to use diesel fuel instead of gasoline. It's quiet, too, with only an elevated growl occurring when you really lay on the accelerator pedal.

Every A7 comes with Audi's Drive Select feature, which alters throttle response, transmission shift characteristics and steering effort based on four different modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. We've found it a challenge to dial in exactly the right settings for our taste, and the steering feel doesn't impress us in any of the settings. Along with this dull steering, a hefty curb weight and sizable exterior prevent the A7 from feeling like a sport sedan. You can hustle it along but it doesn't provide much enjoyment or engagement in the process. Given this, we definitely suggest sticking with the smaller 19-inch wheels, as they provide a more supple ride and won't appreciably detract from the A7's handling.

What’s New: The 2015 Audi A7 Premium Plus models get four-zone automatic climate control, a rear-collision warning system and a blind-spot monitor as standard equipment, while the Prestige models add standard full LED headlights and a head-up display.

The 2015 Audi A7 offers a choice of two engines: a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 (3.0T) and a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 (TDI). The supercharged, gasoline-powered engine makes 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, while the diesel-powered TDI produces 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. All A7s come with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

In Edmunds performance testing, an A7 3.0T accelerated to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which is quicker than average for this class of car with a six-cylinder engine. The A7 TDI hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, which is remarkably quick for a diesel engine.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the A7 start off with the 3.0T, which is rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/28 highway). You won't find a more efficient car in this class than the A7 TDI, however, as it checks in at an impressive 29 mpg combined (24 city/38 highway). We essentially matched that on the Edmunds evaluation route with 28.9 mpg.

Safety: Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Audi A7 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, a blind-spot warning system, front and rear parking sensors, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Rear side airbags, adaptive cruise control, a corner-view camera system and lane-keeping assist are optional.

The standard Audi Pre-Sense system warns the driver, tensions the seatbelts and closes the windows if a potential collision is detected, while the Pre-Sense Rear system (also standard) uses the brake light to warn traffic behind the vehicle in the event of a rear collision. The optional Audi Pre-Sense Plus system (available via the Driver Assistance package) can do all that, plus fully tighten the seatbelts and automatically apply the brakes full force to mitigate the severity of an imminent crash.

In Edmunds brake testing, both an A7 3.0T and a TDI with 20-inch wheels and summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 106 feet. That's impressive, no doubt, but expect a longer distance with the standard all-season tires and smaller wheels.

Pro: Strong acceleration; impressive fuel economy with the diesel engine; handy hatchback trunk; supremely quiet and cosseting interior with top-notch tech.

Edmunds Say: With its beautiful design, upscale interior and great all-around performance, the 2015 Audi A7 is a highly desirable luxury car.

Introduction: There's a lot about the 2015 Audi A7 that can get your attention. The stylish, sloped roof line is certainly easy on the eyes. The promise of a sporty driving experience paired with an economical diesel engine is a prospect worth considering for any luxury owner. Even though there are plenty of sleek luxury sedans these days, the 2015 Audi A7 stands out in its class. It may place a high value on style, but this seductive Audi has substance, too.

Beneath the surface, the A7 is a well-engineered sedan that is excellent to drive. The supercharged V6 and turbocharged diesel V6 engines are both very good, with exemplary in-town responsiveness and impressive fuel economy. Moreover, the diesel engine is nearly on par with the supercharged gasoline engine when it comes to acceleration, making a strong case for paying a bit more up front and saving at the pump. Further up the Audi food chain are the more-powerful S7 and RS 7, and they're great if you're ultimately interested in something that can outpace almost every other sedan on the road. But let's be clear -- the "regular" A7 is definitely no slouch.

Inside, the A7 feels just as comfortable and luxurious as any of its rivals, and there is a wonderful efficiency about the way Audi lays out interiors. Everything seems to be at arm's reach and logically organized, distilling the highly complex underlying technologies into simple, user-friendly functions. Rear passengers may be slightly less enthused, however, as that sloped-roof styling takes a bite out of headroom for the vertically gifted. If this is a problem, the related Audi A6 has a more traditional profile.

Since the entire luxury world seems to have jumped on the coupelike-sedan bandwagon, there's no shortage of midsize four-doors with stylish leanings to choose from. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class has powerful engines and attractive styling, while the 2015 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is similarly talented and well worth considering. It's admittedly more expensive, but the 2015 Porsche Panamera is arguably the best driver's car in the segment. Test-driving these stunning automobiles would make for an exhilarating afternoon, to be sure. But we wouldn't be surprised to see one of our all-around favorites, the 2015 Audi A7, come out on top.

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