Top Gear tests the new Audi A7

Audi A7 Sportback

When the new Audi A7 debuted, we were stunned that it actually managed to look better than its predecessor. The first-gen Audi A7 was good looking and stood out among the crowd of German luxury sedans. This new one? Stunning and really quite sharp looking. It’s as if the first-gen A7 went to fashion school and learned how to dress properly. It also boasts a superb cabin, even if it is essentially an A8’s cabin as well. But what’s it like to actually drive? Top Gear recently found out.

On launch in the UK, the Audi A7 will be available with either a 3.0 liter TFSI engine or 3.0 liter TDI engine. The former is a turbocharged V6 petrol and the latter is a turbocharged V6 diesel. According to TG, the petrol is the one to have. The diesel is good but it’s a bit coarse and it comes with the worse transmission, the ZF-sourced eight-speed auto. The 3.0 TFSI is the one you want because it’s quicker, smoother, quieter and paired with Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

In terms of steering, handling and performance, the new A7 is a typical Audi luxury sedan. It’s quick in a straight line and bullet-train stable at high-speeds but it isn’t exactly entertaining to drive. There’s tons of grip, so it’s dynamically quite capable, but there’s not much joy in how it goes about it. The steering is rather numb, even if it’s accurate, and the engine is near silent. So it’s not exciting or engaging.

Though, it is comfortable, smooth and gorgeous. It’s interior is also excellent. Rich materials and impeccable build quality make its cabin a wonderful place to spend time. Its new touchscreen infotainment system is also more impressive than anticipated. While it’s still not as intuitive to use while driving as Audi’s traditional MMI controller, it’s new haptic feedback feature, which gives the user a physical vibration and audible click upon touching the screen, helps quite a bit and makes the touchscreen more easy to use than most.

 

While it isn’t the most engaging or thrilling big sedan to drive, if you look at it in the right light, it makes perfect sense. The standard Audi A7 isn’t designed to be some sort of Porsche Panamera-beating sports sedan. Audi will save the performance and excitement for the S7 and upcoming RS7. The standard A7 is designed to be a very stylish and interesting luxury sedan that gives its interior passengers tons of technology to play with. So as a luxury car, the Audi A7 is ace. If you want a sporty one, go with the S7. Or a Panamera.