Despite getting a bit of a knock on its reputation for diesel emissions, Audi seems to be selling quite a lot of them in Europe. In fact, all German car companies sell a ton of diesels east of the Atlantic. Most German car sales are, in fact, diesels. So it only makes sense that Audi makes a good one, as diesel engines are sort of the brand’s bread and butter. And when you combine a great diesel engine with a stylish design and luxurious cabin, you get a home run. Which is why the Audi A7 TDI 55 is part of Auto Express’ best diesel list for 2018.
Audi’s new numeric trim level naming scheme is absurd and completely confusing. Despite being part of QuattroDaily, I have no idea what the hell the numbers “55” mean. It’s just too confusing. Nevertheless, the engine fitted in this “55” badged Audi A7 is a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 diesel that makes 286 silky smooth horsepowers.
That TDI engine also makes the Audi A7 a MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle). That means that the A7 is fitted with a 48-volt electrical subsystem that powers a BAS (Battery Alternator Starter), which is essentially and electric motor that can power the crankshaft independently of the actual combustion engine. So it not only acts as the starter motor but can allow the engine to shut off and still power the car at high speed. It’s pretty impressive tech and it helps the Audi A7 55 TDI get up to 50.4 mph on the, admittedly very generous, European Cycle.
So when you combine that engine in the stunning good looks of the Audi A7 and the impressively luxurious interior, you get a very well-rounded premium luxury car. The A7 isn’t going to light anyone’s hair on fire in the twisties but it’s not supposed to. It’s supposed to be luxurious, stylish and fast. Which it is. Which is why it makes this list.