Every car company is getting into the coupe-looking sedan segment Mercedes Benz started a few years ago. Its CLS range has inspired even Hyundai to pen sedans with low-slung roof lines and muscular bodies. The original CLS didn’t have much room, but comely it was, and still is.
Audi has entered the fray with a solution to the space problem. The company’s all-new A7 says so emphatically. It’s a cool, four-seat sedan with plenty of room, even for gear.
To say the A7 is stunning really doesn’t do the car justice. It’s elegant as well. That long, low-slung roof line finishes into a hatch that’s well hidden. Whenever I popped it open I noticed those starring longingly almost gasped. A hatchback? Are the folks at Audi insane?
Nope, just shrewd. The long wheelbase and the hatch area will sway those toward buying the A7 who feel they must carry a couple of sets golf clubs from time to time. I’ll never have such a need but the fact that the car’s trunk can swallow such hefty items will come in handy for carrying other things.
There’s also much room for passengers. The rear seats only accommodate two, but the leg room is superb even if there are tall folks in the front seats. Headroom was surprisingly good as well
Surely no one will buy this beauty only for its trunk and passenger space. What lies beneath the hood is what stirs the soul. The 3.0-liter supercharged V6 is an athletic marvel. Making 310 horsepower and 325 pounds-feet of torque allows the car to reach 60 miles per hour in a scant 5.4 seconds. That’s really quick considering the car’s heft and length. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph. Even so, the car can attain 28 miles per gallon on the highway. City mpg is 18 and overall it gets 22. Still wonderful.
Put your foot to the pedal and the power comes on quickly, smoothly and effortlessly. You can easily find yourself approaching triple digits due to the power and the fact that it’s tomb quiet. I could see tickets piling up if you don’t pay attention to the speedometer.
The engine is mated to an eight (8) speed transmission that’s smoother than a hot knife slicing butter. You don’t notice a thing. It’s an automatic but Audi’s vaunted tiptronic transmission allows the driver to select gears. I would have loved paddle shifters on the steering wheel but the I had to make do with the shift lever.
If you want to get even more adventuresome, there are four modes which allow the driver to change the car’s driving dynamics which are: comfort, auto dynamic and individual. The advanced setting gives you the sportiest feel, but auto is a very good blend of sport and comfort. The comfort setting is like drifting on the clouds.
The interior is sumptuous. The front seats are glove like in fit, but silk gloves. That’s not to say you wallow around in turns. You most certainly don’t. Each is simply as comfortable as an arm chair. The wood trim — and there’s a plenty of it — is finished so you can feel the grain. The stain isn’t shiny so finger prints don’t show easily. There’s plenty of brushed metal as well.
The dash is typical Audi fare, meaning it’s logically arranged and beautifully crafted. There are many gadgets and accoutrements too numerous to mention. One of my favorites was Google Earth navigation. Instead of a map you get what looks to be a satellite image of your actual surroundings. It can be voice activated for fewer distractions. Also, Audi’s MMI interface comes with a touch pad so that you can spell out a location for the navigation or a radio station for the audio system and a few other things.
The basic A7 starts at $59,250. There is much standard equipment but to get the goodies your pockets will need to be a bit deeper.
The Prestige package gives you the S-line exterior, Bose stereo, 7-inch touch screen, adaptive headlights, rear view camera with parking sensors, Audi connect (which allows you to connect as many as eight devices to the web), adaptive headlamps and advance key. That’s an additional $6,330.
Audi side assist is $500, while full led-lighting is $1,400.
The nifty moonlight blue metallic paint (the only blue I can stomach) is $475 extra. It looks more charcoal grey but it’s lovely nonetheless.
With destination charges, my as-tested price came to $68,830 which I would have gladly given to Audi to keep this beauty. I don’t have such so it went happily on its way to the next journalist. :(.