Audi A7 Sportback Special Edition Leasing

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Audi A7

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Whatcar? Review

For

The Audi A7 feels beautifully built and is pretty practical for an executive car. It also devours motorway miles easily, thanks to its impressive high-speed composure and refinement.

Against

In spite of the Sportback tag, it’s not very sporty to drive because the steering is too wishy-washy. The coupé-like roofline makes for a shallow boot, and much of the desirable high-tech equipment is optional.

Summary

The Audi A7 Sportback is a lavish-feeling executive hatchback that is also economical, wonderfully made and well equipped.

Performance

Even the lowest-powered model (the 3.0-litre V6 Ultra diesel) offers decent performance – it’s not as fast as the more powerful diesels or the manic turbocharged V8 petrol S7 and RS7s, but is still satisfyingly punchy. You can opt for a bi-turbo diesel if you want more shove than the Ultra offers but don’t want the running costs that come with a large petrol engine. Power delivery is smooth in all versions, helped by the slick automatic gearboxes.

Ride & Handling

Specify the optional air suspension and the A7 stays incredibly flat and composed on twisty roads. True, the ride is a bit firm around town, but it smoothes out at higher speeds. There’s also bags of grip and most models are four-wheel drive; only the entry-level diesel is available with two-wheel drive, although this still has plenty of traction to make light work of poor road conditions. Sadly, the steering is vague and inconsistently weighted on all models.

Refinement

Refinement levels are up there with those of the best luxury limos: there’s little road or wind noise, the latter helped by the standard acoustic windscreen. Don’t expect rumbly diesel engines, either – they produce more of a growl than a rattle. It's a pity there's too much suspension noise, however. The bi-turbo diesel version gets an eight-speed auto gearbox, whereas every other A7 comes with a seven-speeder; both shift gear smoothly, but can be slow to respond when you want a burst of speed.

Buying & Owning

An A7 will cost you thousands more than an A6 with the same engine, but you get more standard equipment. Resale values are impressively strong, too. All models are efficient and economical, but the Ultra has particularly low CO2 emissions, which help make it a great company car prospect for business users.

Quality & Reliability

Audi has built its recent reputation on quality, and the A7 doesn’t disappoint – there’s plenty of stunning detailing on the outside and the inside. In fact, the interior owes more to that of the bigger A8 luxury car than the smaller A5 executive hatch. Reliability is a concern, however; the A7 is closely related to the A6, which got a below-average reliability score in the most recent JD Power customer satisfaction survey and is expensive to repair, so we expect the A7 to be the same.

Safety & Security

The A7 gets six airbags, which looks a little sparse given that many hatchbacks get seven these days, although rear side airbags are an affordable option. There are lots of optional driver aids available, including lane-keeping assist, a head-up display and even a night vision camera. An immobiliser and alarm are standard across the range, and security experts Thatcham rate the A7 highly for preventing theft and break-in.

Behind The Wheel

The A7 shares its dashboard with the A6, so gets controls that work well, including Audi’s Multi-Media Interface central controller that functions on a standard, retractable colour screen. The driver’s seat is comfortable and has plenty of adjustment. Forward visibility is fine, but your over-the-shoulder view isn’t so good – the A7’s high rear end will have you relying on the standard parking sensors or optional rear-view camera when manoeuvring.

Space & Practicality

There’s loads of space for the driver and front-seat passenger, and a couple of six-footers will be fine in the back, despite the sloping, coupé-like roofline. This does limit boot space, but the big, powered tailgate and folding rear seats add a welcome dose of practicality.

Equipment

All models get leather upholstery, sat-nav, four-zone climate control and a powered tailgate, while the audio systems have DAB radio and Bluetooth. The options will leave tech-lovers salivating: Google Earth-style detail on the sat-nav, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, an automatic parking system and even the ability to create your own Wi-Fi network in the car.