I don’t even try to hide my obvious pro-Audi bias anymore. There is just no need to. The A8 has always been one of my favorites, and I have come close to buying one more than once. At the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, I got my first up-close look at the new 2012 Audi A7. It looked to be the perfect car. After having one for a week now, I think it just may be.
This week’s review car is the 2012 Audi A7 3.0-liter V6 quattro sedan. I am a little surprised how much I like this car, it’s not as fast as I normally want a car to be, but somehow the overall package just works well.
The A7 is supercharged but only puts out 310-horses. The supercharger gives the car smooth, deliberate acceleration without pinning you to the seat when you dump the gas pedal. The interesting thing about the power dynamics of the car is it just doesn’t back off. You go from a dead-stop and floorboard it, and the next thing you know you are backing off because you have hit 100 miles per hour, but it all happens as smooth as silk.
Hooked to the supercharged V6 is an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission that shifts like a hot knife going through butter. As with all 8-speeds, the shifts come quickly and smoothly and are not noticeable in the least. This is a car that I think most people will want to shift themselves to better control the feel of the power. This is a luxury car, and the exhaust is subdued and super quiet.
Outside the car is stunning in appearance. My test car is Moonlight Blue, which is a dark bluish-gray color, at least it is to me, noting that I am somewhat colorblind. The lines of the car are distinctive and clean.
Inside, Audi has done an incredible job of mixing wood and chrome, it has become somewhat of a signature of them. The leather air conditioned seats are super-plush with a ton of adjustments. The center console is large and sits up high for driver comfort. The car has a lot of gadgets, yet all are easy to operate and well within reach. The inside of the car is very much like that of the A8, and that is a good thing.
This A7 has the Prestige package, which gives you 19” wheels, navigation system, parking sensors and backup camera, 4-zone air conditioning, Bose sound, power tilt steering wheel, ambient lighting, and a terrific 7” color screen that pops up when the car is turned on. This package comes at a cost of $6350 retail. Options on this car include 20” wheels for $1200 and they look awesome.
It is important to note this car is first and foremost a luxury car, not a performance sedan, even though it looks like one. It is large, almost 16.5-feet long, it is over 6-feet wide, and it weighs 4150 pounds. One thing that makes this car pretty is the sleek look, but headroom is lost in that. Someone over 6’2 might get a crick in their neck when in the A7. The good news is, this car has a real backseat and has a VERY spacious trunk.
I do love this car and it is clear Audi did not set out to make this a smaller version of the A8, it was meant to be different and more efficient on fuel. The car gets surprising fuel economy and is priced absolutely right. I guessed this car $10,000 more than the actual sticker. If you are in the market for a top-notch luxury sedan that is super sporty, the A7 is a must see.
What I liked most: Exterior appearance, interior luxury, overall value.
What I would change if I could: A little more headroom for the taller folks.
MSRP as tested: $68,630.
Fuel Economy: 18 in town, 28 on the highway and it gets there easily.
Audi A7 in a few words: Great car, outstanding value!