2016 AUDI A7 KEEPS SLEEK LOOK AND COMPETITIVE PRICING
By Tom Crosby
With some freshening of its sleek profile, the 2016 Audi A7 remains one of the best-looking four-door luxury coupes, with a sharply raked rear window and minimal chrome except for vehicle badging, tail pipes and wheel spokes.
Performance, elegant interior, and lesser base pricing, have kept the A7 strongly competitive against similarly equipped, more widely touted, German nameplates such as Mercedes, BMW and Porsche. (Volkswagen/Audi is a global best seller and the Audi AY is a top choice among Chinese executives.)
This year the A7 added a newly designed trapezoidal front grill, bumpers and head/taillights – all subtle changes. Other improvements include a standard adjustable steering wheel and improved feature connectivity. The 3.0-liter super-charged engine was also tweaked to add 23 more horses reaching 333 horsepower, while improving fuel economy roughly 4 miles per gallon.
The mpg improvement is felt in motor cutoff during stops but it causes occasional jerky starts getting back underway, although the ride is comfortable at speed with the seamlessly shifting 8-speed automatic transmission.
Handling is excellent in any quattro four-wheel drive-modes – comfort, dynamic or auto. LED headlights swivel in turns and adjust output to match available illumination.
Our test-drive options totaled $5,600, plus $550 for Florett Silver metallic paint. Packages included Prestige (there is also a Premium Plus), Black Optic, Cold Weather and S line sport. They included heated rear seats, 20” five-double-spoked wheels on all-season tires that created some noticeable hum at highway speeds, a sport suspension and rear-end spoiler rising from the trunk cover for down force at higher speeds (speedometer says top end is 180, U.S. models governed to reach only 130 mph).
Drivers now get 4G mobile Wi-Fi (up from 3G) for up to eight devices and USB connectivity when manipulating Audi’s popular thumb-wheel control. There are several hundred choices drivers can make drilling down through subsets for radio, media, navigation and telephone using Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) on the pop-up 8-inch dashboard screen. A small touchpad includes radio present numbers and allows entering letters and numbers using handwriting (or voice) for Google Earth navigation.
Interior ambiance includes leather seats, tight fit and finish, Ash wood accents and red backlighting at night. Taller rear seat passengers may be somewhat challenged by head room but they will find ashtrays, their own climate controls and ample legroom. Audi’s typically receive top crash safety scores.
LIKES: Luxury, power, ride, comfort, handling, looks, Bose audio
DISLIKES: Tire hum, jerky start
BOTTOM LINE: A beautiful luxury sedan easy to fall in love with
- Base price w/destination fee $69,225 ($75,425 as tested)
- Curb weight 4,288 lbs.
- Wheelbase 114.7 inches
- Length 196.2 inches
- Width 84.2 inches w/mirrors
- Engine specs 3.0-liter, V6, super-charged, fuel injection, DOHC
- Horsepower 333 hp at 5,300 rpm
- Torque 325 lbs.-ft. at 2,900 rpm
- Transmission 8-speed automatic with Triptonic
- EPA Rating 20 city, 30 highway
- Range 19.8 gallons, premium fuel
- Performance 0-60 in 5.2 seconds