AUDI ADDS NEW TRIM TO ITS 2017 A7 3.0T LINEUP
By Tom Crosby
Audi has increased the already sporty performance of its physically attractive and luxurious A7 mid-size hatchback sedan by adding a new top trim for 2017 to the model line-up, the 3.0T Competition Prestige Quattro. It’s pricey with a base cost of $77,500 but it is rated second best among luxury sedans this year as having the highest resale value, according to Kelly Blue Book. That’s impressive when you consider it holds value better than Cadillac XTS, Lexus ES, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 series, competitors that all sell more cars annually in the United States.
However, in China the A7 is most popular and prized by Chinese executives. Our test-drive Competition 3.0T sits above the Premium Plus and Prestige A7 trims. All use the same engine, a turbocharged fuel stratified injection (TSFI) engine for better acceleration and improved engine efficiency. The Competition adds an extra 7 horsepower, a firm sport suspension riding on 20-inch tires, seamlessly smooth acceleration and eye-catching exterior.
Our standard S-line Black optic package contrasted black exterior trim with an Ibis White paint job. Dark gray 10-spoke wheels boasted red brake calipers for the only exterior touch of color. Options included $500 for heated rear seats and steering wheel, plus $2,450 for cutting-edge driver assistance safety features – dynamic cruise control, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, cornering camera and pre-collision assist. Superior handling comes courtesy of Audi’s vaunted Quattro all-wheel drive.
Acceleration is sneakingly smooth using the 8-speed transmission or manual paddles, in any driver selected mode – comfort, auto, dynamic or individual. Stop/start needs work, sometimes jerking forward when your foot lifts off the brake. Luxury is synonymous with space and the A7 has ample headroom in the two back seats (coupe-like) that fold down to expand a generous-sized trunk that invites a hatchback label. It includes a temporary spare tire. With 4G mobile, Wi-Fi accesses a plethora of real-time information via voice and Audi’s Multi-media interface. BOSE audio is sharply clear.
A touchpad includes radio presets and allows entering letters and numbers using handwriting (or voice) for Google Earth navigation. Quilted leather seats are comfortable, interior materials expensive feeling and looking, and red piping adds to the lush style and design. However, front seat cupholders are too close to the center storage box, restricting drink size and usability. Audis receive top safety scores.
LIKES: Luxury, power, ride, comfort, handling, looks, Bose audio, cargo space
DISLIKES: Jerky stop/start, cup holders
BOTTOM LINE: Luxury, value and performance in a beautiful sedan
- Base price w/destination fee $77,500 ($80,450 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 340 hp at 5,300 rpm
- Torque 325 lbs.-ft. at 2,900 rpm
- Transmission 8-speed automatic with Triptonic
- EPA Rating 21 city, 29 highway
- Range 19.8 gallons, premium fuel
- Performance 0-60 in just under 5 seconds