The 2014 A7 risks being overshadowed by the high-powered S7, as well as the track-ready RS7 for the first time in the United States. Buyers may quickly discover that the relatively simple and affordable A7 is the pick of the range. With all the luxury and exterior drama, via a 2014 Black Optics package and S-line trim, the A7 is no wallflower. It can also haul serious mass its huge trunk on its way to 60 mph in under 6 seconds.
The A7 is a mutant of a car in the ultra-conservative luxury sedan world. Style it all you want, but do not add a hatchback or call it a coupe. Where it starts to make sense is in the decadent fastback proportions and more than a little Lamborghini Estoque about the rear end.
The Audi seals the deal with a huge tailgate that opens to a wagon-large cargo area and rear seats that can fold down for loading antiques.
The A7 has a low roofline that is a significant 3-inch drop from the A8 above it. And while the A7 looks enormous, it is about half a foot shorter than the A8, as well.
The A7 does not have this fashion coupe space all to itself. It is nearly $20,000 cheaper than the Porsche Panamera that packs the same freaky hatchback luxury charm. The A7 also takes aim at the Mercedes-Benz CLS550 Shooting Brake and the BMW 650i Gran Coupe , making this one big German party.
None of these over-styled cars ever age very gracefully but the A7 is in the unenviable spot of being the oldest among this group of brand-new competitors. Don’t count out the $65,000 A7, as this battle has only just begun.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Audi A7 3.0T with highlights on the new equipment and performance options.
The A7’s exterior is obviously its show piece. Is it a coincidence that so many Estoque elements migrated over to the A7 after Italian exotic four-door was put on ice by Volkswagen Group overlords? Perhaps.
The Estoque design ideas are solid, and presented Audi an elegant and fresh way to package the tail of their new CLS-fighter.
Is co-opting the Lambo’s looks a bad thing? Of course not. The Estoque was a gorgeous concept car. The silhouettes are similar because of the Estoque ’s huge rear fenders and a sloping glass that also created a hatchback-like trunk-line. The Estoque themes carried over easily to the big Audi and the most noticeable are the unusual surface treatments for the edge of the trunk.
The way it uses a third flat plane between the vertical and horizontal panel intersections is unique for Audi because the German brand typically rounds corners like this or pinches them in a different way. It seems trivial but it is what helps the A7 looks so unique versus the A8 and A6 that are far more conservative.
The A7 continues this trunk edge treatment down the body-side to skillfully mask the shut-lines and panel gaps between the plastic bumper and metal fenders. The look is mirrored up front but looks more elegant than the cut/shut corners of the A8.
The long LED light bar under glass just below the roof also makes an appearance. The taillight shapes and placement are similar, despite the Audi’s being larger than the Lamboghini concept’s.
Moving forward now, the A7 in profile is a long, lean shape defined by its low roof and never-ending glasshouse. These help balance a nose that still juts out in a non-premium way. Some unusual curves and curving creases appear in the lower doors and rocker panels to enliven the long panels.
At the nose, there is much less Estoque visible but the A7 does share the Lamborghini’s raked windshield and diving front fenders. These are new design elements virtually unseen on other Audi’s but expected in the future. Softening and sweeping the grille and light graphics helps create a more streamlined-looking nose without the vertical grille cuts of the new CLS and GranCoupe .
While it looks slippery, the A7 is actually down three points from the A8 ’s drag coefficient at 0.30. The single-frame grille is now available in gloss black with matching black window trims replacing silver. The A7 comes standard with the S-line bumper that includes some deeper side bumper vents. A variety of cool wheels makes the option list and helps increase the A7’s presence.
Those LEDs are still some of the brightest and most unique running lights on the road. They can be optioned to full-LED low and high-beams for $1,400 extra but the larger LED lenses on the A7 are not as pretty as the individual pods in the A6.
There are three wheel/tire upgrades that also come with a sports suspension and three-spoke steering wheel. There is also a stand-alone 20-inch wheel that keeps the soft ride.
2014 Audi A7 –Exterior Dimensions:
|Overall length||195.6 in.|
|Overall width with mirrors||84.2 in.|
|Overall height||55.9 in.|
|Track (front/rear)||64.7/64.4 in.|
2014 Audi A7 – Standard Exterior Features:
- Audi Singleframe grille
- Adaptive xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running light technology
- Automatic headlights
- LED taillight technology and rear fog lights
- Power-adjustable, auto-dimming, heated exterior side mirrors with memory
- Dual exhaust outlets
- Aluminum trim around exterior windows
- Power tailgate open/close
- Adaptive rear spoiler
- LED indicator light technology integrated into the exterior side mirrors
- Heated windshield washer nozzles
- Audi S line exterior appearance
The big change for the 2014 A7’s interior is the addition of the new active safety options and a change in seating capacity. The A7 will now come with five seats and the S7 and RS7 will get the twin rear bucket package as standard. It was previously standard-fit on all A7’s with five seats optional.
The A7 is a huge and wide car inside but has a distinctly low roof. This eats into headroom quite a bit in the back and knocks more than three inches off the A8’s max hat space. Such is the price of style.
The dash design and layout is much more A6 than it is A8. Whereas the A8 has numerous extra flowing trims and decorative elements, the A7 sticks with the A6’s somewhat minimalist design ethos. There are still large swathes of curved wood panels that arc around the dash top and into the door panels.
Of course, the leather is gorgeous and the craftsmanship is among the world’s best. Something about the A7’s trim options, leather colors and wood selections seems missing. There are plenty of great choices but frankly, the brushed aluminum and black looks the most timeless.
There is a minimal 10-percent price jump from the Premium to the Prestige trim that packs all the requirements, like MMI Nav and vented seats as standard. The key options are the Innovation package and the Bang and Olufsen stereo upgrade. Both are about $6,000 extra but the innovation package is more helpful. It includes adaptive cruise, lane assist, blind-spot assist, a head-up display, night vision and a few more goodies.
Lastly, the trunk is huge at 24 cubic-feet, well-trimmed and well-shaped with a flat load floor and hidden cubbies in the sides and floor. The rear seats also fold and give the A7 a very long loading area. The trunk could theoretically do a Home Depot run but probably will see more action from huge, lavish purchases that are not so messy.
2014 Audi A7 – Interior Dimensions:
|Headroom (Front/Rear)||36.9/36.6 in.|
|Legroom (Front/Rear)||41.3/37.0 in.|
|Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)||57.2/55.9 in.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||24.5 cubic-feet|
2014 Audi A7 – Standard Interior Features:
- Four-zone automatic climate control
- Four-spoke multifunction steering wheel
- Perforated leather seating surfaces; twelve-way power front seats, including four-way power lumbar adjustment
- Heated front seats; ventilated front seats
- Audi MMI Navigation plus with voice control system
- Audi MMI touch with handwriting-recognition technology
- Audi connect with six-month trial subscription
- BOSE sound system with 14 speakers, AudioPilot noise-compensation and 630 watts
- 7-inch color driver information system
- BLUETOOTH wireless technology preparation for mobile phone
- Audi advanced key—keyless start, stop and entry
- Parking system plus with rearview camera
- Audi drive select
2014 Audi A7 – Optional Interior Features:
- Cold Weather package ($450)
- Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 15 speakers and 1,300 watts ($5,900)
- brushed aluminum trim (no-cost)
- layered Oak aluminum trim (no-cost)
- Dark brown Walnut trim (no-cost)
- Black cloth headliner (no-cost)
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The A7 comes in one mechanical specification and it is a good one. It runs a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 through and eight-speed auto with permanent four-wheel-drive. The V-6 makes 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque right above idle.
This package reaches 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds and goes on to a limited top speed of 130 mph. The A7 does not benefit from the air suspension found in the S7 or other Audi models and is therefore less flexible with its settings.
The Electronic dampers are adjustable in the A7, however, and are configurable in the standard Audi Drive Select menu. This can also alter steering feel, throttle response and stability control parameters.
2017 Audi A7 Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||3.0-liter Supercharged 24-valve V-6 With Chain-Driven DOHC|
|Peak power||310 horsepower|
|Peak torque||325 pound-feet|
|0-to-60 mph||5.4 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||18/28/21|
The A7 has not been crash tested by the NHTSA or IIHS but includes all the safety technology and airbags necessary to avoid crashes and protect passengers if one should occur. These include six standard airbags with two more optional in the rear doors for $350.
The A7 uses an aluminum-hybrid construction with a steel unibody under the aluminum body panels. It is only slightly heavier than the A6 3.0T and about 500 pounds lighter than the larger, all-aluminum A8.
2014 Audi A7 – Standard Safety Features:
- Driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags, knee airbags, thorax side airbags and Sideguard head curtain airbags
- Front passenger occupant detection—for airbags
- Power central locking system with safety unlock feature if airbags deploy
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with traction control (ASR)
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) in rear seats
- Electromechanical parking brake
|Trim Level||2014 MSRP|
|A7 3.0T Premium||$60,100|
|A7 3.0T Premium Plus||$63,800|
|A7 3.0T Prestige||$66,150|
The A7 can easily be cross-shopped with both the CLS sedan and the new Shooting Brake wagon. The wagon is the hot new model and is likely to woo some curious shoppers. It also packs a huge trunk but is more clearly a wagon. Granted, it is the coolest wagon in decades that is super low and looks wider than a Hummer.
The CLS runs a turbo V-8 in CLS550 form and matches the A7’s low 5-second 0-to-60 mph sprint. The CLS Shooting Brake also runs a giant LED brake light bar under glass.
Gallery Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake
The new four-door 650i has more than a few things going for it. First off, it is gorgeous. It looks so fantastic with its low roof and sculpted body-sides. In many ways, the 650i GC looks better than the M6, as it is more understated and elegant.
The cabin of this latest BMW model is also offered with some stunning Extended Leather packs that make it nicer inside than even the Audi. There is woven leather on the B-pillars, for example. An LED brake light bar is here as well.
Now that the super-trendy A7 shoppers are migrating to the S7 and RS7 , the A7 is less of a standout in the marketplace than it was when launched here two years ago. It is the frequent victim of aggressive paint jobs and body kits that do it no favors on the styling front.
In the subtle stock colors paired with giant wheels and the new gloss Black Optics package, the A7 remains a stunning beauty in the road. All it really needs is some dark window tinting.
The A7 defies convention because of its unusual hatchback trunk and low roof. It is happier as an occasional four-seater than a real five-passenger sedan, due to the sculpted outer buckets.
The core attributes remain rock solid despite the lack of gloss around the base A7: a strong, fast vehicle that delivers good performance, a sumptuous cabin and the reassurance of quattro AWD.
|Driving||A-||Not As Many Suspension Settings As S7 But Still Comfy Cruiser|
|Performance||B||Pretty Quick For The Base Model At 5.4 Seconds To 60|
|Look||B-||Not Aging Very Gracefully But Still Offers Lamborghini Looks|
|Value||A||Significantly Cheaper Than CLS Shooting Brake And BMW GranCoupe|
|Overall||B+||Stylish And Graceful Sedan With Wagon Practicality|
- Suddenly seems like very good value versus BMW and Mercedes
- Respectable performance and excellent automatic
- Quattro drivetrain remains a selling point
- Cabin does not excite like A6 and A8 but still very luxurious
- Limited options makes buying easier; Needs factory tinted windows
- Fuel economy is not terrific
2014 Audi A7 Model Line
The A7 model line expands with the new track-tested RS 7 model as well as a TDI clean diesel variant – the first five-door clean diesel coupe. The highly-anticipated RS 7 is built with the twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI V8 engine, producing an astounding 560 hp that launches the RS 7 from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. It is the most powerful RS model to date. More information on the RS 7 will become available in the coming months ahead of its on sale date in late Fall 2013.
Like the A6 TDI, the A7 TDI provides a powerful 240hp and 428lb-ft of torque with an outstanding EPA estimated fuel economy 24 city/ 38 highway/ 29 combined MPG. The A7 3.0T and TDI both start with the Premium Plus equipment level, which comes standard with a host of technology features, such as Audi Navigation plus with Google Earth and Audi connect® analogous to the A6.
For 2014, A7 variants are now five-passenger cars, while the S7 and RS 7 are offered exclusively in a four-passenger configuration. An available Black Optic and bicolor package for the A7 and S7 features a black optic grille with high-gloss Singleframe® surround and gloss-black window surround.