If cars were judged on looks alone, the 2017 Audi A7 would be a best-seller — but they aren't, so it's fortunate there's a lot more to this slick four-door fastback than its handsome shape. Adrenaline-pumping performance, high-tech features and hatchback practicality put this car at the top of the "four-door-coupe" class, and provide plausible purchase reasons for those who really just want to walk out of their house each morning to find this beauty sitting in the driveway.
Audi hasn't changed the A7 much since its introduction, and for once that suits us just fine. Though the diesel has been dropped in the wake of the VW/Audi emissions scandal — the less said about that, the better — we're very happy with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that provides the 2017 A7 with 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. For 2017, Audi has introduced a new Competition model that raises the output to 340 hp. Like other A7s, it features an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Edmunds clocked the 333-hp version to 60 mph in a very brisk 4.8 seconds, with the supercharger helping to provide near-instantaneous throttle response without the lag associated with turbochargers. That's an impressive feat when you consider that the A7 isn't supposed to be the performance version of this car, a role that falls to the even more powerful S7 and RS7 variants. In terms of fuel economy, the EPA rates the A7 at 24 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway).
Unfortunately, the driving dynamics don't quite match up to the engine's performance. The A7's heavy weight and large size keep it from feeling like a true sport sedan. And as much as we fiddled with the A7's four driving modes (Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and driver-configurable Individual), none of them could compensate for its lack of steering feel. Overall, it's just not a very engaging car to drive. We recommend sticking with the smaller 19-inch wheels, which give the A7 a suppler ride with no adverse effect on handling.
The A7 has other charms, chief among them the well-designed and solidly constructed interior, which scores points for design, technology and materials quality. We love the array of technology on offer, including a built-in WiFi hotspot with 4G LTE data connectivity. The A7 provides space for five (four in the Competition model). And while legroom is excellent up front and out back, the slick roofline limits rear-seat headroom. Cargo space is excellent, with the big hatch lid allowing unrestricted access to cargo space. Anyone have a piano that needs moving?
The A7 is offered as a four-door hatchback in Premium Plus, Prestige and the new Competition Prestige trim levels. Like other Audi cars, even the base model is lavishly equipped, and the new Competition Plus offers a stiffer suspension and sport-themed trim. Which should you choose? Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Audi A7 for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.