Used 2015 Audi RS 7 Review

The 2015 Audi RS 7 is the hottest edition of Audi's coupe-style, four-door A7. With outrageous performance, impressive refinement and surprising practicality, the RS 7 is one of the world's elite sedans.




what's new

The 2015 Audi RS7 gets a standard head-up display and an optional Dynamic package that includes variable-ratio steering, an active suspension and sport exhaust.

vehicle overview

If you've always wanted a blisteringly fast sports car but you couldn't accept the inevitable sacrifice in practicality, the 2015 Audi RS 7 just might be your ideal ride. Based on the relatively mild-mannered A7 hatchback sedan, the RS 7 boasts a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that belts out 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. For perspective, that's 10 more hp and 118 more lb-ft than the flagship V10 engine in Audi's R8 supercar. Even though the RS 7 weighs nearly 900 pounds more than the R8 V10 Plus, they both sprinted to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds at our test track.

So that's the RS 7's wild side. Fortunately, it also has a practical side. With its standard adaptive air suspension and cosseting seats, the Edmunds "A" rated RS 7 is serene and comfortable at all speeds. If you can resist the constant urge to bury your foot in the loud pedal, the RS 7 will return an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in combined driving. Thanks to its hatchback trunk and folding rear seatbacks, the RS 7 also offers considerably more cargo space than even a traditional sedan. The two-passenger backseat is the only real weak spot, as the sloping rear roof line limits headroom for taller riders, and there's no middle seat for a fifth occupant.

If you're fortunate enough to be shopping in this segment, you've got some enticing options. The 2015 Porsche Panamera Turbo also provides astounding performance, and it handles better than the RS 7 at the limit, though it's considerably pricier and arguably less stylish. The 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and the 2015 BMW M6 Gran Coupe are serious contenders for the four-door-supercar crown, but they lack the RS 7's hatchback versatility and they suffer from comparable rear-headroom shortages. You really can't go wrong here, but with its diverse strengths and almost nonexistent weaknesses, the 2015 Audi RS 7 is one of the very best cars you can buy.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Audi RS 7 comes in a single well-equipped trim level that's similar to the Prestige trim of the regular Audi A7, albeit with a number of performance-themed upgrades. Unlike the A7 sedan, which has a three-passenger rear seat, the RS 7 has two individual rear seats, meaning a limit of four passengers instead of five.

Standard features include 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, an adaptive sport-tuned air suspension, a sport differential, a sunroof, a power liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a basic collision mitigation system (Pre-Sense Basic and Pre-Sense Rear), a blind-spot monitor and keyless entry and ignition.

Inside you'll find ambient LED lighting, leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, four-zone automatic climate control, Audi Drive Select (providing driver control over steering, suspension, transmission and exhaust calibrations), Audi's MMI infotainment system (with a console-mounted controller that includes touchpad functionality), an 8-inch display screen, a rearview camera, voice controls, a navigation system, a head-up display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Audi Connect (providing enhanced Web-based navigation and information services along with WiFi hotspot capability) and a 14-speaker Bose audio system with a CD player, satellite and HD radio and an iPod interface.

There are numerous options packages available for the 2015 Audi RS 7. The Driver Assistance Plus package adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning/keeping assist, a corner-view (front and rear) parking camera system and the upgraded Pre-Sense Plus collision mitigation system with automatic braking. The Dynamic package adds a "Dynamic Ride Control" active sport suspension that replaces the air suspension, variable-ratio steering and sport exhaust with black tailpipes.

The Individual Contour Seating package features upgraded leather upholstery, "multicontour" front seats (with ventilation and massage functions), passenger memory settings and comfort rear seats. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Finally, there are several Optic packages that alter the finish and appearance of the car's mirrors, grille, lower air intakes and rear diffuser.

Stand-alone options include 21-inch wheels, power-closing doors, a night vision system, a simulated suede headliner, rear side airbags and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.

performance & mpg

The RS 7 is powered by a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that sends 560 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. An eight-speed automatic transmission, a self-locking center differential and a sport rear differential are standard.

During Edmunds performance testing, an RS 7 leapt to 60 mph in an outlandishly quick 3.4 seconds. There's hardly any penalty in terms of fuel economy either, as the EPA estimates you'll get 19 mpg combined (16 city/27 highway) compared to the 310-hp A7's 21 mpg combined. In other words, you're giving up just 2 mpg overall to get 250 extra horses.

safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Audi RS 7 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Rear side airbags are a stand-alone option, while the optional Driver Assistance Plus package bundles lane-departure warning/keeping assist, night vision with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control with full stop-and-go functionality.

The standard Audi Pre-Sense Basic collision mitigation system tightens the seatbelts and closes the windows if a potential frontal collision is detected, while the Pre-Sense Rear function scans for potential rear collisions. The Driver Assistance Plus package comes with Audi Pre-Sense Plus, which can automatically apply the brakes to mitigate the severity of an imminent crash.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Audi RS 7 confirmed its sporting credentials with repeated stops from 60 mph in a short 108 feet.

driving

The 2015 Audi RS 7 excels in a wide range of driving scenarios. Cruising on the highway at 70 mph, you'll barely hear the engine. In fact, it's one of the quietest sedans we've ever tested at this speed. But when the mood strikes, you can mash the gas and unleash the supercar within. With a simple tap of your toe, the eight-speed automatic seamlessly switches gears, the exhaust bellows menacingly and a wave of turbocharged torque presses you into your seat for as long as you dare. Few cars of any stripe can match the RS 7's one-two punch of confident luxury and face-flattening acceleration.

If you want the best of both worlds in a single Drive Select setting, leave it in Auto instead of Comfort or Dynamic. We conducted some handling tests in Auto, and the results essentially matched our best numbers in Dynamic (the most aggressive mode of the three). In addition, the Auto setting proved just as comfortable as Comfort for everyday driving, providing muted engine and exhaust notes, seamless shifts and a supple ride -- even with our test car's optional 21-inch wheels.

interior

In general, the RS 7's interior is typical Audi, with a handsome design, tight construction and excellent materials throughout. The RS 7 also benefits from RS-specific carbon-fiber inlays, aluminum pedals, many other RS-themed flourishes and ambient LED lighting. Audi's familiar Multi Media Interface (MMI) system controls entertainment, communication and navigation functions via a dash-mounted pop-up screen and a control dial surrounded by buttons on the center console. The system features logical menus, crisp graphics and a touchpad to increase functionality. Other systems like BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' COMAND are a bit easier to learn, but once you've got the hang of things, the MMI system is one of the best available.

Whether you stick with the standard front sport seats or opt for the multicontour comfort seats, you'll find them supportive during long trips and spirited back-road runs alike. But due to the RS 7's aggressively raked roof line, backseat headroom is tight even for adults of average height. Legroom is abundant, however, and there's something to be said for the individual comfort of the twin rear bucket seats versus a traditional three-across bench seat.

The RS 7's hatchback design permits easier loading of larger items that just won't fit through the trunk opening of a conventional sedan. The space itself is generous, too, measuring 24.5 cubic feet behind the rear seatbacks. That's almost 10 cubic feet more than rivals like the CLS, and the RS 7 offers even more when you fold those seatbacks down.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.