Used 2016 Audi S7 Review

Sharp style means the 2016 Audi S7 could get by on looks alone. But that's just the tip of what this striking sedan offers. You'll probably appreciate the S7's exceptional interior room and quality cabin materials, as well as its handy hatchback trunk. That level of luxury, combined with amped-up performance swagger make the S7 a top luxury sport sedan. Ready to see if it suits your lifestyle?




what's new

For 2016 the Audi S7 gets refreshed exterior styling (including different front and rear fascias, reshaped headlights and new LED taillights) along with 30 extra horsepower for its turbocharged V8. The MMI infotainment system is also substantially updated, featuring a faster processor and 4G LTE connectivity. Additionally, a USB port replaces Audi's proprietary iPod interface, while a new Sport package bundles variable-ratio steering, a sport rear differential and a sport exhaust.

vehicle overview

Few things in life can kick rationality to the curb like a thrilling high-performance car, and the 2016 Audi S7 is a case in point. The rational decision, you see, would be to buy the considerably cheaper A7 hatchback on which the S7 is based. The A7 is plenty quick in its own right, packing 333 hp this year in 3.0T form, and handles ably enough. But the S7 kicks it up a few more notches by swapping in a 450-hp V8, while its suspension and brakes are also suitably upgraded. As such, the S7 is quick enough to outgun most full-on sports cars in a straight line, and it goes around corners with more verve. Good luck staying rational with that kind of performance at your disposal.

Beyond its athletic moves and stunning swiftness, the S7 also scores on less exciting, but still important fronts. A smooth ride makes this Audi a great choice for road trips or nights on the town, while surprisingly respectable fuel economy makes that sizzling V8 a guilt-free indulgence. Thanks to the S7's sleek hatchback body style, there's an abundance of cargo capacity compared to typical sedans. And in keeping with Audi tradition, the S7's cabin is as sumptuous as they come, fitted with superb materials and technology features.

Of course, Audi isn't the only luxury automaker capable of seducing buyers with a sleek V8-powered four-door. The 2016 BMW 650i Gran Coupe is likewise handsome and enticing, while the 2016 Mercedes Benz CLS550 is comparably quick and attractive in a more muscular way. If you don't mind spending more, the 2016 Porsche Panamera's peerless driving dynamics are mighty tempting, though its styling remains controversial -- and you'll have to pony up for the GTS or one of the Turbo models if you want a V8.

Stiff competition notwithstanding, the 2016 Audi S7 is a great driver's car with a good measure of practicality and undeniable aesthetic appeal. Even if the logical part of you says the standard A7 will be just fine, we definitely recommend being a little irrational and taking the S7 for a spin.

trim levels & features

The 2016 Audi S7 comes in a single well-equipped trim level. Unlike the A7, which comes in a five-passenger configuration, the S7 has two individual rear seats, meaning a strict four-passenger capacity.

Standard features include 19-inch wheels, full LED exterior lighting (headlights, running lights and taillights), an adaptive air suspension, a sunroof, a power liftgate, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and keyless entry and ignition. Inside, you'll find a head-up display, a driver information center with a 7-inch display between the gauges, Audi Drive Select (providing adjustable settings for steering, suspension and transmission calibrations), diamond-stitched leather upholstery, eight-way power heated front sport seats (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with wheel-mounted paddle shifters, driver memory settings, four-zone automatic climate control, Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) system with console-mounted controls and a central 8-inch display, a rearview camera, a navigation system with voice controls, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, Audi Connect (including enhanced Web-based navigation and information services plus 4G LTE connectivity with mobile WiFi) and a 14-speaker Bose audio system with a CD/DVD player, HD radio and a USB port.

Options for the S7 include a number of packages. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel that lacks the standard flat-bottom design, while the Driver Assistance package adds automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go functionality), lane-keeping assist, a corner-view (front and rear) parking camera system and the Audi Pre-Sense Plus collision mitigation system. The Comfort Seating package features "contour" front seats with ventilation and massaging functions, passenger memory settings, comfort rear seats and leather upholstery without diamond stitching.

The Sport package adds variable-ratio steering ("Audi dynamic steering" in Audi-speak), a sport rear differential and a sport exhaust with black tailpipes. The Black Optic package tacks on special 20-inch wheels (or optional 21-inchers), body-color exterior mirrors (instead of the standard silver ones), a blacked-out grille and gloss-black window surrounds.

Individual option highlights include 20-inch wheels, power-closing doors, a faux-suede headliner, night vision assist, rear side airbags and a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Also available by special order through the Audi Exclusive program is a large array of custom exterior colors and finishes as well as interior colors and materials. Note that these special orders can add two months or more to the normal post-ordering delivery time.

performance & mpg

Under the hood of the 2016 S7 is a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that sends 450 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Shifting duties are handled by a seven-speed automated manual transmission (S tronic).

In Edmunds testing, a 2016 Audi S7 made the sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, considerably quicker than most competitors in the segment.

According to the EPA, the 2016 Audi S7 should return 21 mpg combined (17 city/27 highway), which is remarkably frugal for such a fast car.

safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Audi S7 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, lane-keeping assist and a blind-spot warning system are also standard. Rear side airbags and a corner-view camera system are optional.

The standard Audi Pre-Sense Basic system warns the driver, pre-tensions the seatbelts and closes the windows if a potential collision is detected, while Pre-Sense Rear (also standard) uses the brake light to warn traffic behind the vehicle in the event of a potential rear collision. The optional Audi Pre-Sense Plus system (via the Driver Assistance package) can do all that, plus fully tighten the seatbelts and automatically apply the brakes full force to mitigate the severity of an imminent crash.

In Edmunds brake testing, the S7 stopped from 60 mph in 110 feet, an average stopping distance for a vehicle in this class with summer tires.

driving

With 450 hp just itching to be unleashed by your right foot, the 2016 Audi S7 is a very fast car. Throw in Audi's crisp-shifting automated manual transmission and all-wheel drive, and you've got one of the most responsive and satisfying powertrains on the planet. It's worth noting that the costlier RS 7 makes do with a conventional automatic transmission, so the S7 actually feels a little quicker and more responsive when you're manually selecting gears.

The S7's standard adaptive air suspension delivers a smooth ride along with capable handling, a deft balancing act that once again sets this Audi apart. Around turns, the S7 can feel like the heavy and sizable sedan it is, but nonetheless it inspires driver confidence in both enthusiastic cornering and evasive maneuvers. In short, few four-door cars can match the S7's broad range of dynamic abilities.

interior

In standard Audi fashion, the interior of the S7 is characterized by sleek, handsome design and excellent materials quality, with some S-specific flourishes thrown in for good measure. The standard MMI infotainment system features a dash-mounted pop-up screen and a control dial surrounded by buttons on the center console. The system boasts logical menus, crisp graphics and a touchpad to enhance functionality. Certain rival systems may be easier to acclimate to, but MMI should become intuitive in short order for most shoppers.

The S7 is also equipped with the Audi Connect telematics suite, which includes 4G LTE connectivity, mobile WiFi capability, Google Earth data for the navigation system and simplified Google search functionality for points of interest. The WiFi is a boon for passengers on a long road trip, or if you'd simply like to turn the S7 into a 450-hp mobile workstation. On the other hand, the Google Earth navigation maps can be difficult to understand at a glance from behind the wheel.

Whether you stick with the standard sport seats or opt for the massaging contour seats, you'll enjoy excellent support during long trips and spirited back-road runs alike. But due to the S7's aggressively raked roof line, backseat headroom is tight for average-to-tall folks. Legroom is adequate, however, and there's something to be said for the snug comfort of the twin rear bucket seats versus a traditional three-across bench seat.

The S7's handy hatchback design permits easier loading of larger items that just won't fit in the trunk of a conventional sedan. Official luggage capacity is 24.5 cubic feet, while lowering the rear seatbacks opens up considerably more room.

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.