2018 Audi S7

2018 Audi S7 Review

The 2018 Audi S7 offers an alluring combination of performance, style and practicality.
8.2 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

If you scan our "cons" list of Audi's A7, you'll note that "needs more power" is not among them. Far from it, in fact, as the car's strong V6 engine allows it to accelerate to 60 mph in a rapid 4.8 seconds. And yet no one ever complained about adding a twin-turbo V8 with 450 horsepower to a car, and that's exactly what the 2018 Audi S7 gives you. Quite simply, it makes this gorgeous yet practical hatchback-style sedan even more lustworthy.

Besides performance, practicality and beauty, the S7 provides the usual Audi virtue of a stylish and impeccably crafted cabin. It also comes loaded with features. And although Audi's latest tech isn't available, the previous-generation MMI interface is still plenty user-friendly and you still get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The S7 does suffer from reduced rear headroom due to its sleek roofline, and the back has only two seats. If that's a problem, you could always consider the nearly mechanically identical Audi S6 that also costs considerably less. However, then you'd be giving up the quintessential S7 style.



What's new for 2018

The 2018 Audi S7 is essentially unchanged.

We recommend

There's little reason to consider the Prestige trim level unless you yearn for the Bang & Olufsen sound system. Otherwise, just go with the standard Premium Plus. It comes with everything you could otherwise need or desire.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Audi S7 is a midsize high-performance four-door with a hatchback body style Audi dubs a "Sportback." Unlike the A7, which comes in a five-passenger configuration, the S7 can only be had with a pair of individual rear sport seats. There are two trim levels, Premium Plus and Prestige, both of which come with a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 good for 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.

The Premium Plus trim comes standard with 19-inch wheels, full LED exterior lighting, an adaptive air suspension, a sunroof, a power liftgate, parking sensors, a rearview camera, a blind-spot monitoring system, heated auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside, you get standard four-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats with heating, driver-seat memory settings, diamond-stitched leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a head-up display and Audi's MMI electronics interface (8-inch display, knob controller, touchpad). Also on the list: a navigation system, voice controls, Bluetooth, Audi Connect, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and a media player interface.

The Prestige gains 20-inch wheels, high-performance summer tires, LED cabin lighting and soft-closing doors.

On either trim, an available Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning and automatic braking system (Pre Sense Plus), lane departure warning and intervention, and automatic high beams. The S Sport package adds upgraded steering, a sport rear differential and sport exhaust. The Comfort Seating package supplants the standard diamond-stitched sport seats for ventilated front seats with massage and memory settings for both seats. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The 20-inch Black Optic package gets you 20-inch dark-colored wheels and high-gloss black exterior trim. Rear side airbags are a stand-alone option.

Optional for the Prestige only are 21-inch wheels, a night-vision assist system and a Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade.



Trim tested

There are typically multiple versions of each vehicle, although many aspects are shared. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Audi S7 (turbo 4.0L V8 | 7-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current S7 has received only minor changes. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's S7.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.2 / 10

Driving

8.5 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking7.0 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling8.5 / 10
Drivability8.5 / 10

Interior

8.0 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out6.0 / 10
Roominess6.0 / 10
Visibility7.5 / 10
Quality8.0 / 10

Utility

9.0 / 10

Small-item storage8.0 / 10
Cargo space9.0 / 10

Driving8.5

The A7 isn't lacking for speed, but the S7's turbo V8 pumps out 450 hp and makes a pleasing muted growl while doing it. It also handles curves far better than something this large should.

Acceleration9.0

Sneaky fast. The 450-hp 4.0-liter V8 builds power so easily you barely notice the law-breaking speed you've built up, with 60 mph arriving in just 4.2 seconds. The seven-speed automatic is ultra-quick, smart and smooth-shifting.

Braking7.0

Pedal travel was longer than expected during testing and normal driving, which made the brakes feel less powerful than they are. Stopped from 60 mph in 110 feet with zero fade — decent but not class-leading. Easy to modulate around town.

Steering8.0

Feedback could be better in all steering modes. We appreciated the extra heft and exceedingly quick turn-in of Dynamic mode, but some may feel it's too much.

Handling8.5

Despite its length and weight, the S7 is a fantastic handler. Its size made it difficult to place precisely during our slalom test and on super tight back roads, but it's controllable, fun and the all-wheel drive puts the power down sublimely.

Drivability8.5

Even with so much power and speed on tap, the S7 can be driven like an everyday car. The gas pedal is supple, the transmission doesn't hunt at low speeds, and the suspension doesn't beat you up.

Interior8.0

The S7's interior is a nice, impeccably crafted place. It's just that there's less of it than in traditionally designed sedans. Like the Mercedes CLS and BMW Gran Coupe, the S7 has compromised rear headroom due to its coupelike styling.

Utility9.0

While the S7 might not be as friendly for people as the Audi S6 and other regular sedans, it betters them when carrying stuff. The deep, highly accessible cargo area is more spacious and versatile than what others offer.

Small-item storage8.0

Bins in the doors, forward of the shifter and under the center armrest provide decent space for phones and other objects. Cupholders are on the small side.

Cargo space9.0

The hatchback trunk (24.5 cubic feet) is very accessible and super deep, which is the key differentiator between the S7 and other luxury sedans. It is a tad narrow, though, and don't count on that hatchback allowing for bigger, bulkier items.

Technology

The S7 does not yet offer Audi's latest MMI interface, including the Virtual Cockpit all-digital gauge display. That's OK, though, for as impressive as that system is, the older version in the A7 is still feature-rich and easy to use.

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.