The A7, which went on sale this past spring as a 2012 model, is effectively an A6 Avant with a sloped roof, so it shares its mechanicals with its more conventional sedan sibling. The only powertrain available is a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive -- enough ammunition to shoot this gorgeous sportback to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. As its badge suggests, the A7's options list is halfway between that of the A6 and the A8, including driver assistance systems such as lane-departure prevention, infrared night vision, a head-up display, and an automatic parking system that can squeeze the big A7 into -- and out of -- tight parking spots. The optional Bang & Olufsen sound system costs a shocking $5900, and all-LED headlamps will set you back a serious $1400. You could easily spend a small fortune on this Audi. Unfortunately, the A7 seats only four, but the back seat is surprisingly airy and spacious, and the entire cabin is finished beautifully. The liftgate is enormous and, one would suspect, heavy -- but it's power-operated, so opening it is as simple as touching a button. As in the A6, the A7's MMI infotainment system can incorporate Google Earth into its maps and uses Audi's touch pad, which allows you to spell out navigation destinations with the tip of your finger.
Trim level: 3.0T Quattro
Body Style: Sedan, 4-passenger
Engine: 3.0L supercharged V-6, 310 hp, 325 lb-ft
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Passenger Volume: 94.3 cu ft
Cargo space: 24.5 cu ft
If the death of the A6 Avant wagon upsets you, take solace in the stunning A7 Sportback, a low-roofed, stretched version of the A6. It seats only four, but unlike the original coupe-roof notchback Mercedes CLS, the A7's hatchback opens high and wide, revealing a huge, versatile cargo hold. And the extra usability comes with absolutely no sacrifice to the gods of beauty.
Dual-stage front, side, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; ABS; and front seatbelt pretensioners are standard. Rear side air bags, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive headlights, Audi Pre Sense Plus, and infrared night vision with pedestrian detection and a head-up display are optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
All: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- Hatchback usability
Stunning good looks
Fast and luxurious
You Won't Like
- Seats only four
Not as practical as a wagon
A sexy, sexy sedan...or is it a wagon?
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW 5-series GT