2020 Audi A7
Starting at $69,995
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- Highs The epitome of sophisticated, expectedly quick and quiet, hatch harbors lots of cargo.
- Lows Anonymous engine character, unintuitive dual touchscreens, A6 costs less.
- Verdict The A7 improves on the traditional sedan formula and fortifies the company's cache.
The A7 is the epitome of luxury and versatility, with a thoroughly sophisticated personality and practical hatchback body style. Based on the more conventional Audi A6 sedan, this sleeker alternative uses the same elegant and high-tech interior. Likewise, every A7 has a potent turbocharged V-6 powertrain and all-wheel drive that helps shuttle its passengers posthaste. Along with the ability to engage its driver when the road gets twisty, this fastback four-door has a hushed cabin that virtually mutes any outside commotion. While its styling could be more expressive, and its cool-looking infotainment system can be distracting, the 2020 A7 is a non-traditional luxury car that delivers traditional Audi excellence.
What's New for 2020?
For 2020, Audi merely shuffles the A7's standard equipment and revises some of its option packages. The most notable newly standard features are automatic high-beams, lane-departure warning, and Amazon Alexa integration—among others. While the Cold Weather package has been discontinued, a heated steering wheel is available on base models with the Convenience package. Every Premium Plus trim now has a fully digital gauge cluster and heated steering wheel, while the Prestige now comes standard with heated rear seats and equipment from the Driver Assistance package. Other small changes include the discontinued DVD player as well as the newly named Executive and Luxury packages.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the A7 Premium Plus strikes the best balance of luxury and value. Compared with the plain-old Premium model, the Plus adds a standard 360-degree camera, enhanced LED head- and taillights, a fully digital gauge cluster, and the top-of-the-line Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system. Of course, it also comes with desirable equipment such as heated front seats, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, and a power-operated hatchback. The only options we'd choose are the Executive and Driver Assistance packages. Together they bring adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control, heated rear seats, lane-keeping assist, ventilated front seats, and more.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2020 A7 uses a turbocharged V-6 that makes 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That power is delivered to Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive through a seven-speed automatic transmission. The A7 also uses a 48-volt hybrid-assist system that minimizes turbo lag and aids stop/start operation. During everyday driving, we appreciated the Audi's effortless quickness. Its sophisticated all-wheel-drive system provided excellent traction in wet and dry conditions. The automatic transmission intelligently reacted to both relaxed and energetic throttle inputs. Audi expertly blends luxury and agility on the A7. Its enthusiastic responses and ethereal ride quality immediately stood out while we were behind the wheel. Despite our test car's optional 21-inch wheels, the expected thuds from harsh impacts went virtually unnoticed. Its supple suspension was equally successful at limiting body motions and maximizing smoothness. The steering response was linear, with adjustable heft available in different drive modes, but it never communicated what the front wheels were doing. The two A7 models we tested had impressive stopping power, with emergency braking distances of 157 feet and 163 feet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the A7 Quattro will get 22 mpg city and 29 highway, which closely aligns with rivals such as the BMW 540i xDrive (21 mpg city and 29 highway) and the Mercedes-Benz CLS450 4Matic (23 city and 30 highway). The Audi we tested greatly exceeded its highway rating, earning an impressive 36 mpg on our 200-mile fuel-economy route. The CLS also returned 36 mpg during our highway test, but the Bimmer only achieved 31 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The A7's interior has impeccable fit and finish and is highlighted by attractive materials and sturdy switchgear. Every cabin has ambient interior lighting, heated front seats, leather seating surfaces, a panoramic sunroof, three-zone climate control, and more. However, they're controlled solely through the touchscreens, which is annoying. The A7 also provides a satisfying driving position that is complemented by excellent outward visibility. Rear-seat passengers receive climate controls, power points for charging devices, and even heated seats, which are all optional. While the back seat comfortably accommodates two adults, three full-size frames would be cramped. Underneath the A7's useful power-operated liftback, we fit seven carry-on bags behind its split-folding rear seat. The car also held 20 bags of luggage with the seats folded flat. Likewise, we managed to fit a golf bag and stroller in the cargo area. Unfortunately, the A7 has mediocre interior cubby space. The front door pockets are narrow, and the center console has a small bin.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every A7 features a dazzling infotainment system with dual touchscreens that seamlessly integrate into the dashboard and center console. The large icons are easy to locate and the haptic feedback is satisfying, but the setup is undeniably distracting because they often require the driver to take their eyes off the road. Standard content includes Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto integration and a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. Desirable options are two powerful Bang & Olufsen premium sound systems and wireless smartphone charging.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2020 A7 hasn't been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or fully evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, it offers advanced driver-assistance equipment that includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology and night vision. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi provides warranty coverage that aligns with plans from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance