By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.3
The oxymoronic "4-door coupe" concept was founded by the Mercedes-Benz CLS, brought to the middle-class by the Volkswagen CC and applied unexpectedly to a crossover SUV by the BMW X6. Now Audi is further expanding the four-door coupe category with the A7, a sleek 4-seater that sports a roofline reminiscent of a coupe and, in an M. Night Shyamalan-style twist, a super-useful hatchback. In a sense the 2012 A7 embodies the best that Audi currently has to offer, combining sizzling emotive design with substantive attributes like all-wheel drive (AWD), advanced in-car technology and compelling driving dynamics.
If you want a car that makes a strong visual statement we're guessing you'll appreciate the modern yet tasteful shape of the 2012 Audi A7. Also, fashion-conscious folks who live in wintery parts of the country might appreciate the A7's standard quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system.
If you need room for five feel free to cross the 2012 Audi A7 off your list. It might seem, from the outside, that the rear quarters should accommodate a third occupant but Audi disagrees, opting instead to give the A7 back seats that are spacious for two instead of cramped for three.
Starting at around $60,000, the 2012 Audi A7's price falls somewhere between the expensive Mercedes-Benz CLS and the comparatively cheap VW CC; bringing premium 4-door-coupe ownership to those who are merely well-to-do.
Driving Impressions Utilizing a supercharged V6, a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and standard quattro all-wheel drive, the 2012 Audi A7 dishes up rapid acceleration for passing, merging or just increasing one's heart...rate. Once up to speed we found the A7 to be a very stable, quiet and comfortable long distance cruiser. Audi's four-door coupe also excels when traversing serpentine roads, rewarding the driver with precise steering and high cornering limits. Drivers can tailor the vehicle's character using Audi Drive Select, choosing between "comfort" and sportier "dynamic" settings to adjust the immediacy of the throttle's response, heft of the steering and aggressiveness of gear shifts. An automatic mode is also available for those who would rather let the car sort out those parameters for itself. All told, the A7 provides an impressive mix of driving engagement and refined comfort.
Buyers who step up to the Premium Plus trim enjoy MMI Touch, a neat touch-sensitive pad that lets the driver input letters and numbers by drawing them with his or her finger. MMI Touch might seem like a novelty but it quickly proves useful when searching for street names or points of interest.
Navigation with Google Earth
Google Earth is impressive on a home computer but becomes doubly impressive when incorporated into a vehicle navigation system. Improved awareness of one's surrounding area and the shear coolness of a helicopter-like map view make navigation with Google Earth easily one of our favorite features.
Audi has a knack for interior design, a skill brought to bear in the A7's luxurious cabin. All A7's utilize Audi's MMI interface, a metal rotary selection knob surrounded by four buttons, to control most vehicle functions, which contributes to an attractively uncluttered dash adorned with few controls. The engine start button's location to the right of the gear selector seems odd to us but overall we think the interior layout works well. In terms of occupant comfort all seating positions feature cozy, supportive seats while passenger space is generally good, though taller passengers may find rear-seat head room a bit tight.
The nose of the 2012 Audi A7 is dominated by an oversized hexagonal grille and LED running lights, a look shared with much of Audi's current lineup. Gaze rearward and the A7's design begins to distinguish itself with a roofline that cuts low over the rear windows, which looks great but requires occupants to duck low when entering the vehicle. On the positive side, with the rear seats folded and the large standard power-operated rear hatch lifted, the A7 happily swallows copious amounts of cargo, verified by an editor who used the space and wide opening to haul a bass guitar and bulky amplifier.
The 2012 Audi A7's standard equipment list includes leather seats, power heated front seats, keyless engine start (though, oddly, not keyless entry), 3-zone automatic climate control, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth, 18-inch wheels and a power sunroof. The Premium Plus trim adds Navigation with Google Earth, MMI touch and an 8-inch screen, 19-inch wheels and front and rear parking sensors. The highest Prestige trim bundles equipment found in the Premium Plus trim with keyless entry, a Bose audio system, ventilated front seats and 4-zone climate control. Standard safety features include stability control, traction control and six airbags.
Buyers looking to further outfit their vehicle can choose from four different option packages. The Driver Assistance Package features adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and a system that warns the driver of an impending collision. The Innovation Package includes the components of the Driver Assistance Package and adds to it LED headlights, a Head Up display and a night vision system than automatically recognizes and highlights pedestrians. Included in the Sport Package are 19- or 20-inch wheels, a sport suspension and a 3-spoke steering wheel. Lastly, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system is offered for a hefty $5,900.
These days, 310-horsepower in a luxury sedan might seem barely adequate but, thanks to an advanced 8-speed automatic transmission, the A7 makes the most of its engine's output, delivering zero-to-60-mph acceleration in a swift 5.4 seconds. Power is sent from the transmission to a standard quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system, greatly improving the Audi A7's capabilities on slippery roads. We should also mention that the A7's supercharged engine requires premium fuel.
3.0-liter Supercharged V6
310 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28
By Alpentex on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Dealer maintained, replaced two rear tires due to slow leak in one, always garaged, retired owner no commuter driving or salted roads. Technology pkg includes Head-up Display"
8 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By jmr on Sunday, July 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "- Styling, engine"
Cons: "- Climate Control Feature (not working properly)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"While a nice look and some good features, I am extremely disappointed at the fact that there is a climate control software bug on my 2014 A7. The airflow distribution setting does not work properly. The setting changes after the car is turned off and then restarted at some later time. And when the car is started, the air distribution setting displayed on the MMI display is different than the air distribution setting displayed on the climate control display. Once I re-adjust the air distribution setting to what I want, the MMI display and the climate control display will "sync up." The dealership service center let me know approx. 9 months ago that this is a known "software bug" in all 2013 and 2014 A-6 and A-7s (for models with the front seat ventilation feature). This issue has been logged with Audi engineers, and no fix currently exists; and no time table is known for when this will get fixed. I call the dealership about once a month to see if a fix has been created. I also was told by the Audi service center that the sales people do not tell customers of this problem/bug when selling the car. This is unacceptable for a +$70k vehicle."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Lizzy on Monday, June 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,467overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The car is beautiful and drives wonderful - my only issue with this car is the frameless windows. If you live in the northeast and get icy weather the windows will tend to freeze to the rubber strip. Bad concept for this area. Would be an ideal car for southern type weather."
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By PaqMan on Saturday, April 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Cons: "Almost evrything besides looks."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Brand new with 95 miles on it and it broke less than 24 hours after driving it off the lot. O2 sensor as bad and an actuator (whatever that is) needed to be moved. Start-stop is very inconsistent. Same with the opening the doors. Normally one only needs to put your thumb on this button and pull the door handle and the door opens - normally. But sometimes it just dosn't open. Who knows why - Audi can't seem to figure it out. Cruise control is very poor (jumpy, not smooth). Climate control also acts like Jeckel and Hyde. Overall the car is worth about $40,000. The only thing going for it is that it looks great. Needs an economy mode as the computer often chooses a gear lower than I would if I had a manual. Handling is just OK for the price. Save your money and buy something else."
10 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Richard on Saturday, January 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Stable, fast, and precise."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this Audi for twelve months. It is fun to drive and stable at all speeds. I am always receiving compliments on its styling. The interior is beautiful and all instrumentation is well thought out and ergonomically functional. It is comfortable for commuting as well as long road trips. The hatch back is huge with plenty of room for golf clubs and skis. I would highly recommend this Audi."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Ole Kentuckian on Thursday, January 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Absolute rocket; handles great; 2000 RPM @ 80 MPH"
Cons: "Inadequate storage in cabin; premium fuel required"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned or leased Corvettes (big block), Jaguars (XJ), Mercedes-Benz (300), BMW (3, 5 & 7 series) and Lexus (LS, SC and RX) and my 2012 Audi A7 is the best combination of a driving AND riding car I've ever had the pleasure of driving. I'm now on the dark side of retirement age and suddenly I find I can drive 15 hours in a stretch whereas before I was limiting myself to 8 to maybe 12 before. The car is that comfortable, responsive and interactive. GREAT car!"
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful