By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.1
Although we have Mercedes-Benz to thank for the oxymoronic "4-door coupe" category, Audi has gone one better with its A7 5-door coupe. Actually a 5-door liftback with a generous cargo hold and stunning silhouette, the 2014 Audi A7 incorporates everything right about Audi cars, from its stunning interior to its quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) to the myriad of engine choices and performance variants. Nestled nicely between the bread and butter A6 and the massive A8, the A7 holds special appeal to those who desire functionality and performance in an exclusive package that, while not appealing to everyone, is still attractive enough to catch everyone's eye.
If you view cars as giant rolling sculptures, the Audi A7 for 2014 can safely be called a masterpiece in glass and steel. Though stunning both inside and out, the A7 has a practical side as evidenced by its standard quattro AWD and available fuel-sipping diesel engine.
If you prefer the look and security afforded by a hinged steel trunk, the 2014 Audi A7 may not appeal to you. If you're more impressed by saving money than name recognition, similarly equipped sedans from Hyundai, Chrysler or Lincoln might make a better choice.
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The big news for the 2014 Audi A7 is the addition of a diesel engine model and a new, high-performance RS 7, the most powerful RS model ever offered in the U.S. Other changes include the removal of the rear bucket seats on A7 and the deletion of the Premium trim.
Driving Impressions We've tested both ends of the A7 spectrum: the 310-horsepower A7 and the new 560-horsepower RS 7. The A7 is impressive for its ready power delivery, responsive handling and gorgeous...... looks, while the RS 7 takes those traits to jaw-dropping levels. Both cars benefit from Audi's confidence-inspiring Quattro all-wheel-drive system, the RS 7 adding mechanical torque vectoring for even more effortless agility. The A7 is inherently smooth on the highway, while the performance-tuned RS 7 includes an adjustable suspension that makes it easy to optimize suspension response for ride or handling. We've also driven the wave of low-end torque that is the diesel-powered A7 TDI – with the same great 8-speed automatic transmission in the others – and we can enthusiastically endorse all of them.
Standard on all A7 models, MMI Touch is a neat touch-sensitive pad that allows the driver to input letters and numbers by drawing them with a fingertip. It turns out to be much less gimmicky and more usable than it sounds.
NAVIGATION WITH GOOGLE EARTH
Google Earth is impressive enough on a home computer; in a vehicle's navigation system it is even more striking, and quite practical. Improved awareness of one's surrounding area and the sheer coolness of a helicopter-like map view make navigation with Google Earth a delight.
Audi's now-famous knack for creating great automotive interiors is on full display in the 2014 A7. All A7's use Audi's MMI interface, a rotary selection knob surrounded by four push-buttons, to control many vehicle functions. The rest of the dash becomes attractively uncluttered as a result. Seating is comfortable for five in the A7, and four in the S7 and RS 7, which have two bucket seats separated by a storage console between them. Either way, that graceful roofline makes rear-seat headroom tight for tall passengers.Exterior
The face of the 2014 Audi A7 has the trademark oversized hexagonal grille and LED running lights, and the body lines are similarly standard Audi issue. But the A7 distinguishes itself in the roofline, which cuts low over the rear windows and tapers all the way to the tail. It looks great but does ask occupants to duck when entering the rear seat. The A7's 5-door-coupe design marries aero-look efficiency with clean styling in a way entirely consistent with Audi's brand character. The faster and meaner S7 is identified by subtle badging and trim and 1-inch-larger wheels.
The 2014 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, Audi connect, a power sunroof, navigation with Google Earth, MMI touch and an 8-inch screen, 19-inch wheels, and front and rear parking sensors. The highest Prestige trim offers keyless entry, power door closers, Audi side assist, a Bose audio system, ventilated front seats, and 4-zone climate control. Standard safety features include traction and stability control, and six airbags.
Most A7 options are bundled into four option packages. The Driver Assistance Plus Package features adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, corner view camera, and a collision-warning system. The Innovation Package adds LED headlights, a Head Up display and a night-vision system that 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. A 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system is offered for a hefty $5,900.
Today, 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 3.0 supercharged V6's output. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration runs take just 5.4 seconds. Equally quick but far more fuel-efficient is the new 3.0-liter TDI clean diesel that earns an EPA estimated 38 mpg on the highway. With its 420-horsepower twin-turbo V8, the lusty S7 makes even shorter work of 0-60, taking just 4.5 seconds, while the 560-horsepower RS 7 makes the same run in a scant 3.7 seconds. Remarkably, the RS 7 and S7's blistering performance comes at a cost of just a few mpg in the EPA city/highway ratings. In A7, S7 and RS 7, power is sent from the transmission to the standard quattro AWD system, greatly improving stability and confidence on slippery roads.
3.0-liter supercharged V6 (A7 3.0T)
310 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 (A7 TDI)
240 horsepower @ 3,500 rpm
428 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/38 mpg
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (S7)
420 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 mpg
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (RS 7)
560 horsepower @ 5,700-6,600 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/27 mpg
The 2014 Audi A7 Premium Plus has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $65,500, while the Prestige starts around $68,300. Fully outfit an Audi A7 Prestige and the price can blow past $83,000. The sportier S7 starts close to $81,000 and can top $96,000. Looking to the top of the mountain, the 2014 Audi RS 7 starts around $105,000 and peaks beyond $130,000. While less expensive than the Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW Gran Coupe, the Audi A7 costs considerably more than the Volkswagen CC. For up-to-date pricing on the A7 be sure to check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price. When it comes to resale values the A7 is expected to perform reasonably well, with residual numbers that match those of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and best the BMW Gran Coupe.