Audi A7 Sportback (2018) Review
Audi A7 Sportback (2018) At A Glance
One of the best interior designs around. Excellent intuitive touchscreen system. Fitted with some impressive technology.
Tiptronic gearbox and 50 TDI engine do not make for a winning combination. Not as spacious in the back as you'd expect for a car close to five metres long.
Insurance Groups are between 41–50
On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure
The A7 Sportback is glamorous enough to draw admiring glances from passers-by, and you don’t really sacrifice too much in the way of practicality to get it: rear headroom is a fraction tighter than in a saloon, but that’s it. It also gives you the impeccable build quality, generous equipment list, strong safety record and excellent refinement that you expect from a high-end Audi. Not as polished to drive as you might think, but still easy to recommend, even against impressive rivals like the Mercedes CLS.
Just because you’re a successful businessperson, it doesn’t mean you necessarily want to look like one. When somebody sees a luxury limousine like an Audi A8 or a Mercedes S-Class going by, they usually assume such a person is inside, but not all such people want that sort of attention. They might, however, want attention of a different kind, and that’s where the A7 comes in.
It’s designed to deliver most of the same traits as a luxury saloon, but with a good bit more style thrown in. It certainly achieves that, the bold details and crisp creases combining with the swooping roofline to create some proper visual drama.
And yet, even though some interior space has been sacrificed in pursuit of this visual theatre, it’s only a tiny amount. There’s a pinch less rear headroom than you’ll find in an A6 or A8, but it is only a pinch and tall six-foot colleagues will be fine in the back.
What’s more, the boot is actually marginally bigger than an A8’s, and because it’s a hatch rather than a saloon, you also get better access to the space. In fact, you could argue that it’s actually more practical than the A8 overall, and we wouldn’t argue against you.
And what are these other luxury car traits on which the A7 delivers? Well, quality is the main one. The interior looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the A8, so the materials are dense and sophisticated, while the fit and finish are flawless.
This is a car that feels posh enough for the very highest of high-flyers. No matter which version you pick, there’s also a huge amount of luxury kit on board, and that also helps occupants feel spoiled.
The A7’s excellent rolling refinement is also very luxury limousine-like. Wind- and road noise are really well suppressed, while the whole range of petrol and diesel engines is quiet and smooth, not to mention powerful.
What’s not so limousiney? The ride comfort for one thing. All versions are on the firm side - uncomfortably so on the versions with lowered sports suspension - so this isn’t the wafty land yacht you might be expecting. It’s no sports car, either: it feels capable and assured in bends, but it’s not all that much fun due to its hefty weight and remote steering.
You might not get on so well with the complex touchscreen infotainment system, either, but other than that, the A7 is an incredibly tempting package. Still want that Mercedes CLS?
Reviews for Audi A7 Sportback (2018)'s top 3 rivals
On the inside of an Audi A7 Sportback (2018)
Up front, there’s as much room as you’d find in any limo, while in the back, legroom is also very generous. And while the swooping roof does mean a shade less headroom, there’s still enough for six foot adults to sit comfortably (although you might find your bonce brushing the ceiling if you’re much taller than that).
You won’t want to squeeze a third person onto the rear bench due to limited shoulder room, a narrow middle seat and a shortage of foot space. You won’t have any issues fitting a pair of bulky child seats in, though.
The boot is big, slightly bigger than a Mercedes CLS’s, and because the A7 is a hatchback rather than a saloon, you get much better access to the space available, although you will have to muscle heavy items over a fairly big load lip. The rear seats drop in a 40-20-40 format, but the backrests lie at a slight angle, meaning your extended load area is sloped.
You’d expect any Audi to deliver cabin quality worthy of the brand, and the A7 delivers. Every surface has bags of sensory appeal, and even if you hunt around in the lower reaches of the cabin trying to find materials that let the side down, you’ll emerge empty-handed.
The way it’s all assembled is equally impressive: every panel fits together perfectly and there’s no hint of movement in any of the joins. This gives the car a wonderfully substantial, solid feel. And, while different versions might give you the odd interior styling tweak here or alternative trim piece, the quality is a constant throughout all versions.
The A7’s dashboard has two screens.The 8.6-inch one on the bottom handles the air-conditioning system, the various driving modes and a few other miscellaneous functions, while the top one - all 10.1 inches of it - takes care of everything else.
It all looks great and delivers a really high-tech feel to the cabin. The graphics are sharp and the responses are fast and consistent, so there are no annoying pauses.
However, the system has so much going on that finding your way around it can be a bit difficult. And, like with any touchscreen, it’s more distracting to use while driving than traditional knobs and buttons would be, because you have to concentrate so hard on hitting exactly the right part of the screen, which you can’t find by touch alone.
All the functionality you’d expect is covered, including navigation, DAB radio, Apple Carplay/Android Auto and wireless phone charging. Upgrade to the Vorsprung model, meanwhile, and you also get an upgraded Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system.
Car seat chooser
Child seats that fit a Audi A7 Sportback (2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
Audi A7 Sportback (2018) Value
At the time of writing, prices started at around £47,000 for the Sport 40 TDI model and rose up to a maximum of around £77,000 for the Vorsprung model in either 55 TFSI or 50 TDI form. That’s if you don’t count the RS7 model, which costs between £94,000 and £111,000.
Compare prices with those of equivalently powered rivals, and they’re absolutely bang-on with the Mercedes CLS, which is no great surprise. Prices for the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe and Porsche Panamera are considerably higher, and these don’t offer the more affordable versions that the Audi and Merc do, either.
The A7’s resale values are also very similar to the Merc’s, and both hold onto their value considerably better than the BMW or Porsche, meaning you’ll get a bigger slice of your investment back when the time comes to sell your car on.
Strong residual values also help keep monthly payments down for finance customers. At the time of writing, Audi’s website was offering the 40 TDI S line model on a four-year/40,000-mile arrangement for less than £490 per month, assuming an initial deposit of just under £8000. That represents a deposit contribution of £9000 from Audi.
That’s still a lot better than the V6 diesels, though, which both have identical figures of around 40mpg. The petrols are significantly thirstier, unsurprisingly, with the 45 TFSI delivering 34mpg and the 55 TFSI giving just 30mpg. Compared with rivals, all those figures are about par for the course.
Premiums are never going to be cheap, then, but if you’re wealthy enough to buy an A7, insurance costs are unlikely to worry you. All versions will cost you £475 per year to tax between years two and six of the car’s life, and then £150 per year after that.
Like every Audi, the A7 has an unlimited-mileage warranty for two years, with a third year of cover also provided up to a limit of 60,000 miles, which is fairly average. You might also find it slightly concerning that Audi finished worryingly near the foot of the table of manufacturers in the 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study, and to be honest, other reliability surveys don’t tell a drastically different story, either.
Real MPG average for a Audi A7 Sportback (2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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Driving Audi A7 Sportback (2018)
- Engines range from 40 TDI S tronic to 55 TFSI quattro
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 25–36 mpg
Depending on how your A7 is specced, you’ll get one of four-suspension setups. Sport cars get the standard suspension, and this is the one we’d stick with. It’s not perfect by any means, sometimes struggling to deal with lumps and bumps at all speeds, but it’s comfortable enough for enough of the time to maintain the luxury car impression.
The S line and Black Edition car, however, have a lowered and stiffened set-up designed to deliver keener control in the corners, which it does, but it also scuppers the ride, making it uncomfortably firm.
An adaptive set-up is also offered, which we haven’t had the opportunity to try, and full-on air suspension is also available, which is standard on the Vorsprung version and optional on some others. Even this isn’t perfect, because you still feel more of a bad road surface than you’d want to in a luxurious car like this.
If you’re expecting the A7’s sleek styling to translate into a sporty driving experience, you’ll be disappointed. It’s too big and heavy for that, and the steering is overly light and rather remote.
The entry-level diesel is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit - badged as the 40 TDI - and with 204PS, the performance it gives should be adequate enough for most drivers. You’re pulled around with a reasonable amount of urgency, and decent low-rev pull means it’s flexible, too.
If you want something quicker, the 45 TDI or the 50 TDI should fit the bill. Both are 3.0-litre V6s with 231PS and 286PS, respectively. We haven’t tried the former but its performance figures indicate that it’s much quicker than the 40 TDI, while the 50 TDI is quicker still. It feels properly strong in the lower half of the rev range, too, so much so that you’ll be pelting along at a serious pace without really trying.
We haven’t tried the entry-level petrol, the 45 TFSI, which uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit with 245PS. We have tried the 55 TFSI, though, which has a 3.0-litre V6 petrol with 340PS. Again, it’s quick, even quicker than the 50 TDI against the stopwatch. However, you do have to work it harder for best effect, so the performance, although very strong, doesn’t feel as effortless.
However, while all the engines on offer are really good, we can’t say the same about the automatic gearboxes. Depending on the version you pick, you either get a seven-speeder or an eight-speeder, and both are very slow to respond to requests for more speed.
The usual airbags and electronic aids to maximise traction and stability, all versions have automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and LED lighting at both ends of the car. From S line trim upwards, you get cleverer Matrix Beam LED headlights.
Range-topping Vorsprung cars come with a few more safety-focused bits on top. These include a head-up display, camera-based traffic sign recognition and a semi-autonomous adaptive cruise control system. Further autonomous features can be found on the options list, along with a wide variety of other gear.
The A7 has achieved the maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests, and that should provide plenty of peace-of-mind.
|40 TDI quattro||61–63 mpg||7.2–7.8 s||117–120 g/km|
|40 TDI S tronic||58–60 mpg||8.3 s||122–127 g/km|
|45 TDI quattro||49–50 mpg||6.5 s||147–150 g/km|
|45 TFSI quattro||42–42 mpg||6.2 s||150–154 g/km|
|50 TDI quattro||49–50 mpg||5.7 s||147–150 g/km|
|55 TFSI quattro||38–40 mpg||5.3 s||158–161 g/km|
|S7||44 mpg||5.1 s||170 g/km|
Audi A7 Sportback (2018) Models and Specs
A posh - not to mention expensive - car like the A7 needs to have lots of creature comforts, and you won’t feel short-changed. Even entry-level Sport trim comes with two-zone climate control, cruise control, leather upholstery, LED ambient lighting, keyless go, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and automatic lights and wipers, on top of all the infotainment and safety gear we mentioned earlier.
S line cars add the sports suspension along with sports front seats in leather and alcantara, while the Black Edition models add nothing but a few visual upgrades.
The range-topping Vorsprung model, meanwhile, comes fully loaded, with four-zone climate control, a panoramic roof, power-closing doors, heated rear seats, air suspension and all-wheel steering.
|Kerb Weight||1700–2085 kg|
|Boot Space||535–1390 L|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Road Tax Bands||Alternative fuel, C–Alternative fuel, H|
|Official MPG||37.7–62.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Safety Ratings|
Currently on sale
On sale until December 2020
|45 TFSI 245 Quattro Black Edition S tronic 5dr||£56,695||41.5 mpg||6.2 s|
|45 TFSI 245 Quattro S Line S tronic 5dr||£54,435||41.5 mpg||6.2 s|
|45 TFSI 245 Quattro Sport S tronic 5dr||£51,235||42.2 mpg||6.2 s|
|45 TFSI 245 S Line S tronic 5dr||-||-||-|
|45 TFSI 245 Sport S tronic 5dr||-||-||-|
- Superb interior design, great technology and impeccable quality.
- The fact it's a hatchback makes it very practical.
- Incredibly quiet and great for covering motorway miles.
- 8-speed Tiptronic tends to be slow to respond at lower speeds with 3.0 TDI engine.
- Large transmission tunnel means there's minimal room for someone sat in the centre rear seat.
- Rear seats aren't as spacious as you'd expect given the size of the car.
- Ride is surprisingly firm, not helped by large alloys.
What to watch out for
31-7-2019: Report of "Parking Brake Fault - Contact Workshop" warning coming up in June 2018 Audi A7 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 50 BiTDi V6 286 Quattro Tip Auto Start/Stop 48v Mild Hybrid bought in February 2019 with just 30 miles on it and now with 5,000 miles. ealer had the car for 2 weeks but failed to fix the problem. Since then dealer told owner that they had real problems diagnosing the issue even with the help of Audi UK. They had replaced the Parking Brake switch, its control unit and the 12v battery on the advice of Audi UK but they had still not discovered the real cause of the fault. Since then, dealer has had the car for another six days and now tell tell owner they have now identified a wiring fault which has necessitated a temporary fix to allow him to drive the car to Austria and Switzerland tomorrow. A 10 metre long temporary wire is being run from front to back to bypass the damaged one. Dealer told owner they are consulting with Audi about a permanent repair when he returns. They say they will probably have to replace the entire wiring loom in the car.
- October 2017: Audi unveils second generation A7 Sportback
- February 2018: Audi A7 Sportback prices announced
- August 2018: 2.0-litre 204PS 40 TDI engine added to range
- February 2019: Audi announces new Vorsprung models
- April 2019: Audi S7 announced with 3.0 TDI diesel engine
Audi unveils second generation A7 Sportback
Available to order in the UK from early 2018, with pricing for the first phase of models starting from approximately £56,000 OTR.
As with the previous model, the tapered rear with its long luggage compartment lid terminates in a pronounced, curved lip from which an integrated spoiler extends automatically at 74mph and above.
The interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback has been conceived according to a reduced, clean design language, with an emphasis on horizontal lines and a sleek instrument panel creating a feeling of airy spaciousness.
The 10.1-inch upper display (in combination with MMI navigation plus) is tilted towards the driver, and with its black panel optics and graphite grey aluminium clasp, almost disappears into the dashboard when switched off.
The interior architecture melds seamlessly with Audi’s new MMI touch response operating concept. It replaces the rotary pushbutton and the conventional buttons and controls of the previous model with two large, high-resolution touch displays.
The driver controls the infotainment system from the upper display. Mounted on the asymmetric console of the centre tunnel, the 8.6-inch lower display provides access to the climate control system, comfort functions and text input. Drivers can rest their wrist on the automatic transmission’s wide selector lever knob.
Audi offers an optional head-up display that projects important information onto the windscreen. MMI navigation plus – the highest level infotainment system - also includes the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with its rendered dials and 12.3-inch display.
The MMI touch response operating concept features haptic and acoustic feedback and is as intuitive to use as a smartphone. Users hear and feel a click as confirmation when their finger triggers a function. With its logical and flat menu structure, the system allows fast access to the various vehicle functions, and it can also be personalised thanks to configurable and movable favourites buttons.
The optional voice control in the new A7 Sportback makes operation even more convenient. With MMI navigation plus, the natural speech dialogue system processes questions and commands in two ways – with information stored onboard and at the same time with detailed knowledge from the cloud.
Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles, and as many as 400 parameters can be personalised. The online services from Audi connect have been expanded to include features such as the traffic sign and hazard information Car-to-X services, which utilise the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
With the AI button, the driver will be able to activate the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot, which will be made available during 2018. They autonomously manoeuvre the A7 Sportback into and out of a parking space or garage.
All A7 Sportback models will be equipped with a new mild hybrid system (MHEV) for greater comfort and efficiency. With the V6 engines, this uses a 48-volt primary electrical system. A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery and achieves a recuperation performance of up to 12 kW when braking. At speeds of between 34 and 99mph, the large coupé can coast in freewheeling mode with the engine deactivated and then restart comfortably via the BAS.
The start-stop function has been significantly expanded and now activates at 13mph. In combination with the standard front camera, the engine is restarted predictively while at a standstill as soon as the vehicle ahead begins to move. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 litres per 100 kilometres.
The new Audi A7 Sportback will initially launch with the 3.0 V6 TFSI petrol engine. The V6 turbo produces 340PS and 500 Nm, propelling it from 0 to 62mph in 5.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. In the NEDC, the entry version of the Audi A7 55 TFSI returns up to 41.5mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 154 grams.
The 3.0 TFSI is paired with a seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, and its output is proficiently managed by the latest iteration of the quattro drivetrain using the efficient ultra technology that activates rear-wheel drive as needed. Additional six- and four-cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel, will follow shortly after the start of production.
Topping the range of all-new seats are the multi-adjustable, customised contour front seats with ventilation and massage. The three-seat rear bench (standard in the UK) offers plenty of space and comfort. New high-tech options make life with the Audi A7 Sportback even more comfortable and convenient. The air quality package improves interior air quality by means of fragrancing with subtle scents, an ioniser and an effective combination filter.
The luggage compartment has a base capacity of 535 litres. This increases to 1390 litres with the rear seats folded down. The luggage compartment has been optimised so that two golf bags now fit horizontally – in addition to the optional spare tyre. The optional sensor-controlled rear hatch opens and closes automatically in response to a foot motion.
Audi A7 Sportback prices announced
Priced from £54,940 OTR, in the UK the new A7 Sportback is initially based around two specification levels – Sport and S line – and two engines classified according to the new Audi naming convention first introduced in the new A8 luxury saloon.
The 55 TFSI is powered by a petrol V6 TFSI offering 340PS and 500Nm. From rest, 62mph is reached in 5.3 seconds and its top speed is 155mph. In terms of efficiency, up to 40.4mpg combined is possible, with a CO2 low of 158g/km.
A 50 TDI variant is also available, utilising a V6 TDI diesel that delivers 286PS and 620Nm of torque. It enables the A7 Sportback to reach 62mph in 5.7 seconds and a 155mph top speed. Combined fuel consumption peaks at 50.4mpg, corresponding to 147g/km of CO2.
Specification will be appropriately high, with LED front and rear lights and 19-inch alloy wheels maximising presence externally in Sport versions, and Twin leather- upholstered seats with full electric adjustment upfront and LED ambient interior lighting setting the scene inside.
Technology features common to both levels will include the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit, MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch, the Audi Smartphone Interface and the Audi Phone Box with wireless charging for QI-enabled compatible phones. The list of electronic driver assistants will also feature the Audi Parking System Plus with rear-view camera, the Audi Pre-sense Front collision warning and automatic braking system and the Lane Departure Warning system.
S line specification ramps up the visual appeal even further with 20-inch alloy wheels, HD Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators and coming/leaving home animations, sport suspension lowering the body by ten millimetres, and S line-specific body styling.
It also lends the cabin a more dynamic air through generously bolstered front sport seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara and S line-specific interior detailing.
2.0-litre 204PS 40 TDI engine added to range
Initially front-wheel-drive, a four-wheel-drive version follows later in 2018 that will employ the latest, ultra-efficient quattro on demand technology capable of channelling drive to the rear wheels in a split-second.
The A7 Sportback 40 TDI covers 0 to 62mph in 8.3 seconds with claimed economy of 60.1mpg. It includes a new mild hybrid drivetrain (MHEV) which is a standard feature of all models. Its key component is a belt alternator starter (BAS) connected to the crankshaft which, in this application, can recover up to 5 kW of power during deceleration periods and store it in a separate lithium-ion battery housed in the rear of the car.
A7 Sportback 40 TDI Sport
2.0 TDI diesel
7-speed S tronic
A7 Sportback 40 TDI S line
2.0 TDI diesel
7-speed S tronic
Audi announces new Vorsprung models
Highlights of the Vorsprung include an upgrade to 20-inch, 21-inch or 22-inch alloy wheels in either matt grey or matt titanium (depending on model), and to advanced Matrix LED headlights which can divert their beams around oncoming and leading traffic. The Audi A7 Vorsprung starts at £74,640.
Audi S7 announced with 3.0 TDI diesel engine
Audi has announced that its S6 Saloon, S6 Avant and S7 Sportback models will be offered with a diesel engine for the first time.
The 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine works with an electric compressor to provide instant torque and a 48-volt mild hybrid system to enable engine-off coasting and improve fuel economy.
With a hefty 700Nm of torque and 350PS combined with Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox, the S6 Saloon reaches 62mph in 5.0 seconds, while the S6 Avant and S7 Sportbrake take an extra tenth of a second. Top speed is limited to 155mph.
Prices will be confirmed ahead of the new S6 Saloon, S6 Avant and S7 Sportback going on sale in the UK in summer 2019.