Audi A7 Sportback (2018) Review

Audi A7 Sportback (2018) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
If you want the kind of attributes that a luxury saloon gives you but a more affordable version, then go for the Audi A7.

+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.

New prices start from £51,700
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?

 

What does a Audi A7 Sportback (2018) cost?