2012 Audi A7 Review
Reviewers love the 2012 Audi A7’s performance, attractive exterior and stunning interior. Still, the A7 falters with steering and brake feel that some test drivers don’t like.
The 2012 Audi A7’s sleek, sexy design makes it unique among luxury large cars. Test drivers are floored by the A7’s combination of beauty, technology, power and refinement, but some say that the Audi A7 is not the most affordable car in its class. Still, the A7 receives top honors from members of the automotive press. Automobile Magazine writes, “Mesmerizing to look at and seductive to drive, the Audi A7 is a car to aspire to -- and an entirely worthy Automobile of the Year.”
The praise doesn’t end there either. The 2012 Audi A7 was named one of Car and Driver's 10 Best Cars for holding its own against pricier super luxury cars. Car and Driver reports, “The A7 is so good that it has already trumped, in a comparo, the V-8-wielding Mercedes-Benz CLS550.”
Inside, the A7 features stunning interior materials, which include soft leather and variety of available woods to accent the dash, console and door trims. Audi continues to push the envelope with class-competitive cabin electronics as well. Models that carry Audi’s MMI navigation system also come with Audi Connect, which uses a SIM card to turn the A7 into a wireless hot spot. The data connection also provides real-time updates to the navigation system, displays Google Earth views and informs with timely weather, news and point-of-interest information.
Despite the A7’s triumphs when it comes to interior features and class-leading cargo space, most reviewers note that the back seat of the A7 is not the most comfortable place to be. With coupe-like designs come coupe-like problems, and the sloping roofline that adds to the A7’s attractive appearance also takes its toll on available headroom in the backseat.
Under the hood, all models are powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Power is put to the ground through an eight-speed automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Test drivers are generally quite pleased with the power and refinement of the drivetrain, and the A7 earns praise for its handling prowess. However, a few critics comment that the A7’s steering and brake feel leave something to be desired.
Other Cars to Consider
While the Jaguar XF’s V8 provides significantly more grunt than the A7’s supercharged V6, Audi does have a leg up thanks to two key features: standard all-wheel drive and class-leading cargo space. The XF can’t hold a candle to the available trunk space in the A7, and Jaguar also doesn’t have an all-wheel drive option. However, the XF does offer navigation as standard equipment – a feature that will require you to upgrade to the Premium Plus trim on the A7.
If you’re looking for all the features available on the Audi A7 but also want a comfortable back seat, the BMW 535i Gran Turismo may be your best bet. It’s not nearly as attractive as the A7, but the 535i GT has better seats, with more headroom and legroom. However, the 535i GT doesn’t have as much cargo space. While the 535i GT offers optional all-wheel drive, Audi provides it as standard equipment on the A7.
Audi A7: The Details
The 2012 Audi A7 is available in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. A supercharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine and all-wheel drive come standard on all models. See the full 2012 Audi A7 specs for more details.
- "Audi's line is that anyone needing to transport five people won't buy the A7. Maybe. But you have to think at least one potential customer is going to look at the rear seat and find this disdain for practicality a deal-breaker. Especially when Audi markets the hatchback design in terms of its usefulness." -- Los Angeles Times
- "But what about the A7? Would I buy it? Pretending for a moment that I'm in the market for an $80,000 hatchback of a design statement, oh, yes - absolutely." -- Motor Trend
- "While the 2012 Audi A7 may not be as uncompromising sporty as a BMW 550i or carry the deeply chiseled exterior of a Mercedes-Benz CLS, it should appeal to a broad spectrum of luxury car buyers on the basis of its overall pleasing performance, tastefully attractive styling and broad array of cutting-edge amenities." -- Forbes
- “The A7 has significant advantages over the BMW 550i GT, a hatchback that is probably its most direct competitor. The A7 not only costs less and gets better mileage but feels nimbler, because it weighs about 800 lbs less than the all-wheel-drive version of the 550i GT. The A7 also has 9 cu. ft. more luggage space with the rear seats up.” -- Businessweek