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Cars of Summer: June Weddings and the 2012 Audi A7

For most people, summer is driving season. AAA estimates that 35 million people will hit the road this Fourth of July weekend. Even if you're not heading out with the crowds, summer means day trips, road trips, drives to the beach, festivals, fairs, visiting friends and commuting in the bright sunshine. This summer, U.S. News is putting the cars we test through their summer paces and giving you tips and advice for making the most of your summer driving. In this installment, the 2012 Audi A7 heads from D.C. to NYC for a little matrimonial bliss.

The 2012 Audi A7

Given its comfortable interior, ample tech features, good fuel economy and downright sexy exterior design, I can’t think of many cars better than the 2012 Audi A7 for my weekend trip from Arlington, Va. to Brooklyn, N.Y.

The A7 boasts more cargo space than other luxury large cars. With 24.5 cubic feet of room under its sleek hatch, there’s ample space to stow the many wardrobe changes that bridesmaids and groomsmen might require.

Our test car won admiring looks from nearly everyone who saw it. People from my mom to drunken frat boys on the street stopped to admire the A7’s gorgeous design. I was approached twice at rest stops by people who wanted to know how I liked the new Audi. One man had just purchased a Corvette ZR-1, and was interested in a second car to replace his wife’s Mercedes, while another spied the manufacturer license plates and asked if I needed help with the test drive.

The A7’s bodywork is one thing, but its user-friendly tech also makes the car shine. Our test car was in Prestige trim, which adds navigation, front and rear parking sensors with backup camera, four-zone climate control and ventilated front seats.

The navigation display, which automatically pops out of the dash and flips up when you turn the car on, features a Google Earth view. This allows you to zoom in as close as 30 yards on area landmarks and buildings. Additionally, a SIM card in the Audi’s dash turns it into a wireless hotspot, which pleased my girlfriend since she could get some work done.

Wi-Fi will definitely help keep your passengers entertained on long trips. Did you spring for the iPad with 3G? If not, watching Netflix videos on the road will be way easier in the A7.

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