$46,349 - $73,630

2017 Audi A7 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Audi A7 was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.6

The 2017 Audi A7 features a powerful V6 engine, but two high-performance models (the S7 and the RS 7) are available if you want the kind of power that will make other drivers take notice. A7 and RS7 engines are paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission; the S7 gets a seven-speed automatic. The A7 gets better fuel economy than many class rivals.

There's more to performance than speed, but the A7 won't let you down when it comes to handling. Though opinions differ about whether the A7 is fun to drive, most agree it's poised and agile when cornering. Its ride is comfortable.

  • "It's (sic) standard V6 engine delivers exceptional performance while the standard all-wheel drive makes the A7 a viable option in any climate." -- Edmunds
  • "We've praised the A7's competent chassis before, and it still impresses. From the light steering to the precise turn-in and the way its suspension shrugs off uneven surfaces, few cars can match it in spirited driving." -- Car and Driver (2016)
  • "Yet swiftness isn't the A7's sole trait. Comfort and composure are equally impressive, and the car's very manners can be tailored for performance or relaxation via Audi Drive Select feature." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The base A7 features a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 333 horsepower. The Competition trim features the same engine, but it produces slightly more juice: 340 horsepower. Though it's the base engine, this V6 won't hold you back; it has ample power for all driving situations and accelerates quickly. It even gets better-than-average fuel economy for the class, earning an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

There are two high-performance variants of the A7: the S7 and the RS 7. The S7 features a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that puts out 450 horsepower. The base RS 7 has a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 560 horsepower, and the RS 7 Performance trim features the same engine putting out 605 horsepower. These cars can really move. The S7 has a top speed of 155 mph and will go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The RS 7 is even faster, with a top speed of 174 mph (190 mph for the RS 7 Performance), and a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds (3.6 seconds for the RS 7 Performance). As is generally the case in cars, there is a trade-off if you want the added performance. This trade-off is fuel economy. The high-performance variants fall well short of the A7's gas mileage, with the S7 earning 17 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway and the RS 7 earning 15/25 mpg city/highway.

The A7 and RS 7 feature an eight-speed automatic transmission that feels responsive and delivers smooth shifts whether you're cruising around town or putting the hammer down to pass a Sunday driver. The S7 features a seven-speed automatic.

  • "Although it's not billed as the high-performance model in the lineup (the S7 and RS 7 fill that role), the A7 is an impressive performer. The supercharged V6 is a stunning engine that provides nearly instantaneous throttle response and the kind of acceleration you would typically associate with a V8-powered sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "Even in the 'base' A7 with the 333-horsepower supercharged V6, the A7 never lacks for power, proven with its 0-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds. It's a great drivetrain, with the engine providing smooth power at almost any speed, and we do mean any, as this car will easily find you at extra-legal speeds in no time." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While some may wish to see Audi pair a dual-clutch gearbox with this engine, the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic is responsive enough and no doubt smoother in day-to-day driving." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)

Handling and Braking

Whether you stick with the A7 or spring for its higher-performance siblings, the S7 and RS7, you'll have the road grip and stability of all-wheel drive, which comes standard. Audi Drive Select also comes standard. This feature lets you select from four different driving modes (Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual) that change the throttle response and how the transmission shifts to provide you with a driving experience more suited to your personal preferences.

Most reviewers find the A7 handles admirably on winding roads and won't hold you back if you want to have, ahem, a little more fun on your drive. The steering is fairly sharp and the ride is smooth, especially with the 19-inch wheels.

  • "Along with this dull steering, a hefty curb weight and sizable exterior prevent the A7 from feeling like a sport sedan. You can hustle it along, but it doesn't offer much enjoyment or engagement in return. We suggest sticking with the smaller 19-inch wheels, as they provide a more supple ride and won't appreciably detract from the A7's real-world handling." -- Edmunds
  • "Yet there's so much more to the A7 family than just raw speed. There's the refined steering, the comfortable ride that turns into razor-sharp handling at the flick of the Audi Drive Select button, and the stellar brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite sharing most of its mechanicals with the A6, the A7 seems more athletic and composed through corners. The all-wheel-drive system sends 60 percent of its power to the rear wheels and 40 percent to the front wheels for a pleasing balance, although it can redistribute whenever necessary." -- Autotrader (2016)

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