Audi A7 Sportback hatchback
“The sleek A7 Sportback is good to drive, bristling with tech, and reasonably practical too”
- Stunning looks
- Spacious interior
- Cutting-edge technology
- Limited engines at launch
- Firm ride
- Very expensive with options
While SUVs take an ever-growing share of the luxury car market, many still prefer the unruffled sophistication of a traditional saloon. The A7 Sportback marries the hi-tech ambience of its Audi A8 saloon sister, but boasts a smooth, streamlined shape of the kind popularised by the Mercedes CLS and Porsche Panamera.
Although features like the 'single-frame' front grille are common to an Audi design language that has been accused of lacking variety between models, the A7's subtly blistered wheelarches, sculpted bonnet and fluid lines mark it as arguably the most handsome car in the range. Features like a ducktail rear spoiler that pops up at 75mph add a sense of drama.
The A7 positively bristles with technology, something you get strong hints of just looking at its clever exterior details. These include a full-width LED tail-light bar at the rear, which can display 'animations' when the car is unlocked by remote control – and you can do this with an app-enabled mobile phone. Among the cleverest A7 features, though, is the 48v electrical system that supports the mild-hybrid technology that's standard across the range.
As of mid-2022 the engine range has been simplified and all petrol and diesel options are now 2.0-litre units. Diesel 40 TDI models producing 201bhp, and 261bhp turbocharged petrol 45 TFSI models are now offered exclusively with Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system. The plug-in hybrid 50 TFSIe pairs a 2.0-litre engine with an electric motor to produce 295bhp and can drive for up to 31 miles on battery power alone, and covers the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.7 seconds.
Audi has also tightened up the latest A7’s handling somewhat, without making it too focused for a grand tourer. Four-wheel steering has improved agility and the steering also feels quicker to respond, and the big Audi feels quite nimble for its size, if not as involving as a Porsche Panamera. It's quiet inside, too, thanks in part to an aerodynamic shape and an acoustic windscreen. If you want a more performance-orientated version, then Audi will point you at its S7 or RS7 models instead.
Beyond the sophisticated style of its bodywork, there's a futuristic feel inside. In place of the usual buttons and toggle switches, there are two screens stacked in the centre of the fascia, and an even larger 12.3-inch display in the instrument cluster. That’s not to mention the optional heads-up display projected ahead of your eyes. It’s controlled via touch - with haptic and acoustic feedback - or your voice, providing a fully connected experience.
There’s enough room for tall adults to sit in the back, or you can fold the rear seats down and make use of the large hatchback to carry surprisingly large items. With up to 1,390-litres of boot space and five seatbelts, the A7 Sportback could even make a somewhat unlikely family car.
The Audi A7 Sportback scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, largely thanks to a dizzying array of sensors and systems to help prevent accidents as well as driving aids.
Audi A7 facelift arriving in mid-2023
Updated model gets sharper looks and more standard equipment
A refreshed Audi A7 Sportback is available to order from June 2023, with the first deliveries expected before the end of the summer. The executive model gets updated looks and a streamlined trim structure, with more equipment as standard.
Starting from just over £56,000, the A7 is offered in Sport, S line and Black Edition versions, with features like Matrix LED headlights, dynamic indicators, electric front seats, traffic-sign recognition and the Audi App store now fitted as standard.
Sport has a honeycomb grille with a Dark Chrome surround and Selenite Silver side air intakes and rear bumper diffuser. S line adds chrome inserts to the grille, along with microfiber and leather upholstery inside and a black roof lining. The sports steering wheel has also been trimmed with contrasting stitching and perforated leather grips.
Thanks to the introduction of Arcona White and Madeira Brown Metallic there are 12 exterior colours to choose from. A new Technology Pack (£3,000) and Technology Pack Pro (£6,000) add features like a Bang & Olufsen stereo, extended ambient lighting, a 360-degree camera view and head-up display for the former, extending the list to add four-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof and rear heated seats with the latter.
Which Is Best?
- Name40 TDI Sport 5dr S Tronic
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- Name50 TFSI e 17.9kWh Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto
- NameS7 TDI Quattro S 5dr Tip Auto
- Gearbox typeSemi-auto