Skip advert
Advertisement

Audi A7 hatchback (2011-2017) - Engines, drive & performance

Despite its size, the Audi A7 Sportback corners very well

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The A7 has been built using 20% aluminium to keep its weight down and improve its handling. But that doesn’t change the fact that it's still a very big car, weighing in at around 1,700kg. Nonetheless, Audi has accomplished its mission, because the A7 does indeed handle very well, with the optional quattro four-wheel drive improving traction further, especially in slippery conditions.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The steering isn’t quite up to par, however, proving less agile and responsive than that of the Mercedes CLS, so the A7 isn’t as much fun to drive overall. All models do come with Audi’s Drive Select system, though, allowing you to alter the suspension and steering settings to suit your preferences. In reality, you’ll probably end up fiddling with it a bit when you first get the car and leaving it as it is after that.

Audi A7 Sportback diesel engines

The Audi A7 Ultra is our pick of the range thanks to its mix of good performance and low running costs, while the new seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox is slicker and smoother than the old eight-speed CVT auto. Unless you value speed over and above anything else, this is the engine and gearbox to go for, as its 7.3-second 0-62mph time is perfectly decent.

The twin-turbocharged BiTDI version is the quickest-accelerating model in the A7 range, leaping from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds. The A7’s diesel engines remain largely competitive with those in the Mercedes CLS-Class, offering better performance across the range.

Petrol engines

If you want the best performance possible, you need to go for the Audi S7 or RS7 models, which boast powerful V8 twin-turbo petrol engines and four-wheel drive that ensures lots of grip in corners and even sportier handling than the standard A7 Sportback. The standard RS7 has 552bhp, while a Performance version is tweaked to produce 597bhp. The latter is the quickest version of the A7 available and can get from 0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds. While it's incredibly fast in a straight line, it does feel slightly heavy and inert in corners, and perhaps its most appealing feature is its ability to easily become a relaxed cruiser, albeit one which always has masses of power on tap should you want it.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    40 TDI Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £57,250

Most Economical

  • Name
    50 TFSI e Quattro Sport 5dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £67,455

Fastest

  • Name
    S7 TDI Quattro Black Edition 5dr Tronic Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £79,425

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed
Alpine A290 front quarter
News
13 Jun 2024

New Alpine A290: fast, stylish and very blue electric hot hatchback revealed

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024