Driven: Audi A7 Sportback Black Edition Review
After one week testing out the Audi A7 Sportback Black Edition, here is what I thought about the executive saloon.
What’s the Audi A7 Sportback Black Edition all about?
The Audi range has always been very self explanatory, simply going in a number range from 1-8. Here we are testing the A7, which as you might have guessed is on the larger end of the scale. The exact model is the Black Edition.
The Black Edition car that we have here is in white, but gets its name from the black trim that has been added. You will notice the rear privacy glass, large front grille and huge 21” 5 spoke alloy wheels. This car certainly does look classic Audi and you can tell that it means business.
The car is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine that creates 320 PS and 650 Nm of torque. All this power goes to all 4 wheels via the famous Audi Quattro system and tiptrontic gearbox. This means that the car is able to get from 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, and will reach a top speed of 155mph (limited). The car is able to achieve combined fuel economy of around 44mpg and only create 167 g/km of CO2.
How does it drive?
Starting from the top, let’s remember that this is an Audi, so the base of the car is already solid. Taking that first mile in the car it felt like a very comfortable and relaxing ride. It was so smooth that I was convinced the A7 was fitted with air suspension, until checking the car specification!
The A7 comes with a range of different drive modes. Efficient, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual modes are all optional. Each of these modes optimise the car for a completely different experience.
During my testing, I did get significant use out of the Efficiency mode in the car. If you are looking to stretch out the miles in the tank, this mode is a winner. Because of the A7’s torque, you will notice how low in the rev range the tiptronic gearbox is able to shift up to the next gear. It still moves along at a good pace, but will minimise the RPM. I have seen this in other cars, but not to the extreme level of this Audi. I found the car being able to circle small islands in 4th gear with no problem at all.
The other mode I spent most of my time in was the Dynamic mode. This adjusted the throttle response, stiffened up the suspension and put the electro-mechanical steering into a sportier mode. Most importantly, it made the exhaust and engine sound significantly nicer. A real shock for a diesel engine!
I took the car to Snowdonia, Wales, and was shocked with just how nimble and fun it felt. This 3.0-litre bi-turbo engine powers the car around very well, all down to its 650Nm of torque. The torque is instantly available anywhere in the rev range, making the A7 great for everyday use. I couldn’t believe just how good it was for a car that weighs 1,895kg before adding a driver!
Performance aside, let’s not forget just how well equipped and innovative the Audi A7 is. This test car was equipped with a night vision camera, Head Up Display, Matrix headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist systems. Behind the wheel, you really felt like you were sitting in a super modern car. It feels bang up to date with all your consumer technology needs.
Safety-wise, the Audi A7 is as good as they come. It has class leading systems helping to keep you protected on the road for when your luck runs out.
What’s it like inside?
Inside this Audi A7, it looks very much like any other Audi. This is of course is a compliment. The front sports seats in our test car were dressed in premium black leather with a mix of alcantara. Great to sit in and they keep cool in the sun as an added bonus.
The infotainment system in the Audi folds secretly out of the dashboard when turning on the ignition. It has a range of clever graphics and menus that host all the complex car systems. The system can be configured to suit your personal preferences. It includes DAB & FM Radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and of course sat nav. The screen isn’t touch screen, but is controlled using the dials and touchpad next to the gear lever. But don’t be put off – you soon learn that physical buttons actually work really well whilst driving.
One of the single most impressive things about the interior of this car is the smart use of materials. Alongside superior build quality, there are some small quality touches that really make a big difference. Little things, from the feedback you get from the start button on the car to how gentle the electric windows are when operating, go a long way. There are endless touches of quality on the inside of this car.
Boot space in the A7 is a major winner, The entire back end of the car opens up, giving you a very large opening to a very large boot. Practically perfect for those in need of extra room.
The A7 Sportback Black Edition is a really exciting car to own, and it succeeds in many ways. The adjustable driving dynamics mean you have one car that can match your mood in the touch of a button. And how the car feels behind the wheel is great all round. But the thing I loved most out the Audi is the styling and brand look. The A7 Black Edition swallows up the road and demands respect.
The car I tested sells at £60,120 as a base, and soon moves up to £69,925. Of course, this is on the top end of the market for premium saloons in its class. But with the A7 you can certainly see where your cash is going. You get great performance with a fine balance of power and efficiency, a premium passenger experience, latest technology and real life practicalities from the car. It is a premium price, but it is definitely money well spent.
Audi A7 Sportback
- Price: £69,925
- Engine: 3.0-litre Bi-Turbo Diesel
- Power: 320 PS
- Torque: 650 Nm
- Transmission: 8 Speed TipTronic with DSP
- 0-62mph: 5.2 Seconds
- Top speed: 155 mph
- Weight: 1,895kg
- Economy combined: 44 mpg
- CO2: 167 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley