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2021 Audi A7 Review

LIKES
  • Beautiful shape
  • Great performance
  • Elegant interior
  • Good safety tech
  • Incredible S7 available
DISLIKES
  • Some rivals can do better
  • Not very fuel-efficient
BUYING TIP
  • Driver-assistance features are now standard on the Premium Plus version and they’re very good. We’d start there.

The 2021 Audi A7 heaps luxury into a svelte shape like a great tuxedo.

We’ve been here before. We’ve left and come back again.

The 2021 Audi A7 luxury hatchback is a compelling mix of performance, design, and technology that started us down the slippery slope of “four-door coupes.” The A7’s shape isn’t only familiar because it’s been applied to everything from sedans to crossovers, it’s also familiar because the A7 has been around for a while, too.

This 2021 iteration covers mostly the same bases. It gets a 7.2 TCC Rating thanks to its great looks, good performance, and impressive tech.

Like last year, the 2021 A7 is available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims and starts at $70,195, including destination. The spicier S7 skips Premium and starts at $85,395, including destination.

Both sedans share the same seductive shape and racy roofline. The A7’s look was last honed and sharpened for 2020, although only devotees of Audis will notice much difference from the A7’s recent history.

Inside, the A7 took bigger strides with its interior touchscreens. Base versions get an 8.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment up top and an 8.6-inch touchscreen below for vehicle functions. Most versions upgrade to a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster; more than 30-inches of digital screens in front of our faces should feel like overload, and yet here we are.
The A7 relies on a turbo-6 with 335 horsepower hooked to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic that drives all four wheels. We’d be fine in a world with that performance alone, except a 444-hp S7 exists and it is wonderful.

Regardless of what’s powering the sedan, it’s nimble to drive and comfortable for four adults. Under the hatch, the A7 holds nearly 19 cubic feet of cargo—it makes the argument for practicality for you.

Every A7 can stop itself in an emergency and the IIHS called it a Top Safety Pick. Driver-assistance features are standard on Premium Plus models and are helpful.

Leather upholstery, 20-inch wheels, and a panoramic sunroof are all standard on the A7, but most go further. We’d opt in to a A7 Premium Plus with advanced driver assistance, a bigger infotainment screen, premium audio, and more.

Styling
Few cars look as good as the 2021 Audi A7. Many have tried.

The pictures above say it all. No, really. You should look at those and then come back.

Here again? The 2021 Audi A7 gets points above average for a good interior and a great exterior. It’s an 8, which is great.

The shapes used by Audi on the A7 and S7 have gone around the world and back again; nearly every automaker now makes a sedan with a fastback roof. The current A7 has a few more creases than earlier versions, but it mostly works.
The roofline conceals a car that’s incrementally longer than earlier versions. It’s roof dips toward a more prominent tail with a spoiler that juts upward at 75 mph or faster, which won’t help your case in front of John Q. Law later.

The A7’s interior is sharp and comfortable but loaded with tech. Audi offers a traditional menu of warm and cold interiors that pair well with the tech-heavy look, albeit it looks best when the car is off. (The screens fade into the surrounding black, which is nice at night.)

Performance
The 2021 A7’s performance is breathtaking, the S7’s performance is heart-stopping.

Good news for the 2021 Audi A7: its performance largely delivers on the promises made by its racy shape. Better news: The 2021 Audi S7 exceeds those promises, and more.

Starting from an average score, the A7 gets a 7 for performance. If rated separately, the S7 would go even higher.

Every A7 starts off with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 335 hp that shuttles power to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi estimates the combination propels the A7 from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, and we’d consider that to be about right. Wait, can we try that again a few dozen more times just to be sure?
In concert with the brisk powertrain, the A7 dances around corners with a four-wheel independent suspension that’s upgradeable to adaptive dampers or a sport setup. No matter what’s behind each wheel, the ride is confident and calm—standard summer tires on S7 or A7 Prestige with a sport package provide superlative grip.

Available four-wheel steering sharpens the A7’s moves even more. An available rear sport differential (standard on S7) flexes on every corner within earshot of the A7.

The S7 upgrades the A7’s powertrain to a 444-hp twin-turbo V-6 (shared with Porsche) paired to an 8-speed automatic. The combination slingshots the S7 up to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.5 seconds.

Comfort & Quality
The A7’s best-kept secret is that its interior is almost as good as its exterior.

Audi squeezes a supreme cabin into the A7’s jaw-dropping shape that’s a masterclass of efficiency. The A7 gets an 8 for comfort for good front seats, good cargo storage, and great fit and finish. 

The best seats in the A7 are up front—specifically the driver’s seat in the S7. The front seats are eight-way power-adjustable, heated, and snug. Upgraded seats add more adjustability in 12 or 18 ways, cooling, and in-seat massagers, depending on trim level. Despite the A7’s fast roofline and low-slung looks, it’s not a challenge to get in or out—one of its best tricks.

The rear seats are fine and don’t lack for much head room, despite exterior appearances. Our only gripes? The concessions made for outré style are usually paid for by the rear seat passengers, who may struggle to see out of the A7.
Under the rear glass, the A7 hatchback swallows almost 19 cubic feet of cargo, which expands to more than 49 cubic feet with the rear seats folded forward.

It's excellent inside and out: Every A7 is beautifully appointed and elegant.

Safety
Crash-test data isn’t yet complete for the 2021 A7, but what’s in is good.

Safety regulators aren’t done tallying up the A7’s scores yet, but what’s in is good.

The IIHS called it a Top Safety Pick, and active safety features that are standard and optional propel the A7 up our safety scale to an 8.

The IIHS said the A7 performed well on all its crash tests, and its automatic emergency braking system earned a “Superior” rating for avoiding collisions with cars and people at 12 mph and 25 mph.
Every A7 gets automatic emergency braking as standard equipment. Advanced driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and a surround-view camera system are standard on A7 Premium Plus and higher trim.

Features
Twin touchscreens and a lot of digital real estate bring the 2021 A7 up to speed.

The 2021 Audi A7 is aces for conveniences and tech. For more than $70,000 to start, it probably should be. It’s an 8 thanks to good stuff at the base price, better stuff for extra money, and the best touchscreens among its contemporaries.

Like last year, the A7 is available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trims; the S7 is available in Premium Plus and Prestige.

Base A7s get newly standard 20-inch wheels and a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation, active safety features (covered above), an 8.8-inch touchscreen for infotainment and an 8.6-inch touchscreen for vehicle settings such as climate control. Wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility is baked in. Sorry Android users, bring a cord.
We’d move up to Premium Plus thanks to its 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1-inch infotainment screen, driver-assistance features (now standard), uprated headlights, premium audio, and a surround-view camera system. The 2021 A7 Premium Plus costs $75,345, including destination, or $85,395 for an S7 Premium Plus with 21-inch wheels when we’re feeling saucy. (Spoiler: We are.)

The A7 Prestige is a fine thing for about $80,000, but doesn’t add much by way of convenience features that we’re not already getting with the A7 Premium Plus. The Prestige adds soft-close doors, cooled front seats, a head-up display, and an available sport package with 21-inch wheels with summer tires and adaptive dampers.

Audi’s touchscreen infotainment system is sharp and one of the better available from a luxury brand. Although touchscreens control just about every system in the car, it’s sharp and more responsive than competitors. It takes a while to get accustomed to the delineation of tasks handled by top and bottom screens, but it won’t take an engineer to figure it all out in a few days.

Every Audi is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Fuel Economy
Fuel economy in the 2021 Audi A7 is OK, but not great.

Of all the things to look at in the 2021 Audi A7, fuel-economy figures fall far down the list. Somewhere near “fuse box ergonomics” and “windshield washer nozzles,” if you ask us.

Still, the A7 has some gas mileage numbers to report. The EPA reports that the A7 returns 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 24 combined. That’s a 4 on our list.

The 2021 S7’s toll for better performance is paid at a 18/28/22 mpg clip. Both models are rated for premium gas.
Among stylish hatchbacks/coupes/whatevers, the A7 is reasonable. The BMW 8-Series Gran Coupe is rated up to 24 mpg combined, and the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class is rated up to 26 mpg combined.

The most efficient luxury sedan is the Tesla Model S—by a wide margin, too. It’s all electric, however, which may not appeal to some shoppers.



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