Road test: Why Audi’s A7 is be

Road test: Why Audi’s A7 is better than any luxury SUV

The A7 Sportback’s core appeal, goes way beyond its appearance.

Road test: Why Audi’s A7 is be

The Audi A7 doesn’t have it easy. It might be an elegantly styled luxury car, but in the market where it is prices (R1m+), most buyers now prefer an SUV or crossover.

In South Africa, the appeal of those luxury crossovers are undeniable. If you desire the sloping roofline design and ability to tour to any destination, regardless of road surface, Audi’s Q8 make a lot more sense than an A7.

But is that truly the case? Could there be things that the A7 still does better than a large SUV or crossover? We spent time with Audi A7 55 TFSI and the results were surprising.


Since its inception, the A7 has been a gorgeous car. The coupé profile is wonderfully becoming for a vehicle of its size and gives it an elegance that is unrivalled by similarly sized SUVs.

With a much lower centre of gravity than any comparative SUV or crossover, such as the Q8, the A7 delivers a more engaging and balanced driving experience. This is especially true, as speeds increase and roads become windier.


The cabin architecture is broadly similar among all Audi’s luxury cars and that means outstanding ergonomics and the latest haptic digital touch surfaces.

There are very few tactile dials or buttons to turn or press in this five-door limousine, but the user interface is cleverly engineered and quickly becomes intuitive to use.


Where the A7 is absolutely amazing, is its luggage capacity. This must rank as one of the best integrations of huge luggage capacity and striking exterior design, a scenario where one is usually at the cost of the other.

The secret is A7’s huge fifth-door. Angled off its sloping roofline and joining the extended rear third of the car, this liftback configuration offers a massive load space, with the rear seats folded. Not only is it terrifically large in capacity, but because that huge fifth door opens to such a large aperture, you never struggle to load anything inside.

There are very few luxury vehicles that are not dedicated SUVs or off-roaders, that will easily load a mountain bike with its front wheel in place. We tested this scenario on the A7 and it was superb.


Beyond the stirring design, welcoming cabin and tremendous loadability the A7 55 TFSI also delivers an inspiring drive.

Although it is a large and heavy car, the three-litre turbocharged V6 engine produces 250kW and 500Nm. Paired with a responsive eight-speed automatic gearbox, the A7 55 TFSI is soothing to drive in traffic but terrifically responsive at highway speeds and never anxiety triggering, when you need to overtake.

An optional extra which every potential A7 owners should fit is Audi’s R34 600 air-suspension system. As wheel sizes inch-up and tyres become even smaller in profile, ride quality suffers.

With its trick air-suspension the A7 glides over even the worst road surfaces with aplomb.

If you need a five-seater luxury car with huge luggage capacity and aren’t taken by the compromised dynamics of a high-riding SUV, this A7 55 TFSI makes a compelling case for its genre. The only debit, really, in an absence of diesel power in the local market.


Audi’s A7 55 TFSI retails for R1 302 510.