Audi’s naming convention is pretty straightforward, although it’s not exactly consistent. Like its German luxury rival, BMW, Audi gives its coupe-like versions of its vehicles a different model name. Just as the BMW 4 Series is effectively the coupe version of the 3 Series, the Audi A5 and A7 are liftback versions of the A4 and A6 sedans. However, that would suggest the A3 might be a coupe version of something else, which of course, it isn’t.
Regardless of naming convention inconsistencies, this year sees the introduction of a new, second-generation Audi A7, and what a beauty it is. As we tend to expect from a new Audi, the German brand hasn’t strayed too far from the original blueprint with this one. And why would it? If you haven’t checked out the 2019 Audi A7 yet, here’s why you should.
While it’s hard to deny there’s a distinctly minimalist element to Audi exterior styling, it’s even harder to take any sort of swipe at the way this new A7 looks. The signature tapered roof perhaps looks even more pronounced than the first generation, and the evolution of the A7’s design appears to have made every crease even sharper than before.
There’s an integrated spoiler at the rear of the A7 that pops up at 75 mph, and it helps to form a single continuous line that runs back into the body at a 45-degree angle as it heads towards the rear wheels. The tail lights on the new version of the Audi A7 now go all the way across the rear of the car, and the LEDs even put on a bit of a show when the driver unlocks the car and/or closes the doors.
Audi calls the A7 a Sportback. But whether you subscribe to the manufacturer’s terminology or prefer to call it what it really is (which is a hatchback) there are two words that should immediately spring to mind when you see the new A7. The first is elegant, and the second is beautiful. You can use them the other way around if you prefer, but it still adds up to an exterior design that oozes class and quality.
Engines and Performance
Although this new generation of the Audi A7 produces roughly the same amount of power as its predecessor, the powertrain does it in a different way this time around. Instead of a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, the 2019 Audi A7 utilizes a turbocharged unit of the same size. The new engine develops 335 horsepower, which is almost the same as last year’s model, but the use of turbocharging sees the torque rating shoot up to 369 lb.-ft. from the previous 325 lb.-ft. It also has a 48-volt mild hybrid system incorporated, which helps a little with fuel economy.
All-wheel-drive is standard, and the engine sends the power to the quattro system through a seven-speed dual clutch auto that replaces the previous eight-speed automatic transmission. All this helps the A7 get to 60 mph from a standing start in 5.2 seconds, and there always feels like there’s plenty in reserve for those all-important passing maneuvers.
If you want greater power and performance, there are still the S7 and RS7 variants of the Audi available, but these are 2018 models and are not therefore based on the new second-generation. The S7 has a twin-turbo V-8 that puts out 450 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, and the RS7 is tuned to produce 560 hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. We’ll have to see how the 2019 (or beyond) S7 and RS7 measure up when Audi finally gets around to revealing them.
As far as practicality is concerned, it’s something of a mixed bag with the new A7. While the hatchback body style delivers more cargo space than a sedan, that sexy sloping roofline does cut into the amount of headroom available for rear seat passengers. There’s a little more legroom in the back than there was before, and all the seats are supportive, comfortable, and well designed.
If you’re familiar with Audi interiors, there won’t be too many surprises as far as the new A7 is concerned. There’s nothing quirky or funky about the cabin, and nothing in there could be described as a gimmick in any way. It’s not revolutionary or groundbreaking, if that’s what you’re hoping for. But it is an exercise in quality, practicality, sensibility and confidence. If you want a demonstrable example of why German car interiors are generally regarded as the industry benchmark, take a look inside the new A7.
BMW likes to describe its vehicles as the ultimate driving machines, and very few manufacturers place a greater emphasis on the driver than Audi, especially here. The center console is dominated by a pair of large screens that are part of Audi’s new MMI Touch Response system, brought in to replace the previous single screen and rotary controller setup. It might be a little hi-tech for some, but by adding the Audi Virtual Cockpit with its 12.3-inch screen that puts the navigation and vital information right in front of the driver, it’s easy to wonder how you ever managed to drive without it.
Features and Equipment
Buyers have three grades of the 2019 Audi A7 to choose from, which are the Premium, Premium Plus, and the Prestige, with a starting price from $68,000. The Premium’s standard features include 19-inch alloys, an 8.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, another 8.6-inch touchscreen below for vehicle and climate control functions, Bluetooth connectivity, three USB chargers, keyless ignition, plenty of advanced safety features, tri-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power liftgate, and LED headlights. That’s a good set of standard features, but if you’re buying a car at this level it would be almost criminal not to pay the extra for the Virtual Cockpit. You won’t regret it.
Considering how large and powerful the 2019 Audi A7 is, the fuel economy is quite impressive, and that’s because it now employs a 48-volt mild hybrid system that can shut off when the car comes to a stop. The EPA rates the new A7 at 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined.
- Stunning styling
- Refined in every possible sense
- Extremely technologically advanced
- Superb engine
- Cabin lacks a little character
- 48-volt system under-used
- You pay for the shape with reduced rear headroom
The Last Word
This might not be the most futuristic-looking luxury sedan on the market, and words like sensible and practical that definitely describe the 2019 Audi A7 might not get your heart beating faster. However, this really is a sensational car that says a lot about those who own it.
It says the owner has thought carefully about the car they drive, that they have given a lot of consideration to the others who will be riding along with them, and that they know serious quality when they see it. This isn’t a cheap car by any means, but it really will feel like money well spent once you drive one.