A few years ago, Mercedes-Benz unveiled their CLS , the first ever ‘four-door coupe.’ We laughed, scoffed, and said, ‘Silly Mercedes, coupes are supposed to have two doors.’ As is the case with some of our expert opinions, we were proven wrong; the public loved it, and a new segment was born. Porsche followed suit with its successful Panamera , and the newest kid on the block is the 2012 Audi A7. The four-door, four-seat medley of sedan, coupe and hatchback is a beautiful, and more functional, take on this new breed of vehicle. With it, Audi offers a host of new technology within the cabin – Google Earth and Google Maps integration is just one brilliant feature – as well as a number of drive modes for the discerning driver and an efficient eight-speed transmission. Though you’ll find more powerful engines in the competition, the supercharged V-6 is a pleasure. And styling, inside and out, is superb. But when it comes to pricing, the A7 really sets itself apart, by starting at a price at least $10,000 less than the rest of the group, even if you add up the extra costs for luxuries that the others have standard. The CLS may have been the game changer, but the A7 is a new, eye-catching take on the original.
What's to Like
Interior styling is top-notch, and the 6.5-inch touch screen tucks away for a clean look. Interior space is plentiful, including the large hatchback trunk space. Google Maps has been implemented as the navigation system, and the Google Earth display is an added bonus. Per usual, this Audi’s base price includes many upscale standard features.
What's Not to Like
While the interior remains clean in appearance, between the instrument panel and center display there is a lot of redundancy in the buttons and features. Exterior styling includes a low hatchback roofline that won’t be appealing to some. Only one engine choice is available. Like the rest of the segment, the A7 only seats four.
The cars in the four-door coupe segment are all blessed with strong drive qualities to match their impressive design elements. The A7 is, most noticeably, quick off the line – it takes just 5.4 seconds to reach 60 mph, thanks to a well-geared tiptronic transmission and decent amount of power. A sport button will add a more aggressive edge to the drive as well, and a manual mode allows you to skip through the eight speeds at your leisure. But that’s not all! You can personalize your drive settings (or set them to standard ‘comfort’ or ‘dynamic’) with Audi’s Drive Select. There are few negatives to the drive experience; Audi has done a superb job keeping the cabin whisper quiet, and the seats hug y...