What's the used Audi A7 hatchback like?
Filling a hole neatly between the smartly executive Audi A6 saloon and the distinctly upmarket Audi A8 saloon is the Audi A7 Sportback, an executive car that appears, at least in its rakish styling and frameless doors, to be a low-roofed five-door coupe.
It is based on the A6 in much the same way that the similarly styled but smaller Audi A5 Sportback is based on the A4 saloon, borrowing an idea used to good effect by the likes of Mercedes-Benz with its CLS and BMW with its 4 and 6 Series Gran Coupes.
What you get, in the case of the A7, is a very smart and beautifully finished premium car of distinctive looks and one that contains all the usual Audi qualities.
The A7 range is actually relatively compact, consisting of a trio of V6 diesels – a 215bhp, a 268bhp and a 315bhp bi-turbo version, all offered in either SE Executive, S-line and Black Edition trims. There are also three performance models from Audi Sport all using the firm’s favourite twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine - the S7, RS7 and RS7 Performance.
All engine options push the A7 around with great pace and laudable refinement, helped out in all but the high-performance models by a standard seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This punchy performance is all the more remarkable given the car’s surprising heft, which in itself is a bit of a disappointment as a good proportion of the car is actually made of weight-saving aluminium.
However, there are no such disappointments when it comes to the ride and handling, as the low-slung Audi offers a genuinely comfortable and plaint ride, whether on its standard steel spring suspension or on the optional air suspension. All A7s, with the exception of the eco-focussed ‘Ultra’ version, come with four-wheel drive, and there’s plenty of grip available in most situations, as well as a rear-biased power split that makes the car feel nicely balanced in corners taken quickly.
The high-quality interior’s sculpture, craftsmanship and trimmings are all up to, and in some ways beyond, the usual Audi standards. It’s beautifully constructed, and the dash and all the major controls are well placed and look and feel upmarket. This is a long, low car, but there’s plenty of space for rear passengers, providing they’re not too lanky, otherwise they might feel their heads brushing the rooflining.
So the A7 may seem a bit like a niche product, but it’s also a truly impressive and very well-made luxury car. Find a good used one and you’ll be impressing the neighbours for several years to come.
What used Audi A7 hatchback will I get for my budget?
Like other models in the Audi range, the A7 holds on to its value well, so there are few bargains. You’ll probably need around £10,000 to buy an A7 in good condition but with a high mileage, while with an average mileage for the year and a full service history expect to pay between £10,000 and £12,000. This will get you a 2011 car from an independent dealer. Up the money to between £12,000 to £15,000 and you’ll have your choice of good condition 2012 and 2013 cars, or maybe even the odd 2014 car from a trader. These will mostly be the 3.0 TDI diesel model, which has always been the best-seller in the range. Pay between £15,000 and £18,000 for good, clean 2014 cars from independent or franchised dealers, £18,000 to £20,000 for ace 2015/2016 models and over £20k and up to £30k for 2017 and 2018 cars.
How much does it cost to run a Audi A7 hatchback?
The sleek and aerodynamic styling of the A7 helps it to achieve reasonable fuel consumption figures, despite its speed and comparative weight. The 3.0 TDI 218 diesel achieves a claimed average of 60.1mpg in Ultra SE spec, and 53.3mpg in quattro four-wheel drive trim. The 3.0 272 diesel claims 52.3mpg, while the swift 3.0 Bi-turbo claims 44.8mpg. The 4.0 S7 petrol-powered version dips down to an average of 29.7mpg, while the rare RS7 versions are even worse.
All A7s cost more than £40,000 new, so expect examples registered after April 2017 to attract a premium in annual car tax. Those registered before that date will still carry quite a high tariff in VED car tax, as CO2 emissions for all models are relatively high.
Insurance groups range between 37 and 48, depending on performance, and servicing is known to be expensive, especially if carried out at an Audi dealership, which we would recommend. Servicing plans are available, with prices from £468 to cover two services, and direct debit payments available.
Which used Audi A7 hatchback should I buy?
Unless you needed the economy offered by the 3.0 TDI 218 Ultra, we’d opt for a quattro four-wheel drive version with the same engine. It’s smooth and flexible and still reasonably frugal. The 3.0 TDI 272 is seriously rapid, mind you, as is the 3.0 Bi-turbo model. If you can find a good used one of these and can afford to run it we wouldn’t blame you if you took the plunge. You’ll need deep pockets to run the S7 and the RS7 versions, although the speed might just prove exhilarating enough to make it worth it.
There are three main trim levels to choose from - SE Executive, S line and Black Edition. Opt for the entry-level SE Exec and you'll find 19in alloys, LED headlights and rear lights, a powered tailgate, parking sensors, auto lights and wipers, and a retractable rear spoiler. Inside, there is Audi's MMI infotainment system including a 6.5in retractable screen, sat nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB interface. There is also leather upholstery, four-zone climate control and heated front seats all included as standard.
Upgrade to the S line trim and you’ll get 20in alloys, sports suspension, matrix LED headlights, a sporty bodykit, sports seats and touches of Alcantara, while the range-topping Black Edition gets a black styling pack, 21in alloy wheels, a Bose sound system and bigger alloys.
Our favourite Audi A7 Sportback: 3.0 TDI 218 quattro SE Exec
What alternatives should I consider to a used Audi A7 hatchback?
The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe is a distinguished and ultra-stylish car that’s plush enough inside to compare favourably with just about any other car on sale. It’s great to drive, too, with some seriously punchy engines and the usual BMW ride and handling balance.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS is the car that started the trend for low-slung coupe/saloons, enlivening the executive car class by its very presence. It has a range of competent and smooth engines as well as a supple ride. Only in the matter of rear head room does it come up short.
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