2019 Audi A7 45 TFSI review: price, specs and release date

The entry-level petrol engine in the Audi A7 45 TFSI has plenty of punch on paper, but is it a good match for this motorway cruiser?...

2019 audi a7 45 tfsi driving front

Priced from £48,175 | On sale Now

If you’re doing rather well in life, the Audi A7 is exactly the kind of car you’d reward yourself with. It shares engines and technology with the flagship A8 luxury saloon, yet it’s all wrapped in a sleek, coupé-like body that’ll help prevent onlookers from thinking you’re a chauffeur headed to an airport for a pickup.

There's a broad choice of engines for the A7, with power ranging from 201bhp to a whopping 603bhp in the upcoming RS7. In between, there are a couple of six-cylinder diesels that are usually the go-to choice when it comes to large, plush motorway cruisers. 

However, with the recent demonisation of diesel, is there merit in going for a petrol-powered A7? And if so, is the entry-level petrol engine punchy enough?

2019 audi a7 45 tfsi driving rear

2019 Audi A7 45 TFSI on the road

The 45 TFSI may be the most affordable petrol version of the A7, but that doesn’t mean it’s short on power; with 242bhp, the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is a close relative of the one found in the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Equipped with quattro four-wheel drive, the A7 dispatches the 0-62mph sprint in 6.2sec. But in order for it to feel as fast as the numbers suggest, you need to stretch the engine to its redline, where it sounds slightly coarse.

At lower revs, the engine is relaxingly hushed, while the slippery body and acoustic glass keep wind noise at bay. Even on large, 20in wheels, road noise is no more than a faint hum in the background over all but the coarsest of surfaces. Overall refinement is certainly better than in the rival Mercedes CLS.

Less impressive is the A7's automatic gearbox. It has seven speeds to play with, but it’s reluctant to kick down under acceleration and when it does, the revs soar as if you're planning an M25-based remake of The Fast and the Furious. It’s also frustratingly hesitant when you need to pull away from a standstill in a hurry. At least it’s smooth at other times.

Although S line trim features lower and stiffer suspension than that of the entry-level Sport model, ride comfort isn't wrecked if you have the optional adaptive dampers fitted. They still don’t fully eradicate thudding over larger expansion joints, but they allow you to soften up the suspension using the selectable driving modes. The A7 feels a little floaty over bumps in Comfort mode, whereas switching to Dynamic mode brings about a slight fidget over imperfect roads. Thankfully, Auto mode strikes a fine balance.

The relaxed ride complements the stable feel of the A7 on the motorway. Accurate steering allows you to position the car with ease even if you find yourself in a particularly tight situation such as a narrow lane or a multi-storey car park. On twisty roads, the A7’s heft doesn’t help agility, although body roll is well contained with the suspension in Dynamic mode. There’s plenty of grip, while traction is excellent, but the A7 always feels tidy rather than fun.

2019 audi a7 interior dashboard

2019 Audi A7 45 TFSI interior

The quality of the materials is impressive, even if the overall design isn’t as flamboyant as the Mercedes CLS's interior. There are no fewer than three screens for the instruments, infotainment and ancillary controls such as the air-con – all with high resolutions and sharp graphics – and it all feels exceedingly well screwed together.

Space up front isn't bad at all, considering the low roof, and only if you're very tall will your head brush the ceiling in the back. The A7's boot easily swallows a couple of golf bags and beats the CLS’s for capacity, plus it has a handy hatchback to help ease loading and unloading.

Have a look at our full Audi A7 review for more details on the interior or if you want to learn more about other engines. You’ll also find out exactly how high-tech the interior is, with the raft of safety systems and driving aids you can add to the A7.

2019 audi a7 interior rear seats