The Automobile Red BookTM had the opportunity to test drive a new Audi A7 for the weekend, covering about 700 miles. We don’t normally get to test cars for an extended drive, so when the opportunity presented itself I was more than happy to take the wheel for a road trip. I have admired the looks of Audis for years, as have others, particularly some other premium and not so premium manufacturers since Audi’s styling is quickly adapted by a number of other brands. This particular car was painted Garnet Red which really highlighted its sporty lines.
Carrying three adults with three weekend bags plus golf clubs and a cooler was not a problem for the 24 feet of available cargo room. It even managed to swallow some antiques and produce purchased from a farmers' market on the way home. This car was loaded with electronics including NAV, Infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, side assist and an almost overwhelming smorgasbord of digital delight. The interior is very well laid out and after only a few hundred miles I got quite accustomed to all the different displays that can be configured. One of my favorite electronic gizmos on any car is the blind spot indicator, or Audi side assist as they call their system. It has a large visual alert on the side mirrors that light up a set of three orange LED lights when radar detects a vehicle approaching from hard to see angles. While maintaining a steady speed of around 78 miles an hour we were regularly passed by those in a big hurry so the side assist lights were quite busy and helpful when wanting to go around slower moving vehicles. The adaptive cruise control is great as well. You can adjust it to follow the vehicle ahead at your choice of different lengths. When someone would cut in front of us the brakes were tightened until a safe distance was again attained. All you had to do was steer this thing.
The 3.0L Supercharged six cylinder matched the car's sporty good looks and returned a very impressive displayed 34.1 avg. miles per gallon for the trip. The seats were very comfortable for hours at a time. The popup NAV screen was large and relatively easy to operate. I like touch screens and after leaving my fingerprints all over the screen trying to work a command I was politely told it wasn’t a touch screen. Oh well, I had plenty of time over the next few hours learning how the big button and touch pad on the console worked.
If you are looking for a premium luxury sedan with loads of safety features and enough electronics to keep you entertained for hours the A7 should be included on your shopping list. Prices start at $60,100.