Road test: Audi A7 Sportback 2019 review

Moving Well | Tim Nicholson | Posted on 08 May 2019

Tim Nicholson road tests the 2019 Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic. 

  • Thumbs up

    Silky-smooth but punchy V6 mild hybrid powertrain, impressive on-board comfort and safety tech, stunning looks.

  • Thumbs down

    Options can easily push price up, over-eager autonomous emergency braking system when parking.

  • Perfect for

    Style-conscious buyers who need a bit of space but want an engaging drive.

  • Verdict

    Surprisingly practical and spacious grand tourer that is a clear standout against some excellent rivals.

Front view of silver Audi A7 Sportback parked near the sea


Audi’s original A7 Sportback was widely regarded as a modern design classic when it debuted in mid-2010. Thankfully, it wasn’t just a case of style over substance.

The striking five-door coupe-style liftback had a suite of excellent powertrains and dynamic prowess that helped it stand out from its more conservative rivals.

Audi, wisely, decided not to mess with this successful formula for the second-generation A7 that arrived in Australia in November last year.

The look of the new model is familiar, but it is a clear evolution of the original. It is sleeker and more modern than before, adopting Audi’s new design language that was ushered in under the guidance of the brand’s design chief, Marc Lichte.

The A7 starts at $113,900 before on-road costs for the 45 TFSI, powered by a 180kW/370Nm four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, and pricing increases to $131,900 for both the 55 TFSI and the 50 TDI.

Audi’s pricing for the A7 55 TFSI is competitive when marked against two of its closest rivals – the BMW 640i Gran Turismo xDrive ($151,400) and the Mercedes-Benz CLS450 4Matic ($155,530). However, like many European offerings, the price quickly creeps up when you start ticking options boxes.

Our test car was fitted with metallic paint ($2200), a ‘dynamic steering’ package ($4200) and the ‘premium plus package’ that adds adaptive air suspension, 21-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, four-zone climate control, and an LED interior lighting system ($8000). All of this brought the price up to $146,300 and while that is indeed expensive, it still undercuts the BMW and the Benz.

Rear view of a silver Audi A7 Sportback parked near the sea


Audi has a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the world’s best interiors. Rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz have put pressure on Audi in recent years, but continued improvements to materials and cabin ambience, as well as the introduction of the latest onboard tech such as the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, have ensured that Audi is still best in show.

The dual digital screens are integrated nicely in the centre stack and horizontal lines on the dash provide a feeling of space. Gloss black and metal-look touches further elevate the cabin. The standard ‘Valcona’ leather sports seats are super-supportive and the second row offers a surprising amount of space, even behind your six-foot reviewer’s driving position.

Under the tailgate, the A7 can swallow 535 litres of luggage with the second-row seats in place. The A7 Sportback’s versatility was proven with a weekend trek to the Mornington Peninsula with a boot and back seat full of supplies.

Audi has fitted the A7 with some clever features, including an anti-dooring system that detects a cyclist or another vehicle approaching from behind. A visual cue alerts the driver, and the system holds the door closed until the cyclist or vehicle has passed.

Locating the wireless mobile device charger in the lidded central storage compartment is another smart use of space. It helps keep the driver from being distracted by their phone.

The 50 TDI uses a 210kW/600Nm turbo-diesel unit, while the 55 TFSI tested here is powered by a 250kW/500Nm turbocharged V6 petrol engine with ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Interior view of an Audi A7 Sportback
Interior view, including steering wheel, of an Audi A7 Sportback


The 55 TFSI powertrain has a 48-volt mild hybrid system incorporating a belt alternator starter and lithium-ion battery that acts as the A7’s main electrical system, allowing it to coast between 55 and 160kmh with the engine off which helps save fuel.

Audi’s V6 engine and mild hybrid system combine for brilliant acceleration – 0 to 100kmh in 5.3 seconds according to Audi – but very little engine or road noise enters the cabin, thanks to significant sound insulation measures. The fuel-saving idle-stop system that kicks in at 22kmh is barely perceptible.

Our test car was fitted with Audi’s all-wheel steering system, which does not require the same sort of steering inputs as a standard A7. Combined with the quattro all-wheel-drive system, it makes for spirited handling and exceptional road holding.

The ride is on the firm side for sporty performance even in Drive Select Comfort mode, but it is never harsh or crashy. Dynamic mode turns up the wick and highlights the sporting nature of the A7.

It feels far lighter than its 1815-kilogram kerb weight suggests, although its size was noticeable when navigating an inner-city multi-level car-park. As with other Audis we have driven recently, the autonomous emergency braking system can be a little eager when parking.

Audi’s combined cycle fuel consumption figure is 7.3L/100km, but we recorded 10.2L/100km over a week of mixed driving.

Like the original, the new A7 is about much more than just its looks. Audi has taken the successful formula of the original and improved it in virtually every area. In the process, it has produced a superb grand tourer that is surprisingly versatile.

For many more vehicle reviews, including the Audi A5 , BMW 8 Series and Mercedes Benz E300 Cabriolet, visit royalauto.com.au.

Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic

PRICE

Price as tested: $146,300 plus approximately $13,000 on-road costs.
Model range: $113,900 to $131,900 before on-road costs.

DRIVETRAIN

3.0-litre turbocharged V6, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive.
Power: 250kW@5000-6400rpm.
Torque: 500Nm@1370-4500rpm.
Wheels: 255/40 tyres, 20-inch wheels.

FUEL

95 RON petrol, 63-litre tank. 

Consumption: 10.2L/100km (RACV test); 7.3L/100km (government test).

Emissions: 165g/km CO2.

STANDARD SAFETY

Adaptive drive assist with adaptive cruise control and active lane keeping, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, surround view cameras, exit warning.

STANDARD FEATURES

Tri-zone climate control, head-up display, S line exterior package, HD Matrix LED headlights, heated sports front seats in Valcona leather, 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster.

WARRANTY/SERVICES

Three year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, service schedule every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres.