Thursday, December 15, 2011

Audi A7 Carries it Off

The new Audi A7, slotted between the midsize A6 and fullsize A8, creates its own identity there. Besides its unique fastback styling, it offers a convenient and spacious liftback--something that some American buyers may find perplexing. Aren't hatchbacks just for cheap econoboxes? Well, no.

The A7 offers all the upscale design and equipment you expect in this segment--you do get your $68,000 worth! The design flows smoothly from front to rear outside and from door to door across the dash inside. The usual high-quality materials and fit-and-finish make the driving environment a joy to occupy.

Audi has smoothed out some of the fussiness on the dash now--the gauges no longer look like teardrops. The lines flow into delicate points on the doors. The doors have their own subtle illumination. The display screen for audio, navigation and car information slips delicately out of the upper dash when you start the car. You can send it back in if you don't want to look at it but it's unobtrusive.

My Moonlight Blue Metallic test car had the Prestige package, which added upsized wheels, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, climate control, BOSE surround sound and lots more. Then, my car had the wheels upsized to 20 inchers! Whew.

The 3.0-liter 310-horsepower supercharged engine sends the car rocketing towards your destination with an EPA average of 22 mpg. I averaged 19.3.

Always a treat, great for carrying big loads, and now, already on its way to the next journalist.

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