2017 Audi RS 7 Expert Review

4.7 Overall Score
Performance 4.6Interior 4.7Comfort 4.6Value 4.5

Editor's Overview

The 2017 Audi A7, S7 and RS 7 lineup is possibly the world's sexiest family of hatchbacks. Beyond striking good looks, made even better last year, the A7 family offers function, technology and, thanks to plentiful models, individualism. While its hatchback body is practical, make no mistake, this Audi is all about panache...and the price that comes with it.

You'll Like The 2017 Audi RS 7 If...

If you want a high-style, high-tech, high-performance luxury car, then you need to check out the Audi A7 family. Not only does it offer engine choices ranging up to a 605-horsepower twin-turbo V8, it actually comes with all the cargo flexibility of a hatchback.

You May Not Like The 2017 Audi RS 7 If...

There's no getting around the fact that the A7's charms don't come cheap, with a starting price around $70,000. Alternatives include the also-versatile Audi Allroad wagon and A6 sedan, both of which start tens of thousands less. There's also the smaller BMW X4 and 3 Series Gran Turismo.

What's New

The A7 diesel model disappears, but two new performance models -- the A7 Competition and the RS 7 Performance -- debut. There's also new technology, including standard Audi connect and smartphone interface, and a driver-assistance package that includes lane assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, and more.

Interior Features

There's so much to like inside the Audi A7 it's hard to know where to start. There are high-quality materials, like standard leather seating, with an upgrade to diamond-stitched higher-quality hides in S7 and RS 7 models. The A7 seats five, but the S7 and RS 7 seat four because of the pair of contoured rear seats instead of a 3-person bench. Thanks to the standard 8-way-power/4-way-lumbar adjustment and power-operated steering-wheel adjustment, it's easy for drivers of various shapes and sizes to be comfortable. And, in a nod to practicality, the A7 is a hatchback, with plenty of cargo space.

Exterior Features

Ever since its debut in 2012, the A7's fastback shape has been a defining element. Sure, beauty is subjective, but most agree this is a fine-looking car from virtually any angle. Audi calls it a "sedan," but a rear power-operated hatch makes it a hatchback. It offers easy access to the cargo area with its 24.5 cubic feet of space. Models are visually distinguished through exterior styling, with the higher-performing S7 boasting its own front and rear bumper design, and the almighty RS 7 featuring a carbon-fiber splitter and diffusor. All models include a sunroof and electric rear spoiler.

Driving Impressions

Even in the "base" A7 with the 333-horsepower supercharged V6, the A7 never lacks for power, proven with its 0-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds. It's a great drivetrain, with the engine providing smooth power at almost any speed, and we do mean any, as this car will easily find you at extra-legal speeds in no time. If you want more, there's the S7, with its 450-horsepower V8, but for the truly power hungry, there's the RS 7, now available in either 560-horsepower or 605-horsepower models. Yet there's so much more to the A7 family than just raw speed. There's the refined steering, the comfortable ride that turns into razor-sharp handling at the flick of the Audi Drive Select button, and the stellar brakes. Yet it's also pure luxury. The interior is a rolling work of art, with soft leathers, a sculpted dash and comfortable seating for everyone.

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a base 2017 Audi A7 starts just below $70,000; add $7,500 for the new Competition model. The higher-performance S7 starts at just over the $80,000 mark. If that's not enough, the Audi RS 7 starts at about $111,600, and the uber RS 7 Performance will run you $130,500. Note that's all before adding options; start checking those boxes and the price escalates quickly. The 2017 A7 splits the difference between the CLS-Class 4-door coupe on the low end and the BMW 640i Gran Coupe on the high end. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for their new A7. The A7's residual value has traditionally held up better than those of its Mercedes and BMW rivals.

Notable Equipment

With a base price of about $70,000, and an Audi badge on the nose, you'd expect even the base A7 to come nicely equipped. With standard features like a supercharged V6 engine, 4-zone climate control, an interior awash in leather and wood, and heated 8-way-power front seats, you'd be right. Also standard on the 2017 A7 is navigation, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring (Audi calls it "side assist"), and a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD player with satellite and HD Radio with two USB ports. Newly standard this year is Audi connect and Audi smartphone interface, both of which enhance your smartphone ownership experience.

Notable Options

There's a long list of options for the Audi A7 lineup, not the least of which is choosing among A7, S7 and RS 7. Beyond that there are massaging front seats with ventilation, and an available fighter-jet-style head-up display that projects pertinent driver information onto the windshield. The new Driver Assistance package adds active lane assist, adaptive cruise control, corner-view cameras and a host of other technology, including Audi pre sense plus, which applies the brakes to avoid or lessen the impact of a frontal collision. A new A7 Competition model adds more power and better handling.

Our Favorite Features

Audi's well-earned reputation for interior quality is on display in the A7. Everything you touch feels good to your hands, from the knurled dials for the audio and climate controls, to the leather steering wheel. The 8-inch display that rises from the center dash when you start the car? Pure sci-fi cool.

Built-in navigation is great, but a lot of people prefer the accuracy of their smartphones. However, the A7 actually comes with Google Earth and traffic, making it every bit as up-to-date and accurate as your smartphone. It can even do Google Street View thanks to 4G TLE connectivity.

Under The Hood

There are five different versions of three engines available for the 2017 A7 family. The A7 itself comes with a 333-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6; the A7 Competition offers 340 horsepower. Audi S7 models come with a turbocharged 4.0-liter 450-horsepower V8 engine. As an RS 7, that twin-turbo V8 delivers 560 horsepower, and 605 horsepower in the RS 7 Performance model. Every Audi A7 and RS 7 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and quattro AWD is also standard; the S7 comes with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. But don't worry, none of these cars is a slouch, with even the "base" A7 scooting to 60 mph from a standstill in just over five seconds.

3.0-liter supercharged V6 (A7)
333 horsepower @ 5,300-6,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg

3.0-liter supercharged V6 (A7 Competition)
340 horsepower @ 5,300-6,500 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 2,900-5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (S7)
450 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-5,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 mpg

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (RS 7)
560 horsepower @ 5,700-6,600 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/25 mpg

4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (RS 7)
605 horsepower @ 6,100-6,800 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/25 mpg 

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

Editors' Notes

With a variety of engines, plentiful options and head-turning style, the Audi A7, S7, and mighty RS 7 is the world's most desirable family of hatchbacks. But make no mistake, the practicality is only secondary: The Audi A7 is about lust, from the styling to the driving. From the "base" A7 to the new Audi RS 7 Performance with its 605-horsepower V8, the precision suspension is backed up with sharp steering and Audi's quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) system for a sure-footedness that's hard to beat, even from such worthy competitors as the Mercedes-Benz CLS, Porsche Panamera or BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. Yet the A7 family is as luxurious as any of them, with a beautifully styled and high-tech interior that's covered in exquisite leathers.

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Owner Reviews

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Audi RS7 Comfort and Reliability

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I haven't needed to take the car in except for the regular services. It is a very comfortable car and it performs well. Mileage isn't amazing but I don't drive enough for that to be an issue

Rohan M
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