MORRIS, IL—After today’s early start, the Four Seasons Audi A7 gobbled up 800 miles from North Platte, Nebraska, to Morris, Illinois, with a two-hour stopover in my hometown of Omaha, where I visited my sister Kate and saw a couple of family history sites.
The A7 continues to be ever so pleasing and capable. Its supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission impressed me on the Prairies just as much as in the mountains and desert basins. Except for tire rumble, the cabin is quiet and couldn’t be more comfortable. The heated driver’s seat and steering wheel took the edge off a chilly morning. And after 2000 miles, I know that I’ll never tire of the car’s design, inside or out.
But there are these considerations:
- Too many emblems clutter the rear of A7
- The left side of the steering column has a small grove of stalks for minor controls including the paddle shifter
- The radar-assisted “smart” cruise control couldn’t pass a fifth-grade reading exam; it arrests momentum way too early, as though you’ve hit a strong magnetic field (or Clarence Ditlow is sitting on your shoulder)
- The twenty-inch wheels and rubber look sensational (note there’s almost no gap between tire tread and fender lip), but the tires’ low profile and stiff sidewalls result in some ride harshness on choppy or corrupted pavement
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