How much stuff will fit into our Four Seasons Audi A7? Tim Jennings, husband of editor-in-chief Jean, tested that by filling the A7's hatch to the brim on a recent trip to the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in Florida. The Audi's cargo included several pieces of luggage, a set of golf clubs, a golf umbrella, four hats, and one Keurig coffee maker won at a silent auction.
Covering more than 2000 miles from Michigan to Florida and back gave Jennings ample time to enjoy the relaxed driving demeanor of our A7. He praised the car's comfortable seats, electrically dimming exterior mirrors, and adaptive cruise control, all of which make long highway slogs more manageable. He also was impressed that the large 19.8-gallon gas tank allows for a range of over 500 highway miles between fuel stops.
Unfortunately, the Audi's windshield was hit by a rock from a passing truck in Tennessee, causing a large chip. Jennings had the chip filled with resin in Jacksonville, Florida, but the $50 repair didn't hold and spiderweb-like cracks soon began to spread across the windshield. Once the car returned home, we had the entire windshield replaced at our local Audi dealer for $830.08.
While the A7 was at the dealership for the windshield work, we also had Audi perform the car's 5000-mile service. Although the car had only covered 4393 miles at the time, we elected to have the service performed early, before the Audi left on any more long trips. The first service is free as part of the car's warranty program, and consists of changing the engine oil, topping up fluid levels, and rotating the tires.
Thus far our Audi has spent only a few days in our care here at the home office, instead it has been commandeered for various journeys around the nation. On one of the car's few evenings in Ann Arbor, one staffer drove the A7 for a date-night trip for ice cream at a local Dairy Queen. While waiting in line for milkshakes, he witnessed several people lingering to take a second look at the A7, attesting again to the car's provocative design.
Shortly after returning from Florida, the A7 was whisked off to New Jersey, where it was delivered to journalist David Brancaccio. He's currently traveling across the country on assignment for American Public Media's Marketplace, in a bid to see whether it's possible to take a road trip without interacting with another person. No doubt his task will be made easier by the fact that our A7 has on-board Wi-Fi, which allows up to eight devices to connect to the Internet through the infotainment system's data connection.
After Brancaccio's experiment, our Audi A7 is scheduled to spend some time in southern California before we get it back. Based on the pattern so far, it looks like the Audi will become our road-trip vehicle of choice, and it should easily rack up several thousand more miles before it returns to Automobile Magazine's office in Ann Arbor.