12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2012 Audi A7 - Still Winning Friends

August 3, 2012
2012 Audi A7 Front Left View
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Long-Term 2012 Audi A7 Update - SUMMER 2012 (3 OF 3)
Miles to date: 19,198 miles
"I started to fancy myself as a rally driver by sliding around corners."
We have collectively driven our Four Season Audi an astonishing 19,198 miles over the past five months, but in this case familiarity with the A7 has not bred contempt. In fact, it seems that we have more praise for the Audi each time we slide into the driver's wheel.
Deputy editor Joe DeMatio snatched the Audi's keys for a ten-day vacation to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Fearing a dearth of organic-food stores in the wilds of northern Michigan, DeMatio loaded the Audi to the gills with everything from cases of French wine and prime rib-eye steaks to racks of lamb and a selection of cheeses. And that's before he piled in hiking boots, a beach umbrella, and a friend and his luggage. At least DeMatio managed to leave the kitchen sink at home.
2012 Audi A7 Front View
When he wasn't maxing out the payload capacity, DeMatio reported that the A7 was the perfect vehicle for the varied terrain of his journey. On a smooth, brand-new road near Grand Marais, Michigan, the Audi displayed the sporty composure and grip we expect from a luxurious grand tourer -- although DeMatio's aggressive driving caused the brake pads to smell as they overheated. The fun continued when the pavement gave way to gravel and two-track dirt roads: "I started to fancy myself as a rally driver by sliding around corners. The A7 never put a foot wrong on the ragged surface."
Despite back-road shenanigans, the Audi A7 sipped fuel at a rate of 22 mpg during DeMatio's getaway. That exactly matches the EPA's combined fuel economy rating for the Audi A7; the car is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Not bad for a big luxury car with a 310-hp engine under the hood.
Our intrepid Four Seasons car also impressed DeMatio's friends. When he let two BMW 5-Series owners behind the wheel, they quickly professed their love for the Audi and fought to ride in the car whenever possible. Copy editor Rusty Blackwell also can attest to our car's proselytizing power. After his wife drove the car home from Costco, she hinted that the Blackwell family should purchase their own Audi A7. She even thought our $78,860 Audi was as beautiful as the $120,000+ Maserati Quattroporte the newlywed Blackwells drove on their honeymoon back in 2005 -- high praise indeed.
2012 Audi A7 Front Left View
Perhaps it was the fear of an impending car purchase that led Blackwell to search for flaws with our Audi. He faulted the adaptive cruise control for offering speed adjustments only in 2.5-mph increments. "I usually set the cruise control between 76 and 78 mph, but I don't want to be forced to choose 77.5 mph," he explained. This isn't the first criticism levied at the system: senior editor Jason Cammisa previously complained that the adaptive cruise-control feature cannot be disabled. Over the course of his 1187-mile trip up north, however, DeMatio and his driving companion found the Audi's cruise control "absolutely perfect" and wondered why other staffers had complained so vociferously about the system. Chalk it up to personal preferences.
On the maintenance front, the A7 started to have a noticeable vibration at highway speeds due to a bent wheel. We considered buying a replacement wheel from Audi, but that would have cost over $700. Instead we opted to have the 20-inch rim repaired by Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists. The company arrived at our office, set up in the parking lot, and repaired the Audi's wheel in about an hour. The wheel looks as good as new, the vibration has been eliminated, and the fix only cost us $130. The bad news: another one of the pricey rims has been bent. Such is the risk of driving with showy 20-inch wheels and low-profile tires.
Of course, those 20-inch wheels help make the A7 one of our most glamorous Four Seasons cars in recent memory. Even as it accumulates dirt and grime from lengthy road trips, the Audi continues to draw stares from friends, family members, and even complete strangers. We're sure that will continue over the car's remaining seven months in our care.
Body style 4-door hatchback
Accommodation 4-passenger
Construction Steel unibody w/aluminum body panels
Engine 24-valve supercharged DOHC V-6
Displacement 3.0 liters (182.8 cu in)
Power 310 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque 325 lb-ft @ 2900 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive All-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 18/28/22 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electronically-assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.85
Turning circle 39.0 ft
Suspension, Front Multilink, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs
Wheels 20-inch aluminum
Tires Yokohama Advan Sport
Tire size 265/35YR-20 99Y
Headroom F/R 39.6/36.6 in
Legroom F/R 41.3/37.0 in
Shoulder room F/R 57.2/55.9 in
Wheelbase 114.7 in
Track F/R 64.7/64.4 in
L x W x H 195.6 x 84.2 x 55.9 in
Passenger Capacity 94.3 cu ft
Cargo capacity 24.5 cu ft
Weight 4210 lb
Weight dist. F/R 54/46%
Fuel capacity 19.8 gal
Est. fuel range 435 miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT 3.0-liter supercharged DOHC V-6 engine 8-speed automatic transmission Permanent all-wheel drive w/rear bias Audi Drive Select 18-inch aluminum wheels Electronic parking brake Spare tire Power sunroof Xenon headlights w/LED DRLs Rain and light sensor Leather seats Power, heated front seats Split-folding rear seats 3-zone climate control Tilt-and-telescopic steering column 5-inch monochrome driver's information system Automatic tailgate Keyless ignition Cruise control Homelink Bluetooth SiriusXm satellite radio w/3-month subscription Audi music interface w/iPod cable
Prestige $6,330 S line exterior 19-inch aluminum wheels w/all-season tires Audi navigation plus w/MMI touch Audi Connect w/6-month subscription Front and rear parking sensors Keyless entry and ignition Automatic 4-zone climate control Bose surround sound system Front seat ventilation HD radio Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column Adaptive headlights Ambient lighting plus 7-inch color driver's information system
Bang and Olufsen advanced sound system $5,900
Driver Assistance package $2,500 Forward collision warning Adaptive cruise control Blind spot monitoring system Power folding exterior mirrors
20-inch Sport package $1,500 20-inch wheels w/summer tires Sport suspension 3-spoke steering wheel Shift paddles
LED headlights $1,400
Cold weather package $450 Heated steering wheel and rear seats
Oolong Gray metallic paint$475

Long-Term 2012 Audi A7 Reviews to Date:

2012 Audi A7 - Still Winning Friends
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