12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2012 Audi A7 - No Longer Flawless

September 6, 2012
2012 Audi A7 Front View
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Long-Term 2012 Audi A7 Update - FALL 2012 (1 OF 3)
Miles to date: 21,373 miles
"I'd rather sleep in this car than in my condo."
After months of long highway journeys, the Audi A7 has enjoyed a well-deserved break from its regime of cross-country road trips. It hasn't strayed far from home since deputy editor Joe DeMatio returned from a trip to northern Michigan. That's not to say we're bored with the A7 -- in fact, some staff members are already fretting about the day when the car will vanish from our fleet.
"We're halfway through our loan, and I already know I'll miss the Audi when it leaves," said road test editor Chris Nelson. He signed out the A7 for a weekend when his parents came to visit, so he could chauffeur them around in luxury. Nelson also picked up some second-hand, 24-by-30-inch picture frames to decorate his living room, and reported that they easily fit into the back of the Audi, once again showing the benefits of its hatchback design. Of course, his home decorating has a ways to go before it equal the Audi's interior design. "I'd rather sleep in this car than in my condo," he says.
2012 Audi A7 Front Right View
Having previously only spent a few hours behind the wheel, associate web editor Ben Timmins recently drove the A7 for an entire weekend and reported: "There are no deal-breakers with this great car." He lauded the eager powertrain, direct steering, well-appointed interior, and sultry sheetmetal. In fact, the only downside to the A7 may be jealous pals asking for a ride. After a brief trip around Ann Arbor, one pronounced the A7 "just perfect."
While the outside of the Audi A7 may grab attention, the car's electronics help us keep our attention focused on the road. We especially appreciate that you can enter addresses into the navigation system by "drawing" letters and numbers on the car's touch pad. Not only is this quick and intuitive, it's easier than entering a destination by tapping a touch screen or manipulating scroll wheel. Connecting a phone via Bluetooth for hands-free calling has also proven simple and trouble-free.
Not everyone loves the tech features of this Audi, though. Managing editor Amy Skogstrom finds the pop-up infotainment display distracting and wishes it were integrated into the car's center stack. Managing editor for digital platforms Jen Misaros applauded the broad swath of wood that "adds simplicity and sophistication" to the dashboard, a counterweight to a cabin that can be "overly tech-centric."
After six trouble-free months, we've recently noticed two small problems with our Audi. Several drivers have reported a rattle from the driver's door panel. We also discovered that some of the LEDs in the third brake light (known as the CHMSL) have failed. Our local Audi dealer informed us that the entire assembly must be replaced, even though only two or three LEDs in the strip have burned out. The dealer claims that this is the first time he had seen LED lights fail so early in a car's life, although this particular dealership so far only has serviced a handful of A7s. Unfortunately, the service department wasn't able to order a new CHMSL assembly in time before the A7 left on its latest scheduled trip. Managing editor Skogstrom claimed the Audi for a road trip to South Carolina, so we'll have the light replaced under warranty as soon as she returns.
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:

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