2015 Audi S7 Review

S7

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2015 Audi S7 Overview

When you want all the power of the S6, but can’t stand that sedan profile, the sportback lines of the S7 wait in the wings to provide you less versatility, but a bit more style. This year, Audi adds full LED exterior lighting and a standard head-up display to the long list of S7 goodies.

One thing you can’t have is seating for 5. The S7 offers 2 rear bucket seats, although full-size adults may have some trouble accessing them. That sexy sloping roofline doesn’t do much for headroom in the rear, after all. It does offer some impressive trunk space, though, with 24.5 cubic feet available before you drop those rear seats, and nearly a full 50 once you give up seating for 4. Certainly one of the classier ways to haul your booty about.

And with a 420-hp, twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 406 lb-ft of torque, that booty will move! Even with all-wheel drive (AWD), the S7’s S tronic 7-speed automated manual will rip you to 60 in just 4.5 seconds while still delivering an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/27 highway. That’s thanks to Audi’s Cylinder On Demand system, which drops out half the pistons at highway speed to save gas. And if you’re worried that such a move would impart more noise and vibration into the cabin when going from a smooth V8 to a less refined V4, Audi utilizes active engine mounts and active noise cancellation to combat those specific issues.

This goes in turn with Audi’s other efforts toward comfort, quality and refinement that have contributed to its building reputation for some of the best interiors in the industry. The S7 does nothing to quell this notion with quilted leather upholstery wrapped around 8-way power heated front bucket seats, standard sunroof and power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 4-zone automatic climate control and a 14-speaker Bose stereo.

For tech you’ll find a power liftgate and heated mirrors with auto-dimming, a blind-spot warning system, keyless entry and ignition, front and rear parking sensors, Audi MMI, a driver memory system, rear-view camera, navigation and Audi Drive Select, which allows you to adjust steering, transmission and suspension settings. With Audi’s adaptive air suspension, that’ll seriously change the character of your S7 depending on if you want smooth or speedy, and the optional multicontour comfort front seats are a good choice if you prefer the former over the latter.

You can also add power-closing doors, night vision assist, rear side airbags, and if the Bose stereo isn’t enough, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo is on tap for audiophiles with more than twice the power of the Bose system. A Driver Assistance package will get you adaptive cruise, lane-departure warning, Audi Pre-Sense Plus and a 360-degree camera. The Cold Weather package adds heat to the rear seats and the steering wheel, while a Black Optic package gets you body-color mirrors, blacked-out grille and window frames and unique, 20-inch wheels. While the aesthetic enhancements are a welcome addition, the 20-inch wheels have been criticized for making the ride too harsh. The adaptive air suspension does a lot to make up for the increased sensitivity, but best to test-drive before checking the box.

With a cavernous trunk, taut handling, stout powertrain and sleek visuals inside and out, it seems the only thing the S7 can’t do is fit 5 adults. It’s not going to do much for your bank account either, but that’s par for this particular course. Bottom line? It’d be hard to do better than the S7.

Updated
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A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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