2012 Audi A7 Prestige Review

A flagship of style, the A7 speaks to a new breed of luxury buyer

2012 Audi A7 Prestige Review

There hasn’t been a shake up in the flagship luxury sedan segment in decades. But the times, they are a changin’.


1. The A7 is available exclusively with quattro all-wheel drive, an 8-speed automatic transmission and a supercharged 3.0L V6 making 310 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque

2. Trunk space measures 24.5 cu-ft, double what you might expect.

3. Standard equipment includes a power trunk lid, an 8-inch LCD screen that rises from the dash and the Audi Drive Select system.

4. Also available is the S7 with a turbocharged 4.0L V8 making 420 hp and delivering a 0-60 of 4.8 seconds.

Big German six-figure saloons may still sit at the head of the table when it comes to price, but increasingly they’re being challenged by equally luxurious and almost as large cars. And there’s no arguing that this new breed of vehicle is at the top of the heap when it comes to design.

The Audi A7 is just such a car. In fact, considering Audi’s targeted approach as a new-money luxury brand, it’s surprising that the A7 wasn’t the jumping off point for the segment. Instead, it was the CLS, a surprise considering Mercedes is perhaps the most traditional of luxury brands.



As is obvious from the A7, this new challenge to the old luxury stalwarts is a result of design. Head-on it’s nearly identical to the A8 with the imposing front grille and LED daytime running lights. Noticeably large, its dimensions are slightly smaller being 1.5-inches thinner and lower to the ground. Its profile is dramatically different, however, with a sloped coupe-styled roof, while its rear end mimics that of the A5. With standard 18-inch wheels, added road presence comes with optional 19s or 20s. There’s even a rear spoiler hidden into the back that pops up automatically at speeds of over 80 mph, and retracts back at 50 mph.

2012 Audi A7 Driving From the Rear

Six inches shorter in length overall, it feels massive on the road, though not in the way you might think. Yes, the volume of air it takes up is significant, but thanks to a light chassis shared with the A8, it feels quite nimble to drive.

Assisting in that feeling is the Audi Drive Select system, which allows a choice of drive modes. With comfort, auto and dynamic settings you can even customize your own, adjusting everything from the steering weight to throttle sensitivity and gearchange points.

Around town the A7’s steering does tend to pinch the car tight in corners, a rather unnatural feeling we’ve experienced on a few Audis. We have no complaints at higher speeds and the A7 shrinks around you.



Helping to engage your fun side is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 310 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. In this modern era where 300 hp cars are practically common, those digits may not seem overly impressive but the results are with a 0-60 sprint of just 5.4 seconds, aided by standard quattro all-wheel drive. Genuine performance junkies can also opt for the S7, powered by a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with 420 hp and a sub 5.0 second 0-60 time.

2012 Audi A7 Driving from Front

Helping fuel economy stay reasonable is an 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for a 22 mpg combined number. In our test we scored closer to 20 mpg, though perhaps it may have been to the higher-than average highway speeds – where German luxury sedans like the A7 thrive.



The cabin is typically Audi, though we’re not fans of the monotone black throughout found on our test car – other more attractive shades with names like ‘nougat brown’ and ‘velvet beige’ are available. Looking rather conventional for a luxury machine, it has less flare than we’ve come to expect from Audi – worrisome when some rivals are finally beginning to up their interior games.

2012 Audi A7 Interior

Spicing up the cabin is a new 8-inch display screen that emerges from the dash in an almost alarming fashion when you first fire up the car. Using the latest version of Audi’s MMI interface it continues to get better with updates, though isn’t quite as intuitive as BMW’s iDrive. The location of the control knob isn’t as ergonomically perfect either, and once you’ve got your morning latté in place, it becomes harder to reach.

A second display screen, measuring five-inches, sits between the two gauges on the dash, providing info ranging from music info to turn-by-turn navigation instructions. And if you’re info needs still aren’t met, Audi does offer a heads-up display as well.



Slip into the back seat and the A7 differs from its conventional brethren with the absence of seating space. Rather than a traditional bench, there are just two seats, styled more like front two. While perfectly adequate for full sized adults, it’s not the expansive oasis you might expect. In fact, legroom is six inches less than in the A8. 

Where the extra space went isn’t a mystery once you pop the trunk – which is power operated as a standard feature. At 24.5 cu-ft, it’s nearly double that of the A8 and will rival many SUVs.

We made a point of doing the weekly groceries in our A7 tester and not only were we surprised at the space, the woman in the Hyundai Santa Fe parked next to us stopped and came over for a closer look.



Also making the A7 unique is its price, starting at $59,250 it’s well below any of its rivals. An all-wheel drive Porsche Panamera 4 begins at over $80,000. As for the BMW 5 Series GT, well, with little in the looks department and lacking the driving dynamics you might expect of a BMW, we’d suggest you pass regardless of the dollar figure. The Mercedes CLS starts at almost $12,000 more than the A7, though it’s arguably the better-looking machine and for many holds a higher cache. It doesn’t, however, have quite the same utility.

2012 Audi A7 Grille



While an impressive luxury ride, the A7 is by no means the easy choice in its segment, unless price is the top priority. Some established luxury buyers will pick the A7 for its design, while it should also do well with younger buyers – who would be more likely to consider the Audi brand anyway.

The car you drive says something about you and while conventional German luxury saloons may say ‘established’ and ‘successful’ the also say ‘old’. The A7, however, says ‘modern’ and ‘stylish’ though still ‘wealthy’.

And that, perhaps, is the best reason to consider it. Regardless of its other features, what makes the A7 most attractive is that’s it’s both unique and progressive, a new type of flagship vehicle that’s shaping a still-emerging luxury superpower.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked