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Heels on Wheels - 2013 Audi A7 Review


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2013 Audi A7

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE A7 VEHICLE
The all-new Audi A7 is a luxurious and powerful four-passenger sedan – a redesign of the A6, but with a couple-like look and attitude thanks to a low and wide stance, a hatchback-inspired design and the supercharged 3-liter V6 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

I drove a 2012 Audi A7 sedan with the supercharged 3-liter V6 engine featuring 310-horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, along with the Quattro all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Dynamic Shift Program. The base mid-size sedan offers the following standard convenient features: leather upholstery; leather-wrapped steering wheel; Multi-Media Interface with 6.5-inch display; three-zone climate control; a fourteen-inch Bose audio system with XM radio; Bluetooth; USB port; and a power trunk. Price is $59,250 as described.

The Audi A7 rivals the other coupe-sedan styles, like the Mercedes-Benz CLS or the surprisingly luxurious Hyundai Equus. One major benefit of these unique four-door designs for four passengers is how they offer a functional edge with rear cargo space – but a downside of limited headroom.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: My test drive also featured the $3,620 Premium Plus package that included nineteen-inch wheels, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, HD radio, and a very comprehensive telematics system capable of indicating to the driver when it’s time to roll up the windows. A7 Audi technology was smartly streamlined into steering-wheel mounted scrolls that also served as button commands. It’s versatile too if you’d prefer navigating your way with songs, calls and vehicle stats using the lower center-stack controls. Smartphones and other media devices sync in seconds to a well-placed and large display screen, allowing novice users to feel eyes are always more focused on the road.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stabilization Program, electromechanical parking brake, and a comprehensive airbag system.

Cost Issues: The base Audi A7 starts at under $60k, but with my options – which also include a $1,500 Sport Package featuring twenty-inch wheels, sport suspension and paddle shifters – can reach $66,220 (there is also the Cold Weather Package to contemplate). The 2012 Hyundai Equus begins at $59,000 for the Signature trim, and hits $66,000 with the Ultimate trim. The Mercedes-Benz CLS prices bump up another $10k to these mentioned choices.

Activity & Performance Ability: In one word: quick. Marque characteristics of the supercharged 3-liter are a highly responsive throttle that delivers at dead stops and high-speed acceleration. The Audi Drive Select allows for a personalized throttle feel with controllable Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual settings; my only quip is that it is hard to settle into one single preference. The drive can also get a bit intense on those larger wheels in Dynamic mode. Another highly likeable quality when contemplating cars of this caliber could very well be the efficient 22 miles-per-gallon.