By on December 16, 2013

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If horsepower is the charismatic star running back, torque is the less heralded offensive lineman. Horsepower gets most of the attention while torque goes about doing the grunt work. Heck, most people don’t even know whether it’s measured in foot-pounds or pound feet. It does, however, get the grunt work done. You wouldn’t imagine a car that weighs over two tons and has but 240 horsepower as the Audi A7 S Line Quattro TDI does to be able to achieve a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds. That’s because the 3 liter turbo diesel V6 also has 428 lb-ft of torque, most of it available in just about every driving situation. 

 

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The base 2014 A7 TDI quattro is almost $67,000 and this car had about 15K worth of toys added. As the owner of a Chevy Volt once told me, nobody who is buying a $40,000 car is looking to save money on fuel. That literally goes more than double for a car that stickers out to be just shy of $82,000. The TDI A7 is not about great fuel mileage, though the figures are better than respectable, I recorded 26.7 mpg over 490 miles of mostly suburban and urban driving, and 32.3 on a 40 mile jaunt on the Interstate with cruise control set to 79-80 mph. Considering that it’s a big, heavy car, the fuel economy is remarkable.

If people aren’t going to buy the A7 TDI for fuel economy, then why are they going to buy it? In a word, range. As a recent coast-to-coast “record” drive showed, you can make great time on the road if you don’t have to stop to refuel. While I don’t think that most A7 TDI buyers will care that their car has annual fuel costs within spitting distance of those of the Dodge Dart I drove a couple of months ago, they will be interested in another figure on the A7 TDI’s Monroney sheet: 38 mpg highway. The A7 TDI’s fuel tank holds 19.2 gallons of low sulfur diesel fuel,  so that means that with a theoretical range of almost 730 miles, while you aren’t going to challenge any of Louie Mattar’s records, you will be able to make many trips non-stop. That’s enough range to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back without having to stop for fuel, and still have plenty of surplus fuel to tool around Vegas while you’re there.

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Not having to stop as often for fuel and the minor inconvenience of finding a gas station with a diesel pump (2 of the 5 filling stations within a mile of my house have diesel fuel) are the primary reminders that you’re driving with a compression ignited engine. Sure, if you’re a gearhead, you can tell that the engine has a distinctive diesel clatter, and the tachometer redlines at 4,800 rpm (when warm, when cold it’s 4,200), but for the most part it drives completely normally. Normally, that is, for a car with that much torque.

There is another reminder that you’re driving a diesel, the A7′s stop-start system. Any stop-start system is going to be noticeable. Combustion engines shake when started and stopped, but diesels shake a little more, so when the stop-start system is activated and its algorithms call for shutting the engine off (it’s a complicated algorithm and I was never really sure when it would decide to shut off the motor) you get reminded that the A7 has a TDI under the hood. My guess is that the people who buy the A7 TDI want a little bit of a reminder that they’re driving a diesel so they won’t find that shake and rattle objectionable when they’re getting ready to roll.

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Once in motion, all of that torque brings to mind words like effortless. You can accelerate from just about any prudent speed and even some imprudent ones (at least on public roads) as well. There’s no noticeable turbo lag, the longest you have to wait to go faster is when the ECU and eight speed Tiptronic transmission decide you need more leverage. The gearbox drops a cog or two and at that point the word evoked is locomotive.

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The test car is an all-wheel-drive Quattro version in S Line trim. At first I thought the steering was a bit too easy driving around town but then I found the dynamic settings in the MMI infotainment system. You can select comfort, automatic, dynamic i.e. sport mode, and custom settings. Most of the time I drove in dynamic mode. The ride was stiffer than the Jaguar XF and XJ that I’ve tested, but not uncomfortably so. It handles well, though it’s a bit too large to say that it’s tossable. I generally didn’t drive anywhere near the limit, but while the steering is precise, and while it does have AWD, it’s still an FWD based Audi and it typically understeers a bit. When you do try to hang the back end out a bit, or enter a turn a little hot, the nannies are there to keep things on an even keel.

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The was one flaw with the A7 TDI’s driving manners. It is sensitive to road grooves and expansion strips between lanes. The way the front tires grabbed expansion strips was so noticeable that I checked the tire pressures and they were indeed about 6 psi low on both fronts. Pumping them up to sticker specs made a big difference, but the A7 still danced a little on grooved pavement. I discussed this with our reviews editor, Alex Dykes, since he drives many more cars than I do every year, and Alex says that it’s something one finds with some European cars and that he’s seen the phenomenon come and go depending on the brand and model of tires used. The A7 TDI as tested was shod with 265/35 R20 Dunlop SP Winter Sport tires. I can’t tell you how sticky they are in snow or how well the Quattro system works in slippery conditions because though it was pretty cold out on Belle Isle taking the photos, we didn’t get any snow in Detroit till after they picked up the car.

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Visibility was outstanding, helped by small triangular glass lights in the rear sail panels. Forward visibility was good and at night it was outstanding. Audi has been using lighting as a distinguishing feature both in terms of brand identifying LED layouts as well as technology. They’re currently trying to get approval for an intelligent lighting system that reacts to road and traffic conditions. In the meantime, the all-LED headlights on the A7 are the best I’ve ever used. Not only do they do an exceptionally good job lighting the path ahead when the road is straight, the combination of cornering lights and main headlamps that actively steer means that when the road curves, it will be well lit as well.

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Other electronic gizmos worked just fine. The car has a collision avoidance system that also works with the adaptive cruise control so if you have the cruise activated, you simply cannot rear end someone. I tested it a couple of times, with my foot hovering over the brake pedal of course. I’m still undecided about autonomous automobiles, but the last collision I was in was my fault, rear ending someone while looking for an building address and I suppose it’s nice to know that the car will pay attention when you don’t. Still, it’s kind of eerie. The same braking effect is applied if you put the cruise into coast mode for longer than just a few seconds so out on the highway you practically won’t ever have to touch any pedals with your feet.

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The MMI system, which uses a pop-up non-touch screen for a display and actual buttons and wheels to navigate, is intuitive enough that I didn’t have to RTFM even once to figure things out. Speaking of the pop-up display, since Jaguar came out with  shifter knobs that rise and HVAC vents that spin open upon power up, other luxury automakers have appreciated the need for a little theater, so not only does the A7′s infotaiment screen popup (it can be retracted if you want a smooth dashboard while driving), but also the tweeters for the Bang & Olufsen branded audio system rise up below the A pillars.

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One thing that I didn’t like about the MMI system was that every time you shut off the car, it would default back to automatic ride mode. Also, and this is true about the Chrysler 300 S I drove not long ago, if you’re paying for the S badge on the side, I think you sort of expect an S button on the console, not have to use the infotainment settings. Another feature that I don’t like is how addresses are entered into the navigation system. You use the MMI knob to rotate through the alphabet and then select letters. It’s a bit awkward, like using a vintage Dymo labelmaker to enter data.

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The way the MMI knob and buttons work on the infotainment system is a bit more intuitive. The audio system it controls is another feature of the car that is outstanding. Since Audi still offers a CD drive in addition to memory card slots and other audio sources, I popped in one of the discs in Frank Zappa’s Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar box set and the closely mic’d percussion on Stucco Homes sounded great. It’s quite possibly the best car audio system that I’ve sampled, but then for the $5,900 it costs, you can buy some very nice home audio gear, so it should sound good. Surprisingly, considering all the inputs, it was disappointing that I couldn’t find a standard 1/8″ stereo jack or a USB power tap. My Android phone’s audio easily hooked up with the car, though the phone side of things was more iffy and sometimes it could not initialize the phone.

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The surroundings for that good sound and theater are luxurious, if not sumptuous. The dashboard and door panels are a symphony of textures and a subtle use of color: leather grain (both real and polymer based), brushed aluminum, dark grey plastic, and wood with exposed grain. You want to run your hand across it all. The upholstery is black leather, so the light colored headliner brightens up what might otherwise be a dark cabin. Fit and finish was perfect, but this A7 was part of a group of TDI powered cars that Audi designated for the press fleet, all of them white, with large “Clean Diesel TDI” decals on the flanks, so while the fleet management company folks told me they weren’t doing anything special, it’s possible that the A7 had received some special detailing. The seats were very comfortable, no complaints from my bad back. In back there’s plenty of leg room, but with the “four door coupe” roofline, anyone over 5’9″ tall will probably get to know that headliner well. That sexy rear end comes at a price.

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Speaking of which, while I’m loathe to use the term “four door coupe” that automakers seem to love, there is a term that Audi seems to be reluctant to use: hatchback. Yes, that sexy rear end is a hatch. A very large and heavy hatch. Not surprisingly, Audi stashed a power lift/close button inside the jamb. The struts needed to hold up the large hatch are so stiff that if you try to close it manually, you’ll end up using much of your weight.

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As mentioned, the ride is comfortable, though windnoise from the back part of the car was noticeable to both myself and a passenger. I kept checking to see if I’d left the glass moonroof open.

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I also thought that I once left the hatch open, but it turns out I was just confused by the pictogram to activate the rear decklid spoiler. Normally it works automatically and will pop up at higher highway speeds (on a brief burst on an onramp I saw it in the rear view mirror somewhere north of 85 mph), but I confess to some automotive douchebaggery once I figured out how to raise it manually, but only when I was in front of Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs.

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Everything was so good on the A7 TDI that I was left looking for things to criticize and you’ll note that most of the negative comments are for minor things like how tThe trip computer that displays in the middle of the gauge package could have more information. The instrument panel, by the way, is very nicely laid out, with that computer display flanked by round tachometer and speedometers, which are cleverly angled towards the driver.

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At the top of this post I said that the A7 TDI is almost too perfect. I don’t know if it’s confirmation bias from knowing that it is a German car, but there was almost a clinical way in which is does everything so, so well. The latest version of the Forza racing video game/sim avoids the so-called “uncanny valley” effect in a lot of digital art and animation in part by ensuring that surfaces are not perfect, just as real surfaces in the real world have imperfections. I suppose that it’s a good thing that we live in an age where cars can be so good that you almost miss the endearing imperfections of earlier ages.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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81 Comments on “Review: 2014 Audi A7 Quattro TDI...”


  • avatar

    The 3D videos are awesome. And so is the plethora of photos you took!

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I’m still not sure what the case is for cars like this in the U.S. (where diesel fuel is usually the same price — or more — as premium gasoline). At the price of this car, the cost of fueling it is borderline irrelevant.

    And I would still wager that maintenance on the engine is going to be more expensive than it would be on one of Audi’s gasoline engines. Even major truck engine manufacturers like Navistar and Cummins have had their share of issues with diesel engines that have been “de-smogged.” The predicate for old adage that diesels were more reliable than gasoline engines because they were simpler is just no longer true. Clean diesel involves exhaust gas recirculation, control over the timed pulses of the fuel injection, and diesel particulate filters on the exhaust side that work, in part by injecting fuel in the hot exhaust stream to burn off the carbon trapped in the filter. This is pretty elaborate stuff, and it works best in constant load applications like an over-the-road tractor pulling a heavy trailer. Grocery-getter duty (which is how most cars are used most of the time) is not the optimum application for this technology.

    As for long range . . . well the driver needs to carry a 1-qt. milk bottle for on-the-road relief . . . or else be very careful of his coffee intake.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      The case for the car is two-fold: profit margins and credibility. Audi TDI caters to a small, but growing niche market that will pay a fairly substantial premium for diesel cars. It also helps burnish their image as a ‘green’ manufacturer via alternative fuels.

      What we discount here is just how much people HATE stopping for gas. My wife and her friends will literally get down to the last drop of fuel before going to the gas station because they loathe it so much. I don’t understand it, but if my wife could fuel a car and drive two weeks or more without stopping at a pump she would GLADLY pay the premium.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Fueling a diesel is kind of messy and smelly (I owned one 30-some years ago). I think a lot of people would trade more frequent fill-ups for not having to handle diesel oil.

        I was referring to the case for the car from the buyer’s point of view, not the business case for making it. Because of the heavy European subsidy for diesels, the business case for Audi to make the car is pretty clear . . . so they might was well try and sell them in the U.S., too. That and the fact that sales of diesels improve the company’s CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        Yep, it’s nice to be able to plugin in the garage and avoid gas stations apart from beverages and lottery tickets :)

        • 0 avatar
          AustinOski

          I agree. Not having to stop for gas is a huge deal for some. We switched my wife from a BMW 5 series wagon to a Leaf (no mean feat, on my part!).

          About three weeks later, she had to put gas in one of our ICE’s because I took the Leaf. She called me *furious* because she had to stop and put gas in the car. Oh, the horror!

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Modern diesels are definitely more complicated than the old VW/Audi group IDI diesels and even the TDIs from 10 years ago. This car would use Urea because of its size, so that’s another consideration at the 10000 mile oil change intervals. Diesel exhaust fluid/Adblue is relatively cheap, but it’s still something that needs to be added unless you want to drive around in limp mode. Seems to me like these TDIs will also help Audi’s CAFE numbers, so that’s probably one of the main reasons they’re finally offering them in the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        So why is that service chore any more onerous than refilling the windshield washer fluid? Certainly not a reason to buy this car.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          Well, I can refill the washer fluid at home for a couple bucks. Refilling the urea is probably going to require a trip to the dealer.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @darkwing, or the truck stop. They sell urea cheap and in volume.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            Yes Dan, the urea refilling is becoming a non-issue. I was listening to Red Eye Radio last night (target audience: truckers) and one truck stop chain now offers a separate urea pump at the island, so the driver can swipe their card once and purchase both diesel and urea without having to go inside and buy a separate bottle of it.

          • 0 avatar
            AustinOski

            Why spend $25 for some Urea when you have the privilege of paying the dealer $100 or $200?

            Oh, that’s right, no free latte.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            It’s not the urea that’s the issue; it’s the hoops (rings?) Audi potentially makes you jump through. I wouldn’t be surprised if a code reset was required.

            Doesn’t Mercedes require something obnoxious when refilling?

      • 0 avatar

        Yep–there’s a urea hole on this one. We made some crude jokes about relieving ourselves there when we had one of these to test out.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “I’m still not sure what the case is for cars like this in the U.S.”

      Torque?

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        As demonstrated by the popularity of large displacement V-8s in the U.S., beginning in the 1950s, low rpm torque is a wonderful thing, especially when the engine was couple to early-generation two and three-speed automatic transmissions.

        Today, a turbocharged gasoline engine can replicate that feeling; and the use of 6, 7, 8 or 9 speed automatic transmissions allows the engine to be operated in its “sweet spot” over a much larger rpm range. For example, my 11-year old Saab turbo, with a 5-speed automatic, can easily run from zero to 65 mph without ever exceeding 2300 rpm.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Waingrow

          What you say sounds logical, but my personal experience with my 2009 Audi A4, and my now 2012 Golf TDi, is altogether different. The Audi was fast, but you had to make a lot of fuss to get a lot of shove. The diesel is altogether different. You almost never downshift in order to get a big surge of acceleration. I have to say that the Audi never once reminded me of the old V-8s I used to own.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Give Audi’s TFSI 3.0L a try for comparison! I was driving a B8 S4 in sixth gear up a 6% grade at 70 mph with over 800 pounds of passengers and luggage, and it was able to quickly and effortlessly accelerate to 90 mph without a downshift.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      For most automakers, diesels don’t make much sense for the US market.

      VW is an exception, though. The company has a well-defined niche, and it can do reasonably well by serving it. The sales aren’t substantial, but they do help to define the brands and to distinguish them from the competition.

    • 0 avatar
      Trend-Shifter

      @DC Bruce
      I would say that at least in Audi world I agree with you.

      I rode around in an Audi A3 diesel in Italy and thought “I might want one”.
      I liked being low to the ground and having a firm ride. The diesel option could have made the fuel economy and long term reliability the means to justify the purchase.

      Then I went online and researched problems with Audi A3 diesels and there seemed to be multiple issues even under the 100,000 mile mark.

      I can put up with issues on my 84 & 87 Audi’s, but not a new one.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      DC Bruce – - -

      There’s also the urea-solution injection into the exhaust stream to help clean up the effluent.

      ————–

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      DC Bruce – – -

      There’s also the urea-solution injection into the exhaust stream to help clean up the effluent.

      ————–

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Doesn’t Audi’s MMI system allow you to draw letters and numbers on the surface of the knob? Or am I thinking of some other car?

    Modern turbo-diesels really are amazing. Effortless performance with decent economy. They really are not about saving money though, more about that effortless drive.

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      The MMI does allow you to trace letters/numbers on a pad on the console. It’s pretty cool but the best system is still the voice activation.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      too damn quiet, though.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s quieter than I expected (the same impression I got when I first heard Audi’s diesel powered LeMans prototypes running at speed), but the Audi V6 TDI can growl in a not unpleasant manner. I did a 0-60 run with the windows down:

        youtube.com/watch?v=14cxglfItO0

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          The diesel engine noise may be “not unpleasant” but the naturally aspirated version’s engine IS pleasant.

          And that would give me another reason not to buy this car. I respect the technology and engineering prowess here, but the diesel application just doesn’t compute given how fuel supplies here in America work.

          Different case in Europe.

  • avatar
    Gene B

    I have a 2013 VW Passat TDI with the 6-Speed Manual, now with 29k miles on it. This is an amazing car. I regularly get 750-830 miles on a tank of diesel. My avg. MPG is 46-47 with one tank at 51.5. Plus I don’t drive it easy. I’m at 75-85 on the highway most of the time. The engine is quiet and refined, so I am sure the Audi is better – but I can’t imagine it’s THAT much better. Plus, no quality problems to speak of…and I paid less than 25k for it.

    In contrast, last week I rented a BMW 320d in Germany, a diesel wagon with a 6 speed stick. The Holy Grail! I put 1500 miles on the car – yet I was very disappointed in it. Poor and lifeless electric steering plus a loud engine with high wind noise ruined the experience – I was surprised to find it worse than my VW at double the price! Plus, the huge turning circle made parking in the small European parking spaces a chore. There were no special quality materials to justify the $50k price. The BMW magic is gone! It did make 220 km/h, though, although it was LOUD.

    Another contrast – the trip before I had the Skoda Superb wagon with the DSG and identical 140 hp TDI engine as my Passat..it was superior to that BMW despite being larger…39 mpg with many stints up to 210 kmh.

    Bottom line..VW/Audi is ahead of everyone else with their Diesel technology, which is why they are leading worldwide in sales growth. Most of the cars sold in Germany have these engines…over there, the gas engine is nearly dead. If you want to see how good these cars are, get them with the diesel engine. You won’t regret it.

    • 0 avatar

      Sad to read this. I rented the e90 two years ago and loved it. The stop start system was annoying but defeatable. I just read a lot of f30 posts where owners are explaining away the anodyne steering so i guess i can toss my fond memory of the e90 320d. Bummer.

      Oh and diesel is the same price as midgrade in most places. There are silly spot prices but you learn where the good diesel stations are. Driving my 2012 tdi is like a torquey 2 bbl big block if you recall the old school v8s. Curse you F 30 !!!! Oh well. There are plenty of e 90 still out there but the 335d is showing strong resale.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    My, how the Lexus’ spindle-maw has made those big Audi grills look pleasant by comparison.

    Interesting hatch/trunk lid.

  • avatar
    SportyClassic

    As much as I like Audis in principle in practical sense I can think of better options for 82K. Diesel is a PITA and 240 HP is acceptable for me but not really fitting for a “performance” vehicle.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Volkswagen Group’s TDI engines *are* world-renowned, and this would be my pick if I were in the market for a car like the A7, as I love low-RPM torque and hate stopping for fuel. Meanwhile, how long before VW Group puts a TDI engine in the Bentley Continental and charges a $15K premium for it over the W12 engine?

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      do they have one powerful enough to move that barge?

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Well, the Continental GT seems to have a slightly lower curb weight than the Audi Q7, which is motivated with some amount of urgency by the optional 3.0-liter TDI (probably the same one that’s in this A7). And if that fails, Volkswagen could always resurrect the monster-truck engine that was the V10 TDI, which did see its way into the first-gen Touareg.

        • 0 avatar
          Johannes Dutch

          The 6.0 liter V12 TDI was the King, it was in the Audi Q7 not that long ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I didn’t know there was ever a V12 TDI. Impressive! I have to think all of the V-shaped engines are modular, and that they just add on 2 cylinders per one liter.

            But a proper V12—of any sort—in a Bentley? That would put the brand too close to its estranged sister, Rolls-Royce…

          • 0 avatar
            Johannes Dutch

            Well Mr. Williams, you were close ! I just read that the VAG Group has developed a brand new 544 hp V10 TDI engine.

            http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/the-audi-nanuk-quattro-concept-pumps-544-hp-from-a-v10-tdi/

            In a more recent (Dutch) article I read that Bentley is testing this engine right now. Audi and Porsche (Cayenne) will use it in the near future.

  • avatar
    christophervalle

    A7 TDI = $67K + $15K = $82K, and…you had to check “the tire pressures”? Seems like one of those B&O tweeters could have been set out to take care of that. How can the TPM system not “red alert” you on 6 psi low?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      The Audi TPMS is there to warn you of an unexpected tire problem, not to compensate for general neglect. It can’t tell if all tires are a little low. It uses the wheel speed sensors to compare rotational speeds rather than using disposable electronic pressure sensors.

  • avatar
    ash78

    This car would have been absolutely fantastic in the US about 5 years ago — when the future of fuel prices was uncertain, gas was all over the place, but diesel was fairly stable. Typical VW timing, like Rainier Wolfcastle doing standup. Cue thatsthejoke.jpg

    “the all-LED headlights on the A7 are the best I’ve ever used”

    Look out, ZOMBIES AHEAD! Oh, it’s just pedestrians under LED lighting.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If you want great torque and acceleration, high fuel economy, a beautiful shape and sport luxury, buy a Tesla Model S for the same price. Most people do.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    As a former owner of two TDIs, I reject the author’s premise that the diesel’s extended range is the big draw. Nobody wants to drive 700 miles at one sitting, unless they’ve personally mastered a fluid-free metabolism of their own! And while lower fuel costs might not matter to the Q7 buyer’s bottom line, bragging about their MPGs always is enjoyable. I certainly looked forward to that inevitable question.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    P.S. It’s a nice-looking car, or just the same damn aero thing, depending on your outlook. But posting nearly 100 photos of it doesn’t do anyone any good. Spare the electrons and spend a little time editing, please.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I think of the A7 as a prettier Panamera. It’s not that I think the Panamera is ugly; it’s just that the A7 is *so* much better-looking, and both cars use the same basic shape…

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, no. It IS that the Panamera is ugly. That car makes me wish the VW group had left big sedans and wagons up to Audi instead. I’d have rather had more high-performance Avants brought over than the goofy Panamera. Audi’s big fast things are nice. The Panamera just looks like you left a fourth grader alone with photoshop and the image of a 911 for too long.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Lovely car, nice review.

    I respect the technical achievement here, but I just don’t see the point of a diesel – even a great one – in a car like this. Let’s face it – most people who can drop 80 large on a luxury car probably aren’t going to be doing many cross country cannonball runs – they’ll take a plane. And they could care less about fuel economy, particularly given that the better mpg numbers are offset by higher diesel fuel prices.

    I’d opt for the naturally aspirated version (which is far from inefficient) and save the money.

    Awesome car, otherwise…

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “I respect the technical achievement here, but I just don’t see the point of a diesel – even a great one – in a car like this.”

      You know those Jetta/Golf TDI owners who consider themselves “tech savvy” because they’re the first people on the planet to discover this “diesel” thing? This Audi is what they move up to later on.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Actually. I moved from a 2009 Audi to a 2012 Golf TDI. I guess that makes me, what? PS: I like the Golf more than the Audi. Perhaps I’m doing something wrong here. Await instructions.

        • 0 avatar
          Marko

          You might be on to something. The VW salesman I spoke to called the Golf TDI “the best car VW makes”. He also said its buyers are the ones who do their research. Even Consumer Reports likes it, and Car and Driver still put the Mk6 Golf/GTI on their 10Best list despite essentially being out of production!

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “Actually. I moved from a 2009 Audi to a 2012 Golf TDI. I guess that makes me, what?”

          Some guy who isn’t the type of person I’m talking about. It was an offhand swipe at people I’ve run into on various message boards; they like to crow about being “tech geeks” because they have an iPod iPod Touch iPhone iPad MacBook iMac and believe diesel didn’t exist before VW made their TDI Jetta.

          You know, morons.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    “most people don’t even know whether it’s measured in foot-pounds or pound feet”

    Math alert!

    A multiplied by B is the same as B multiplied by A

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      God bless the commutative law of multiplication.

    • 0 avatar
      NeilM

      Chicago Dude writes: “Math alert! A multiplied by B is the same as B multiplied by A”

      True, but this isn’t a math question as such.

      The units for both torque and work are equivalent to force x distance. In order to distinguish between them, torque is by convention properly expressed as the pound-foot, and work as the foot-pound. Of course we all know they’re as often as not used interchangeably.

      The SI (metric) system handily takes care of that problem by expressing torque as Newton-metres and work as Joules.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Ronnie, get off the island before nightfall. And never, EVER, use the bathrooms.

    • 0 avatar

      It was mid-afternoon on a cold, grey late November day. Besides the casino, fountain and Detroit skyline making good backdrops for photography, and the chance to drive on parts of a road course race track (if you look closely, you can see the red and white curbing in the background of a couple of the pics) there’s another reason to take a test car to Belle Isle.

      Just before I got the A7, there was a press event for next year’s Detroit Grand Prix, held Belle Isle. One of the DetNews folks, I think it was Henry Payne, got a ride in a C7 with Castroneves (I think) and he mentioned how it was possible to hit 100 mph on the Belle Isle bridge.

      It’s nice to know, for the sole purpose of doing a comprehensive review of course, where one can do a little high speed driving without risking others’ safety or one’s driver’s license.

      The MacArthur Bridge is about 2,000 feet between the ramps, two lanes in each direction, very little traffic, no place for cops to sit, and you can see it from end to end.

      I can’t personally verify that one can do a scoot to 100 mph on the Belle Isle bridge. I never saw the ton on the speedo that day. However, when I say that it’s highly likely that the A7 TDI is capable of doing 0-95-0 runs on the bridge with plenty of safety margin for cars waiting at the light on Jefferson, you can probably believe me.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      Eh, during the warmer months I’m there every weekend using the model boat pond (or one of the larger lakes for the faster boats.). Granted I’m there from morning to mid afternoon but I’ve never run into trouble.

    • 0 avatar
      claytori

      I have frequently seen torque units kgf-m and the “SI” (sort of) equivalent daN-m.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I am an Audi owner and lover, however, I have mixed views on both the A7 and TDI.

    Abstractly, it is a great car in all respects with a fantastic engine.

    In reality, it seems like a something for people to get suckered into paying much more over the quite similar A6. But I love it, because it is very profitable for Audi and they can put that money into quality and R&D.

    Same with the TDI engine (in USA) when I got my Q7, I went with the gas engine. Why? It has all the power I need, and where I live diesel is close to or at a dollar more than premium gas in price.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Choices are good. You went with what worked best for you. Someone else might choose differently based on their usage and their preferences. Having a choice is a good thing.

      Yeah, the A7 is a more expensive variant of an A6 but I wouldn’t characterize people who purchase one as being suckered in. I’d say they purchased what they wanted. Svengalis need not apply.

      After all, plenty of people think that those who buy luxury cars, especially German luxury cars, aren’t too bright and are wasting their money.

      • 0 avatar
        CelticPete

        I agree. You are not a sucker if you spend extra to get in what you think is a better looking car. Nor are you a sucker if you spend extra to get super long range and lower fuel costs. Its not a choice that everyone would make – but its reasonable enough.

        It’s the same way with the A5 vs. the A4. The A4 is more practical and cheaper. But some people like the sexier look of the A5..

  • avatar
    blowfish

    start stop features do save fuel but not so sure for a diesel, as the engine will shake more upon starting till warmed up.

    Just talked to a dude who ran the transit buses for greater vancouver, he says the new smaller bus engines were kind of PITA, reason as they were not driven hard enough on the hwy, so the smog plugged up the EGR or exhaust, it needs the hwy speed and heat to make it run efficiently.
    Is kind of sad since the repair is way out of proportion.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    I’d prefer the 3.0 supercharged V6, but cool nonetheless.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    I have often wondered what happens to the these automatic rising-and-lowering spoiler when the car is coated with crusty ice and snow, the and owner just drives off, having cleared only a little spot on the front windshield to see out. What happens tot he little motor, much less the scratching of the paint and warping of the spoiler?

    ————————-

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    In Europe diesels are completely dominant on the market. If you want speed you should buy Audi A8 with a V8 diesel. It has 385 bhp and 627 lb-ft. 0-100 km/h in 4,7 sec.
    I have a Honda diesel. Nothing breaks with Honda diesels. If you only drive short distances(not good with many diesels), the engine has a program that take care of that so you don´t damage the engine.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    “The struts needed to hold up the large hatch are so stiff that if you try to close it manually, you’ll end up using much of your weight”

    Or is it maybe because Audi wants you to use the power feature? Sorta like the power sliding doors on minivans that you can’t really use manually. I’m pretty sure I had read somewhere that the hatch has been shown to cause issues with owners.

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    How are these modern diesels on arctic temps startups? A couple weekends ago we were at -35 C and there were not enough plug-ins for all the cars at the hotel. A few modern gassers struggled to life without the plug in but I did notice about 15 heavy rigs parked down the road out of action. All of them had their hoods flipped up and a diesel service truck trying to warm them up.

    A no start situation in the winter would kill the whole thing for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Buckshot

      The Honda is pretty new so i haven´t tried it at more than minus 5 C, but my old Hyundai diesel started at minus 20 C.

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      At those temperatures you need special diesel fuel (arctic diesel) or additives. Diesel flocculates at low temperatures. Back in the old days you added gasoline to the diesel (up to 1/5th if I remember correctly) to prevent that. If you do that now your injectors are gone.

      Modern (common rail) diesels also have fuel filters with a very fine texture, at very low temperatures these filters clog up sooner.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Not a problem using 0W oil, assuming the fuel is purchased locally and is appropriate for that climate.


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