23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7

Black Audi A7 car.

I leased my first Audi A7 in 2017.  I still have it.

It’s without a doubt the best car I’ve ever owned.  I do not regret getting it ever.  In fact, I still enjoy driving it each and every time.

When I went car shopping in 2017 I had no intention of getting an Audi.  I test drove BMW (4 and 5 series), Mercedes, and Lexus.  I would have ordered a Tesla Model 3, but I was told it would take well over a year to get it and I needed a car ASAP.

Since almost every dealership is at our local auto mall, Audi was across the street from BMW.  Finally, I decided to check out Audi.  I knew they were popular so I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  I started with the A4.  Loved it.  Tried the S3. Loved it.  Then I couldn’t resist the A7.  I knew instantly that was the car for me.  I signed the lease then and there.

Even though Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was put in jail, I still love this car company and the cars it makes.  Here are my thoughts and experiences for anyone thinking about buying or leasing an Audi A7.

1. It doesn’t have the roar you get with the S or RS series

Audi S7 rear view.
Audi S7 rear view.

When my A7 was getting serviced, I got an S5 loaner.  That sucker had a really great roar to it that the A7 lacks.  The A7 is a more refined car; kind of like a high-performance sedan.  If you want the roar with a sportier look, get an S-series.  If you want full out gritty fast, get the RS.  If you’re a baller, get the R8.

2. Nevertheless, for an A-series it’s fast with outstanding torque

For me, it’s fast enough.  When I hit the gas, it rips off really well.  I particularly like the torque.  The tires don’t spin out.  Instead, the wheels hug the pavement and it slingshots out really nicely.

3. Two new tires cost me $1,000

About 6 months in, I ran over a nail.  I delayed too long getting it repaired so I needed a new tire. I was told (probably sold) that since one rear tire would be new, the other should be as well.  Those 2 new tires cost me $1,000 ($500 apiece).  I hope I don’t have to pay for any other parts.

4. With a lease, you can pre-pay all services (and save big)

If it doesn’t sustain any more damage, I won’t be out of pocket for annual services because when I leased it I was given the option to pay up-front for all 4 services (one per year).  By doing so, I was told I was saving 50% on the service cost over four years.  So far I’m happy I bit the financial bullet then because now I just have to pay the lease.

5. The dash has a lot going on

Interior photo of an Audi A7 dashboard.
Interior photo of an Audi A7 dashboard.
Audi A7 center controls - seat warmer, temperature controls and fan controls.
Audi A7 center controls – seat warmer, temperature controls and fan controls.
Audi A7 steering wheel.
Audi A7 steering wheel.
Audi A7 center consol controls
Audi A7 center consol controls

I’ve only scratched the surface playing around with settings and features.  You can have seat and side mirror pre-sets and there’s a huge jumble of buttons, display options, drive options (sport, smoother, etc.).  I really should sit down with it in the garage one day, but now that I’m half-way through the lease, I doubt that’s going to happen.

6. You need to put in 91+ octane gas

Not only do high-performance cars cost more to buy or lease, but they also cost more to operate.  Parts cost more and so too does gas.  They told me I must put in 91+ octane gasoline.  Well, that adds a few cents per liter which adds up.

7. It’s a bit of a gas guzzler

Not only do I have to pay for the most expensive gas, but I can’t say the A7 is fuel-efficient.  It rips through a tank pretty fast; much faster than our Toyota Venza.

8. It handles like no other car I’ve had or test-drove

Audi A7 menu for different drive types.
Audi A7 menu for different drive types.

I haven’t driven a Porsche, Ferrari or any other really high-end sports cars so I can’t compare, but given that I love how the A7 handles.  The steering for me is perfect.  Not too soft and not too hard (I found the BMW steering stiff).  It’s smooth but has great control.

It also handles corners really nicely.  I’ve never put it to its limit (I’m not a thrill-seeker), but I can definitely punch it around corners faster than our Venza or other cars I’ve owned.

I like the Dynamic setting (see photo above) which handles best at faster speeds and accelerates the fastest.

9. The backseat is pretty roomy – I take my young kids in it all the time

I love, love, love the fact the A7 has a roomy backseat.  I considered for about 5 seconds getting a 2-seater.  Actually, when I got the A7 I didn’t intend to drive our young kids around in it.  However, now we take it more often than not with the whole family.  They’re messy, but it’s not bad.  I love being able to drive it more often.

10. There are seat warmers in the back too

Backseat control panel for Audi A7.
Backseat control panel for Audi A7.

I think most cars offer this, but it’s good to know your backseat passengers aren’t treated as second-class passengers.  They have their own seat warmers and can control their temperature settings.

11. It’s a bit of a head-turner

While Audi is super popular in our neck of the woods, for some reason the A7 is not the Audi of choice.  The A4 and A8 are popular as is the Q5 and Q7.  I like that it’s not all that commonplace.  While it certainly doesn’t garner the stares a Lambo gets, people often come up to me and ask about the car.

12. The Audi GPS is terrible – use your smartphone

Audi A7 GPS navigation map.
Audi A7 GPS navigation map.

Pfffft is all I have to say about the Audi GPS system. It looks cool but trying to input locations was impossible. I tried using it early on and it drove me nuts.  Garmin is 10x better.  Connecting my iPhone and using Maps on that is 50x better.

13. It connects with your smartphone which is awesome

As stated above, you can connect your smartphone via USB which is awesome.  I can play Apple Music, Spotify, access Maps and listen/send text messages.  It charges the phone at the same time.

14. Reply to text messages via voice

I use this all the time.  Replying and sending a text message via voice is super easy.  It’s hands-free so legal (in our area).  I love this functionality because it’s so much easier than talking on the phone.

15. You’ll love the keyless entry

The key has a sensor so that the person with a key on their person does not need to unlock it.  You simply pull on the door handles and it unlocks.  It’s so convenient; I don’t have to fumble around in my pocket for keys anymore.

16. The hatch trunk can carry quite a bit of stuff

As you can see, it’s a Sportback, but it’s a long Sportback so you get a full-sized trunk.  It’s not as roomy as an SUV or crossover cargo space, but I’ve hauled large suitcases in there with no problem.

17. The push-button trunk is super convenient

Speaking of the trunk, again you don’t need a key to open it.  To close it, you just push a button and it closes.  No more pulling down the trunk.

That said, the key sensor can be a nuisance.  Sometimes when walking around the car, it triggers the trunk to open automatically.

18. The side mirrors fold in

One day I had just pulled out of my downtown office parking garage and some guy was honking at me.  I finally saw him as he was indicating for me to roll down my window.  I did so thinking there was some emergency; he then tells me my mirrors are folded in.

That’s it, I thought.  All the alarm for that?  He was right, but it’s not a big deal.  It’s not like my tire is blown or I left my wallet on the roof (I’ve done that too).

Anyway, one really nice feature is being able to automatically fold the side mirrors in.  I park in a lot of parking garages which are tight, so this definitely saves me the risk of smashing a side mirror up (I’ve done that as well in a previous car by backing into an underground garage support column).

19. The beeps from sensors can get really annoying especially in parking garages

Speaking of underground garages, the A7 has exterior sensors that spot cars in your blind spot and senses when you’re getting too close to something like a wall.  Overall it’s a fabulous safety feature and has saved my bacon a few times, but in parking lots where there are objects close by, sometimes it constantly beeps even if no real risk.

I don’t mind a soft beep, but by default, it’s a loud, shrill beep that drives me nuts.

20. The rear camera is crisp, clear and super helpful

I’ve driven my share of rental cars with rear cameras to really appreciate the clarity and scope of the rear mirror on the A7.  Everything comes in crystal clear and it pans pretty wide and low so you pretty much see everything.  Audi nailed this feature really well.

21. I upgraded to black grill, racing tires and tinted windows (all worth it)

Front view black Audi A7 with black grill.
Front view black Audi A7 with black grill.

I never intended to spend this much when I started looking at cars.  The 5 series BMW would have cost less.  So too would the Mercedes and Lexus I checked out.  However, I loved this car above all others.  But then instead of going with the base package, before I knew it I upgraded to some premium features including Bose sound system (amazing), racing tires, tinted windows, and a black grill.  It all looks awesome and distinguishes my A7 from others so it’s money well spent.

22. I went with black but white looks good too

White Audi A7 sportback car.
White Audi A7 sportback car.

Black was definitely my preferred color but a neighbor got a white A7 and I have to admit it’s a great color too.

23. The temperature controls and fan controls are really annoying

Audi A7 Temperature Controls.
Audi A7 Temperature Controls.

You must push a button and then dial each side for both temperature control and fan control.  It takes twice as much effort and time as on other cars where you just turn the dial.  This is a daily annoyance because I’m constantly fiddling around with temperature and the fan.

Will I get another one in 2 years?

I’m coming up to the halfway point in my lease.  Will I get another one?

I probably would get the A7 again in a heartbeat, but I’m also excited about the electric vehicle options coming to the market.  I hear BMW and Audi are rolling out electric vehicles so I’ll test drive those.  Hopefully, Tesla has its manufacturing problems resolved by then.

I’ll also be tempted to test drive the RS 7 which is an absolute monster.

It’s hard to beat the A7 though.  I love that I can have my kids in the back; Porsche doesn’t offer that except for the Panamera.  The other models might have a backseat, but it looks really tight.  Maybe I’ll test drive the Panamera.

10 Gift Ideas for Mechanics (Under $20, $50, $100 and $200)

13 Types of RVs (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun