Audi S7 Sportback is a large five-door hatchback that’s the semi-sports model in the Audi 7-series range.

It’s aimed at those who want the practicality of having good access to the back seats, but at the same time want to enjoy flair in their driving.

It can carry camping – or more likely glamping – gear for four adults and still have room to spare to bring back, or a case or two of your favourite wine if you follow the ever more popular tours of the winery regions.

Perhaps hatchback isn’t quite the right description as the S7 is more a sleek five-door coupe than hatch. It’s low and wide and with a swooping roofline and all our neighbours and friends who saw it loved the shape. Compared to the A7 the Audi S7 has a blacked-out grille, a body kit and rides on 21-inch alloy wheels.

Our test car for the week was in a metallic white that certainly mates beautifully with the blacked-out areas.

The cabin is elegant its style, with Valcona covered leather seats. There are Nappa trimmings on the centre console, armrests and dashboard.

The front seats are well shaped and comfortable. The driver’s one has many adjustments to let you quickly tailor it to your exact needs. We experimented with different settings to suit city and open road driving and soon learned to get the best for the condition and desires.

While there are seats for three in the rear, the Audi S7 really is better suited to two back there. There’s good legroom in the back but there are times when the person sitting behind a tall driver will have to do a deal on which person get the most comfort.

The extra-large boot opening gives access to a spacious 525-litre cargo area. It’s comparatively shallow, understandably so due to the sleek styling.

The premium Bang & Olufsen sound system is excellent. It has 3D satellite navigation and a DAB+ radio. As we live in an area with tall apartment building the DAB+ struggled to get a signal too often. Which can be irritating.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is automatic and worked seamlessly.

Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6. There’s 331kW at 6700rpm and 600Nm over a huge spread from 1900 to 5000rpm. In other words, you have a torque plateau rather than peak so you have maximum grunt virtually all the time.

The Audi S7 has a five-star Australasian NCAP rating. It has autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and exit warning. The latter alerts the driver to vehicles or cyclists approaching from behind their door.

The big Audi seems to understand the driver’s desires as they change from moment to moment. The engine and transmission communicate with one another to come up with the ideal solution for what the driver needs.

Whether you want to potter along quietly with the family on board, or have a fang around your favourite hilly roads, or anything in between, the big Audi tailors itself to your commands.

This a large car so can feel a little cumbersome at times on very tight mountainous roads.

The ride from the air suspension is excellent, all the more so when you consider it’s on big diameter wheels and low profile tyres. Credit for this goes to the cooperation between Audi’s and tyre engineers which begins in the initial days of the design.

Fuel consumption during our test week ranged from just six to seven litres per hundred km on open country roads, through eight to 11 litres on hilly areas, with around town driving often going over 12 litres.

This is a largish semi sporting machine to car that like to be driven hard and to take part in unofficial drag races when the lights turn green. So, you could better these figures if you are that way inclined – but are you?

The S7 Sportback uses Audi’s Virtual Cockpit driver display which can be set up to in several ways. My preference is a large stylised tachometer, with large numbers for the speedo below it.

As usual my kicking under the rear of the S7 didn’t open the huge tailgate – but others had no troubleā€¦

Audi does good sporty model throughout its range and it comes as no surprise that the big S7 with its coupe lines makes a statement both in styling and the way it demands to be driven. You do have pay a fair bit more for the Sportback than the equivalent sedan – your choice.

What a looker! My first view of the Audi S7 was from our balcony looking down on it and it looked very sleek. When I finally got down to drive it, the side and front elevations did not disappoint. This really is a good-looking car.

The interior is gorgeous. It feels like what I imagine the cockpit on a luxurious private jet looks like.

The seats are very comfortable and even though this is a low-slung car they can be raised enough to get a good leg bend which alleviates pressure on my lower back, so I am happy.

The transmission, air conditioning, radio and navigation are all easy to figure out and use and in no time at all I was on my way.

I felt like I was sitting on a beautifully trained racehorse, but sadly, walking down a busy bridle path. I mean this car has some serious power. Is there anywhere I can use it? No. However, I am happy knowing it is there if I need it.

The intelligent cruise control was easy to figure out and selecting the distance behind the car in front was easy.

The ride was quiet and the vision afforded by the rear-view mirrors and windows was good.

There are three words that come to mind when I think of this Audi – sleek, sumptuous and strength.


Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi S7 Sportback 2.9-litre twin-turbo petrol five-door hatch)

Capacity: 2.894 litres
Configuration: V6
Maximum Power: 331 kW @ 5700 rpm
Maximum Torque: 600 Nm @ 1900 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.5 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 199 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic

Length: 4980 mm
Wheelbase: 2930 mm
Width: 1908 mm
Height: 1422 mm
Turning Circle: Not supplied
Kerb Mass: 2040 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: Not supplied litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Three years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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