We’ve been hearing about “coupes” like the four-door 2014 Audi A7 for years now, and we’re still perplexed. Try as they might, the Germans will never convince us that a coupe can have as many doors as a sedan. Nonetheless, the athletic A7 does a decent coupe impression from behind the wheel, and its sloping roof line admittedly brings old Mustang fastbacks to mind. We’re prepared to concede that “coupelike” is a fair term for Audi’s slinky head-turner.
Enhancing the A7’s appeal for 2014 is the arrival of an optional turbocharged diesel V6. Fuel economy is outstanding at 29 mpg in combined driving, but that’s only half the story. The A7 TDI can also scoot to 60 mph in an estimated 5.5 seconds, putting it in a virtual dead heat with the gasoline-powered A7 3.0T. It’s hard to think of a better combination of fuel economy and acceleration on the market today, and the TDI engine’s remarkable refinement makes it almost indistinguishable from a gas engine in normal operation. It will take a few years to recoup the TDI’s higher up-front cost, and you’ll likely have to grab an oily truck-stop pump handle from time to time, but for the most part, there’s really no downside to buying the diesel Audi A7.
The Audi seals the deal with a huge tailgate that opens to a wagon-large cargo area and rear seats that can fold down for loading antiques.
The A7 has a low roofline that is a significant 3-inch drop from the A8 above it. And while the A7 looks enormous, it is about half a foot shorter than the A8, as well.
The A7 does not have this fashion coupe space all to itself. It is nearly $20,000 cheaper than the Porsche Panamera that packs the same freaky hatchback luxury charm. The A7 also takes aim at the Mercedes-Benz CLS550 Shooting Brake and the BMW 650i Gran Coupe , making this one big German party.
None of these over-styled cars ever age very gracefully but the A7 is in the unenviable spot of being the oldest among this group of brand-new competitors. Don’t count out the $65,000 A7, as this battle has only just begun.