The Audi A7 is based on the 4th generation A6, so they are using basically the same engines, technologies and they have almost identical interiors. The styling of the exterior is obviously completely different and this should be the reason to choose the more stylish and more uncommon A7 instead of the more casual A6.
The interior of this A7 is as I said almost the same as in the A6. So you can expect high quality and durable materials, still very nice and modern design with up to date multimedia system and good build quality.
The ergonomics is also great – you get a dashboard which is slightly inclined to the driver, a clear instrument cluster with a nice optional central display which can show everything including the navigation system map, and there is also the simple and clean MMI system control panel. After a little bit of practice you get used to this layout, so you can with no problem choose the right category or change the temperature easily with the physical buttons even while driving (which is something you can’t really do on a touchscreen).
+ The interior also more spacious than the BMW 6 series Gran Coupé and the Mercedes CLS from that time.
Body, paintjob, rust protection
The rust protection of this A7 is very good, so there shouldn’t be rust on the body panels. Although as usual, check properly for rust, for paint defects (mismatched paint on the different body panels) and check for inconsistent gaps between the body panels.
“It’s good to open the hood and check the fender screws – they have to be completely intact. If they have damaged paint then somebody removed or replaced the fenders for example because of a crash or just because of some scratches which had to be repainted. Also check the screws on the door hinges – the same thing applies to them as well.”
This A7 is overall a reliable car but some minor issues can occur here and there, so it’s good to check the following things more closely.
-Test that fancy navigation system screen, it should work without some jerking or strange noises.
-There can be problem with the fuel filler door actuator – in this case it will be hard to open the fuel filler door. You can of course replace the actuator, but some say that it’s enough to put some WD 40 on it.
-Then check the electronic rear spoiler which can be stuck and you will eventually see an malfunction massage as well. In this case the problem will be most probably with the spoiler module.
-The illuminated door sills are definitely nice, but there are cases when they simply fail – although they were most of the time replaced under the warranty.
-And check the rubber gaskets on the exterior mirrors for damage – it’s the rubber that you see when the mirrors are folded. If this seal is damaged then you can’t replace only the seal itself but you have to buy the whole mirror assembly which is not cheap.
It’s also very important to have the latest software updates which can fix various minor issues – for example with the bluetooth handsfree system, navigation system, radio, or even with the transmission.
This Audi is equipped with the frameless door windows which are nice, but they can be rarely not aligned properly. In this case you will see a bigger gap between the window and the body + you will hear excessive wind noise from them while driving.
“You should also as usual, check the all the window regulators, they should work smoothly without some kind of a grinding/squeaking noise.”
This car was available with:
-the regular standard suspension
-the optional lowered factory sport suspension
-or with the also optional adaptive air suspension (dynamic, comfort or lift modes)
The air suspension is most of the time reliable, but you should be prepared that after 10 years the chance of leaking air struts increases, so have that extra money for a genuine or aftermarket air strut if you are buying an older car. (the price for a new genuine air strut is around 1 147 € / $1 300)
Also keep in mind that the suspension height sensors can seize up over time – causing various creaking noises (eventually they can also break), so after buying it’s good to clean and re-grease them.
“Listen for any unusual knocking, clunking, squeaking or other noises from the suspension and steering. The control arm bushes can be worn mainly if the car was used on bad quality roads with bigger wheels.”
The standard equipment included some basic features, like the: manually adjustable front standard seats, basic navigation system with a smaller central display and without the touchscreen, a basic dual-zone air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, or cruise control.
The optional equipment included things like: better navigation system with a bigger screen and with a touchpad, 4-zone automatic AC, night vision, adaptive cruise control, electrically adjustable front massage seats which are heated and ventilated, heated electrically adjustable steering wheel, soft-close doors, the 14 speaker BOSE sound system or the even better 15 speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system and I could continue telling you the other features but it’s like a never ending list.
By the way, there are also 3 types of front seats:
-the standard seats – manually or fully electrically adjustable
-the sport seats – manually or fully electrically adjustable
-or the best, most comfortable comfort seats – which are fully electrically adjustable only
The facelifted version of this car was made from 2014. This facelift included brand new matrix headlights, faster MMI multimedia system with better graphics, new exterior and interior color combinations and some other minor updates.
All the petrol engines are most of the time reliable, so you can expect only regular issues. But since they do have direct injection you should use only high quality fuel, change the oil after max. 10 000 km, change the spark plugs after max. 60 000 km and use the car on longer distances too. By doing all this you can minimize carbon-build up or issues with faulty ignition coils.
The diesel engines should be very reliable at least to approximately 200 000 km. After this mileage point they can start to have problems with the injectors, timing chain mechanism, DPF filter, and don’t forget that there is also the adblue system which helps reducing the emissions. But it has it’s own sensors which can fail as well. So if you are buying this car which has more then 200 000 km then I would highly recommend having some extra money, just to be prepared to change these parts.
Lastly, there are rare cases of faulty Bosch CP4 high pressure fuel pumps in these engines. This HPFP can fail because of the different fuel used in the US or Eastern EU, and if it fails it will throw tiny metal particles in the fuel system and thus destroying the injectors. You can find more information about this problem in the used BMW X5 F15 review.
All the engines are equipped with timing chain. The timing chain tensioner on the diesel engines and sometimes on the petrol engines can be easily worn even before 100 000 km. So check for a short rattling noise at cold start. If you want to change the timing chain or the tensioner then the whole engine has to come out so be prepared to spend more than 3 000 – 4 000 € for this repair. However in this case there aren’t many catastrophic engine failures because of this rattle. Although if the chain rattle will become excessive over time and if the car has more than 200 000 km then there is a bigger chance that the loose chain skips and eventually destroys the engine.
This A7 can be equipped with the 7 speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, the 8 speed regular automatic transmission or with the Multitronic CVT gearbox.
–The 7 speed dual clutch S-tronic can have problems with the mechatronics unit, so definitely check the gearbox properly before buying-it should change gears smoothly without some kind of a strange noise, hesitation, slipping or shuddering. I its not changing gears properly then be prepared that you will need to have it repaired or rebuilt which can cost up to 3 500 € at an independent gearbox specialist. There are also cases when the owners do hear a strange humming noise from the gearbox area at a certain RPM and speed, so check for these noises which are mostly very hard to diagnose. On the other side they usually won’t do any harm, although who knows what they can cause in the future since if the noise is caused by a worn bearing somewhere deep in the gearbox then it’s definitely not the best thing in the world.
–The 8 speed regular automatic gearbox is most of the time reliable, as well as the Multitronic-with regular oil changes of course. So you should definitely change the oil regularly in all of the transmissions to minimize the possible issues.
“The car should ride smoothly without any vibrations at steady speed and while braking. Don’t forget to check for uneven tire wear too, which is the result of the incorrect wheel alignment or worn suspension parts.”
I hope that these information are helpful enough, if you have personal experience with this car, then write it into comments!