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This year's Audi line-up is nothing short of impressive, and there are many solid choices that will delight buyers. The 2021 Audi A7 is one of those options. With its bold physique and superior driving performance, Audi lovers will find that this luxury hatchback provides a lot of thrills.
But it comes at a steep cost. The A7 is a lot pricier than some of its competitors, especially as you move up the trim level ladder. The base trim starts out at just around $70,000 MSRP - a staggering price itself. Not to mention, some of the more budget-friendly rivals do better overall with performance and standard features. The A7 becomes even more expensive at the pump since the standard engine is a real gas guzzler.
As was the case last year, the 2021 Audi A7 is available in your choice of three trim levels: the Premium, Premium Plus, and the Prestige. There is an S7 version that skips over the Premium trim though and has a beefier price tag on the Premium Plus and Prestige. These sedans both have the same sloping roofline and athletic angles along the exterior body.
This year, Audi's interiors are getting amped up, and the A7 is not excluded from this. The A7 gets dual touchscreen displays (an 8.8-inch top infotainment display and a bottom 8.6-inch vehicle information display). You can, however, upgrade to a 10.1-inch top infotainment screen and 12.3-inch bottom vehicle info screen.
The A7 comes with a standard 3.0-L turbocharged V6, which generates 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. This amount of power makes for an enjoyable driving experience, especially when considering how quickly the A7 can accelerate. Of course, the S7 massively tops this with a beefy 444 hp output from its engine.
To get a better idea of whether the A7 might be a good fit for you, we will go over the available trim levels for 2021. Be sure to read through to the end where we will declare which trim level we think is the best purchase.
Compare the 2021 Audi A7 Premium vs Premium Plus - What is the Difference?
Up first in the line-up we have the Premium trim level. The mid-tier trim slated above it is the Premium Plus. Both trim levels share most of the same mechanical specs and features, including the 3.0-L turbo V6. They can also both be ordered as an e-Plug-in Hybrid Quattro. This version has standard all-wheel drive (hence the name Quattro), a 2.0-L 4-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor, and a max output of 362 hp. Its valvetrain is a 16-vale while the gas-engine gets a 24-valve set-up. Its acceleration is slightly slower; whereas the gas engine gets from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, the plug-in gets there in 5.7 seconds.
Also, its engine block is cast iron instead of aluminum-alloy. A 14.1 kWh battery is included, but the gas engine does come with a 48-volt mild hybrid system.A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission comes with the gas- and hybrid-powered engines with all-wheel drive and ultra technology. A sport suspension is optional on the Premium Plus for either the gas- or hybrid-powered powertrains. The Premium and Premium Plus both come with a standard 5-link front independent steel spring suspension up front and another for the rear.
Now, let's take a look at the list of standard features that you will find inside of the Premium trim. It has a LATCH system for the rear seats, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a floor jack and vehicle tool kit in case you need to make a quick repair. It also has aluminum trim around the exterior of the windows, full LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights with dynamic turn signals, exhaust tips that are concealed by the body, side mirrors done in the body color, and an LED interior lighting system.
The Premium also offers gorgeous Fine Grain Ash Natural Brown Wood inlays inside of the cabin. There are carpeted floor mats, a center arm rest up front, and a leather package for the upholstery. A power panoramic sunroof is standard, as are aluminum door sill inlays, a 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with an integrated Toll Module and digital compass, extendable sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, 3-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and 40/20/40-split folding for the rear seat. The driver's seat gets 4-way lumbar support, and a rear-view camera comes standard.
Add to that other standard features like Audi pre sense front, cruise control, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, the HomeLink garage door opener, Audi connect with the MMI Navigation plus system, Audi pre sense basic, rear USB outlets with the Audi music interface, heat-insulating glass for the rear and side windows, high beam assist, Audi drive select, a camera distance sensor, and silver 20-inch Audi Sport 5-double-arm wheels. Audi sure does pack a lot of standard features into its base trim.
To all of that, the Premium Plus makes some noteworthy additions. This trim level gives you LED taillights with a dynamic rear indicator and dynamic daytime running lights. It also upgrades the vehicle to a headlight washer system and a full leather package (meaning you get leatherette on the upper instrument panel, door shoulders, door armrests, and the center console). A top-view 360-degree surround-view camera (with a parking aid) gets added on instead of the rear-view camera, and Audi adaptive cruise control comes with turn assist and traffic jam assist.
The Audi Virtual Cockpit gets added to the Premium Plus, giving you a digital instrument cluster up front with a bevvy of extra features. And, as we already mentioned, the standard dual screens get beefed up in size. Wireless charging with the Audi Phone Box comes standard. Audi pre sense rear and basic, HD Matrix LED headlights with animation and dynamic turn signals, Audi side assist, and a Bang & Olufsen® 3D Premium Sound System are all included as well.
Compare the 2021 Audi A7 Premium Plus vs Prestige Trim Level. - What is the Difference?
The two lower trim levels offer a vast amount of standard features, which might leave you wondering what the line-topping Prestige trim level could possibly tack on. Well, there are a few more features it includes that are worth mentioning here. First of all, the Prestige gets a nifty multi-colored contour/ambient interior lighting package that you can program. This vehicle also gets upgraded to a 4-zone climate control system, and ventilation becomes standard for the front seats while the rear outboard seats have a standard heating function. The front seats gain 4-way power lumbar support.
There is also a head-up display that projects important driving and vehicle data onto the windshield for easy viewing for the driver. Also, the front and rear doors get equipped with dual pane acoustic glass for improved insulation from wind and road noise while driving.
One of the things you can opt for on the Prestige is a sport suspension that comes with adaptive dampers (which the optional sport suspension for the two lower trim levels does not have). Otherwise, most of the options that came on the Premium and Premium Plus are now standard features on the line-topping Prestige trim level.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Audi A7 line-up is full of excellent choices, and the Audi line is generally a solid one this model year. It will be hard to go wrong with any Audi right now. Of course, the big issue with Audi vehicles - the A7 in particular - is the steep price that you will pay. While this issue might not deter serious luxury buyers who know what to expect from Audi price-wise, it could be a bit of a turn-off for those who have to operate on a stricter budget. Most of its competitors are priced at least slightly lower than the A7. And, with the RS7 and S7 being even more expensive, buyers on budgets might choose to look at similar vehicles by other auto manufacturers.
Nevertheless, the 2021 Audi A7 is a strong performer with a lot of good things going for it. You will be hard-pressed to find a car that looks as stunningly sophisticated as the Audi A7. Every details seems refined and evocative of this luxury brand. The amount of technology that comes inside of the cabin is downright impressive, sure, but it might also be a little intimidating for users - especially those who are brand new to the world of infotainment technology in vehicles. The optional 10.1- and 12.3-inch dual screen set-up looks cool, but it honestly hogs a bit too much visual space for the driver and comes off as overwhelming.
The A7 has a powertrain that serves up plenty of power, and the plug-in hybrid variant will save you a little bit at the pump. Unfortunately, the gas-powered engine is thirsty as can be, with 24 mpg combined (from 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway) as estimated by the EPA. These numbers are far below industry average for this segment and only serve to enhance the overall cost of owning the 2021 Audi A7. Not to mention, this vehicle is rated for premium gas. The S7 is too, and the cost for its enhanced performance is even greater, coming in at 22 mpg combined (18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway) - yikes.
If you are settled on purchasing the 2021 Audi A7, there is one trim level that we recommend, and that is the base Premium trim level. If we are being honest here, the Premium comes with everything you could possibly need and a lot of what you might want in terms of infotainment and safety features. The smaller infotainment and vehicle data screens will not overtake as much of the dash as the larger screens on the Premium Plus and Prestige. There are also enough driver aids to keep you feeling secure without overwhelming you with false notifications. Navigation comes standard, but you can always switch to the app you have on your Android or iPhone via the smartphone app integration features from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
We also think that the Premium trim level offers a nice array of options that let you customize the vehicle without racking up a huge price tag. We do, however, recommend sticking with the standard suspension for a comfortable ride quality - something that Audi does exceedingly well in the A7.
Overall, the 2021 Audi A7 offers a nice array of trim level choices that cater to the luxury buyer. The fastback style might not be for everyone, but those who love this aesthetic will definitely take notice of the A7 this year.
• Compare the 2020 Audi A7 Trim Levels