HERE’S A lesson in deceptive design.
The Audi A7 Sportback presents a silhouette that doesn’t quite reflect its size.
This 5-seater has shrunk minimally in width and length but has put on some height, which has helped in terms of entering and exiting it via the sharply angled doorways, while offering more legroom and headroom.
But it is still a long car that doesn’t handle as such.
Much of the A7 Sportback 2L featured here echoes the review of the 3L version. While the leather is different, the wheels smaller, you get an inhouse sound system, and it lacks a sport suspension, the 2L variant is powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine (as opposed to the V6 on the 3L). But that difference adds just about 1 second to the 0-100kmh sprint, which the 2L achieves in 6.2 seconds.
And for a price tag of *$316,700 (versus *$380,500 for the 3L), you get a responsive drive that is more engaging of the two.
The smaller engine may not be as refined as its 3L version, but it’s no slouch. It’s swift off the mark and easily accelerates without any labouring. The quattro all-wheel drive offers assured handling as the low profile of the A7 Sportback serves up an invigorating drive through lively terrain, without any nervousness or fuss. Pretty smooth moves for a big fella.
A spoiler pops up at 120kmh, or can be put up at a touch of a button for those who will not see triple-digit speeds.
The added room in the cabin ensures a comfortable ride for all occupants (especially if you limit it to 2 in the back) and probably for the luggage loaded in the ample boot.
Sitting lower than usual, you find yourself facing a bank of displays, flowing up the centre console, across the dashboard towards the driver and the head up display on the windscreen.
Connection is everything these days, and once you’ve popped your phone onto the wireless charger in the centre armrest, you can orchestrate your life and meetings via the displays and the multi-function steering wheel.
Pump your music through the system, and while it’s not spellbinding, it is good enough to add atmosphere to the drive.