A7 Sportback joins Audi’s quality gang

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I MAY have said it before but when it comes to quality Audi is right up there with the best of them.

A drive in the new A7 Sportback, launched in the UK in January, convinced me even more that Audi does know a bit about spoiling motorists – and passengers too.

It is a stunning looker that combines saloon car versatility and hatchback practicality with sports coupe styling.

The sporting lines are matched inside by a lavish interior which included quality leather seats and walnut brown inlays.

A suberb BOSE surround sound system was one of the many options (£1,000) in the test car which was priced at £47,200 but then rocketed to £64,840 with extras.

These also included £2,000 for adaptive air suspension, cruise control with Stop&Go function at £1,800, £1,600 for comfort front seats with memory, and MMI Navigation Plus costing £1,175.

You don’t really need all these options to enjoy the A7 Sportback but they are available for those who want to splash out on them.

Prices start at £49,925 and there are two petrol and two TDI diesel engines available in front-wheel drive and quattro versions.

I sampled the 3.0 TDI quattro SE S tronic which was ever so smooth and comfortable, yet capable of blasting out of the blocks like a rocket.

With a sprint speed of just 6.3 seconds from standstill to 62mph, this is a model that can be as fast as you want yet purr along so quietly at 70mph, hardly surprising from a 242bhp turbo diesel engine electronically governed to a top speed of 155mph.

When you do drive at speed the quattro system gives you immense grip on cornering.

I was quite happy to leave the gears changes in auto mode on this seven-speed sports transmission but for those wishing to switch manually there are steering wheel paddles.

There are two spec levels – SE and S line – and these are fairly well equipped without the need for the many options available.

One of the standard items I found really handy in the wet weather was the remote-controlled power-operated bootlid, making it so convenient to stow luggage quickly.

Buyers of this model will also be pleased to boast to friends that they can get exceptional fuel economy with figures showing 54.3mpg urban, 47.1mpg combined and 39.2mpg extra urban.

The flowing lines of the A7 Sportback, playing their part in achieving these figures, are likely to impress them even more.