Friday, September 23, 2011

2012 Audi A7: A Cure for The Common Mid-life Crisis

I can't deny that I'm in love with the new Audi A7. It's fun to drive, fast, spacious, and has nice headlights. I'm all for hatchbacks as long as they're this sexy.


I'm not quite old enough for a mid-life crisis, but I've been planning mine since 7th grade and it's always involved a new 2-seater, a carefree attitude & awesome sunglasses. In 7th grade I didn't expect to be a stay-at-home mom who spends most of her time stressed-out and chauffeuring kids and a dog around in a 7-seater. But back in 1982 I had a steady income from babysitting, my biggest worry was how to spend it all, I subscribed to Town & Country magazine, and my Matchbox cars were the envy of every 2nd grade boy. A lot has changed in 29 years -- except for the envy my Matchbox car collection brings out in 2nd grade boys.

  • Energy efficient LED lights (daytime, low & high beams, taillights and turn signals)
  • Quattro drive
  • Aluminum used in key areas to reduce weight for better fuel economy, but no compromise on quality or safety
  • Supercharged 3 liter V6 engine drives & has the power of a V8 with fuel economy numbers of 18 city/28 highway
  • Audi drive select allows driver to configure how the vehicle drives (Comfort, Auto, Dynamic or Individual)
  • Car acts as a wi-fi hotspot for up to 8 devices (iPad addicted friends or kids will love that)
  • Cool rear spoiler deploys automatically when car needs extra stability
  • Keyless start & optional keyless entry

Worth Every Penny

Now that I'm older & more "worldly," I battle daily with an inner conflict: my practical side that doesn't like to shop or spend money, and my impractical side that lusts after fancy cars & expensive accessories. I consider myself a low-maintenance woman, until it comes to cars. Fortunately, I can still go to the toy aisle at Target and find a few new sports cars for under $20. As for the new 2012 Audi A7, I would rather have the real thing than a Matchbox toy, and I'm actually willing to pay to get one. The first text I sent to my husband after driving the A7 said, "A7 is totally worth the price. The B&O stereo is AMAZING!"  It fulfills so many of my wishes: sexy inside and out, decent cargo space that will hold our skis, a kick-ass stereo system, and a sporty driving experience that makes me want to book a flight to Germany and buy new sunglasses.

The driving experience in the A7 is amazing. When you go for a look at your local Audi dealer, make sure you are both a passenger and a driver because you'll likely have two different, yet thrilling, experiences. As a passenger, my brain was yelling both "Whoa!" and "Go!" as Alex took us through a few turns and freeway on-ramp. But when I drove, I could feel the car so well that I didn't have much hesitation accelerating through the same turns. I wanted to really push it when merging, but the Highway Patrol pulled in behind me and followed me almost all the way back to the dealership. Guess I'll have to take it on another spin.

She's Beautiful
Aesthetically speaking, the A7 gets an A++. The finishing touches are outstanding -- just what you would expect from a luxury car with a price tag over $75,000. I love the Bang & Olufsen sound system with these little Star Trek-esque speakers that rise out of the front dash (and 13 more spread around the interior). (Foot note: The B&O sound system costs an additional $5900, and I say go for it!) I also drooled over the matte no-gloss finish on the Ash wood details inside. Super understated and gorgeous. The fixed-up and refined MMI system has a pop-up screen in the dash which will accommodate Google Earth imaging navigation. There is a touchpad on the console that works like an iPhone or iPad -- you can use it to spell something or to navigate through the MMI system. The true voice recognition system is super cool and uses "real world" commands. For example, saying "I'm hungry" will show all nearby restaurants. And saying "I need money" shows all the nearby ATMs and banks.  

I was told that the road noise could be an issue due to the sport back & longer window and 20" tires, but it wasn't an issue at all. Its thrilling to hear the engine growl and to not hear the tires squeal when you take a corner tight and fast. Once cruising or in town, turn up the stereo and you won't hear a thing -- even the highway patrol trying to pull you over. So make sure you adjust your mirrors and check them frequently. Getting to 90 mph happens quickly and without any effort. What takes effort is driving 35 mph.

Yep, It's a Coupe
Technically speaking, the A7 is a coupe with a hatch in the back, but it looks like a refined luxury sedan. The hatch back has opening buttons on both the key fob and the driver's door like my Q7. And the hatch opens wide, but is adjustable to accommodate lower ceilings or shorter people. To close you just push a button on the hatch door itself and it slowly does the rest. The cargo space is quite impressive at 24.5 cubic feet -- enough room for golf bags and suitcases, or skis utilizing the pass-through to the back seat. If you really want to haul a lot, fold down the 40:60 split-folding rear seat. I don't know what I would put in that big space that wouldn't leave a mess, but at least the A7 gives you options.

You don't need to be close to mid-life to appreciate the A7. But if you're feeling the itch to change things up a bit and make a selfish purchase, then give the new A7 a look. It's bigger than the Audi R8 (also a good choice for a fun new car) and that might help you score points with your spouse or other family and friends -- you won't come across as overly selfish when there is room for others in your fancy new ride. While two-seaters are fun, why not have a four-door that drives like sports car so you can impress more than one person at a time?

A Family Car
The A7 could work as a family car, if your family consists of a spouse/partner/other and two adult children who own their own vehicles. (Only two children because there are only two seatbelts in the back.) If you have younger children then I suppose you could strap in a car seat or booster seat and put all shoes, crayons and juice boxes in the rear hatch. If I had an A7 I  would require my kids to remove their shoes, wash hands and faces before climbing in the back. (My daughter would definitely NOT be allowed to bring snails and worms home from school.)  The back seats are LATCH equipped, but I didn't pay much attention to all the kid niceties because I was too busy noticing how sexy the A7 was without kids along for the ride. Every now and then I take a mental vacation from my Mom thoughts just like the rest of you. Unfortunately, upon returning from the Audi dealer with a smile plastered on my face, my kids were jealous that I got to drive the A7 and insisted I take them next time. Sorry, Mommy needs her quiet time too, and I prefer to get it while driving a fast car.

Photos from and

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  1. This is an in-depth review of this car. The thing that stands out about this car is its exterior design, which boasts of better aerodynamics than older models. I also love the modern features, especially the wi-fi hotspot and the improved MMI system which has Google Earth navigation and voice recognition. Having one is like being James Bond without the Aston.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Timmy. Just yesterday I was wishing my Audi Q7 was a wi-fi hotspot like the A7. Not sure if I can justify the buy based on that. But maybe if I tell my husband he'll be like James Bond...

  3. Is it possible for a largish dog to fit in the back? I'm talking a 50-lb retriever.