A7 looks and sounds good

Audi A7 sportback
Audi A7 sportback
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Last week I spent almost as much time parked up on the drive listening to the Bang & Olufsen music system in my Audi A7 Sportback as I did driving it around.

And though I’m not so sure my un-tuned ear could do it full justice to the 1,300 watts of power and 15 speakers, what a glorious sound it produced - as it ought to for a cool £6,300.

The eye-wateringly expensive stereo was not the only addition to the test car.

The starting price of £47,200 was bumped up to a shade under £73,000 with the 20 inch wheels (£1,990), massaging front seats (£1,600) and night vision assist with pedestrian detection (£2,100) to name but a few of the goodies on board.

The A7 Sportback is a new vehicle for Audi although I’m not sure which class it should be placed in.

It’s got five doors, is as sleek as a coupe and has lots of accessible boot room. Although there are only four seat belts there is potential for a fifth passenger – therefore I reckon a fifth seat belt ought to be an option, perhaps it is.

Despite its low-slung silhouette, head room in the back is adequate. I carried a couple of six-footers on a long journey down the M1 and there were no complaints.

But it is the front seats that are the most special – as you’d expect. The cabin is a study in luxury with a gadget for every occasion.

The massage seats for both driver and passenger are terrific, there’s a choice of programmes with different levels of intensity and they really do hit the spot.

Head-up display is a bit of innovative kit that you’ll either love or hate, though whatever your fancy, it can be turned on or off at will. Speed, cruise control settings and navigation instructions are projected on the windscreen in front of the driver thus enabling eyes to be fixed firmly ahead

There’s also night-vision cameras, a self-parking system, and a touch-pad which controls some of the actions of the multimedia system.

This, I feel, is one gadget too far and apart from impressing your passengers doesn’t add a great deal to the enjoyment of the system.

Being wafted along to your favourite music while undergoing a massage is a fine way to travel and long journeys are a cinch. Especially so if you stick on the adaptive cruise control which slows you down if another car encroaches into your space and speeds you back up again when they’ve moved away – how clever is that?

Powered by a three-litre diesel packing 241bhp, the A7 3.0 TDI Quattro is a slick mover, but to be fair, even with acceleration from 0–62mph in 6.3 seconds this is not a car for screaming around corners in.

Instead you need to savour the experience, content that, should you need it, there’s enough power under your foot to get you out of all manner of tricky situations.

A tank of diesel should see you right for a good 500 miles; a combined fuel consumption of 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 158g/km should prove a winning combination.

Economy is aided by a hugely-responsive stop and go system that can prove irritating at times but which seems to be the rule rather than the exception in these constrained times.