Long term report: Audi S7 #2
It's the little things that make all the difference...
I've been racking up the miles in our Audi S7 over the past few weeks and it's given me some time for reflection. Not on the meaning of life, but about the fact that it's a combination of the little things that make or break a car.
That's why long term tests like these are so invaluable to us hacks, because it's only after a few months with a car that you start to see past the stonking performance and looks and start to appreciate the little things.
This month my time in the S7 has clicked over 100 hours behind the wheel. How do I know that? Well, the handy dashboard computer told me so. It also revealed I've done 3,690 miles in that time at an average speed of 35mph, averaging 25.4mpg.
That last figure might sound a bit poor, but considering I used to get 24mpg out of my 2.5-litre Ford Focus ST, it's something I can live with. Remember this S7 has a 4.0-litre twin turbo under the bonnet and produces 414bhp. It's pretty damn rapid.
So to those little things. In no particular order I've found myself marvelling at the track pad on the centre console that allows you to 'draw' letters with your finger for inputting addresses into the sat-nav. It works brilliantly and I find it far easier than twiddling the knob.
On the subject of the sat-nav you can't fail to I miss its directions. As well as on the main screen – which joyfully rises out of the dash with a beautiful, smooth movement (another of my loves) – you also get directions on the dash between speedo and rev counter (a full map display) and it's also repeated arrow-style on the head-up display. It makes following directions a doddle wherever your eyes are looking.
Audi really has worked wonders on the multi- media interface in the S7. It's clearly laid out, simple to understand and quick to pick up. I tried a new Mercedes C-Class recently and couldn't believe at how backward the controls were – I tried and failed many times to input a difficult destination into its brain. The Audi, on the other hand, is a lesson in simplicity. Perhaps the Germans should swap notes?
What else do I love? Well, the fact there's carbon fibre everywhere makes it look cool inside and marks it out nicely as a performance model while the seats are wonderfully comfortable, even on very long distances. I haven't found myself fidgeting even after two hours or more in the saddle. For me, that's highly unusual.
And it's simple things, like the fact it displays Spotify track names on the dash, that I really love. They're all small touches, but ones that add up to making owning a vehicle so much more pleasurable. And looking after the S7 is certainly proving to be just that.
It's not all good news though. There are a few things I feel could be improved, but I'll save those gripes for next month. No point putting a downer on things just yet.
Model: Audi S7
Engine: 4.0-litre, V8 twin turbo
Max speed: 155mph
Mileage this month: 2,123
This month's highlight:
Celebrating our 100th hour anniversary with a top-up of super unleaded