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Steering, suspension and ride comfort

The most pleasing aspect of the Audi A7’s chassis is that it serves a genuinely comfortable, pliant ride. Admittedly, the test car came with the optional air suspension, but our experience of steel-sprung A7s confirms that this largely applies to those models too, at least in softer SE Executive trim.

The air springs option allows you to fine-tune the chassis using the multimedia system. You can choose between Comfort (which is quite pillowy but allows a bit of wallow and heave over undulating back roads), Auto (which is fine most of the time) and Dynamic (which adds a little heft to the steering effort, tightens the A7’s body control and manages this without causing the car to crash from crest to crest). So it’s entirely acceptable to leave the car in Dynamic. You can also programme the set-up, selecting between Comfort, Auto and Dynamic settings for the powertrain, suspension, steering, cornering light control and even seatbelt tensioners.

Programmable seatbelt tensioners seems a little excessive for a big cruiser like this

In truth, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Auto and Dynamic, although we prefer the slightly more positive feeling of the steering in this mode. That’s because it always feels a little vague. If there was more of a build-up of resistance in corners, your confidence in the car’s directional stability would increase. And hard acceleration on undulating roads can uncover what feels very like a whiff of torque steer, despite all-wheel drive. But that’s very rare, and the quattro’s extra traction is a real asset.

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Sending 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels helps the A7’s balance and you’ll rarely complain of understeer. But the feeling of mild disconnection induced by the steering and a chassis whose trajectory is largely unaffected by the accelerator make this more of a tidy mile-eater than a tool for the precise slicing of parabolas.