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What are Audi A7 drivers looking for in a tire?
With a turbocharged 6-cylinder engine, the Audi A7 accelerates quickly, and with Audi’s proprietary Quattro drivetrain, can take sharp corners with ease. Audi A7 drivers are more likely to take their “fastback” on a tour around the city or suburbs than on the racetrack.
With that said, we think that Audi A7 drivers focus on the following:
The Audi A7 is a fairly fast car. The driver may expert the ability to accelerate quickly onto the freeway or take tight city corners without slipping, in most weather.
The Audi A7 is a luxury and comfort vehicle. Audi is known for a combination of its drivetrain, and for the relative serene quietness and comfort you experience while driving. Many Audi drivers might place comfort as a higher priority than price.
Part of the purpose of the Quattro system is to offer both performance and safety. Audi is quite well known for Quattro, and its ability to drive through most anything including snow, regardless of the vehicle type. Audi drivers living in areas with lots of precipitation will be looking at how the A7 tires handle snow, rain, and ice.
Can the Audi A7 use different sized tires and front and back?
Some drivers like the idea of larger rear tires because it can help them get a better grip when accelerating. With Audi’s Quattro, having larger rear tires can actually negatively impact the performance of the vehicle when accelerating or turning because Quattro’s system assumes that all tires are equal in size.
Are your reviews based on any particular tire size?
The Audi A7 is indeed capable of accepting a few different tire sizes from 19” to 21”. Our review is based on the 19” tire size. While a larger tire size can affect which tires are available, it’s more likely to affect the overall price of a tire, so our tire prices are based on a baseline of a 19” tire.
Best Tires for Audi A7
Michelin CrossClimate 2 (All-Season)
We selected Michelin’s CrossClimate 2 as our favorite for a Grand Touring All-Season tire. It’s very well balanced across all ranges for a grand touring tire. The Michelin CrossClimate gets an outstanding 9.4 in both wet and dry.
A 9.0 on the comfort scale is what Audi owners want to see. Driving with the CrossClimate 2 delivers a fairly quiet experience on good roads and a less bumpy ride on worn pavement. Michelin achieves this effect with PIANO technology that models how much sound tire tread designs will make.
The Michelin CrossClimate achieves its wet and dry abilities with some slightly unusual looking features. You won’t always see V-shaped tread patterns on a tire, but the CrossClimate employs them well. The tread shape ensures that the CrossClimate both gets plenty of traction across all types of weather with an aggressive compound.
The steep, V-shaped treads make the CrossClimates especially effective at filtering out water and snow. The Michelin CrossClimate outperformed comparable tires on a snow and ice stopping distance test by 5 to 10%. Stopping distance is important when driving in traffic or on tight streets.
You’ll also get a decent warranty with a 6-year, 60,000 mile warranty for tread wear and other incidents.
Want to buy the Michelin CrossClimate 2 online? TireRack is a great place to start. Worried about shipping? Don’t. It’s free. The CrossClimate 2 runs about $260 per tire on TireRack. Discount Tire offers a very competitive price at about $261 per tire.
- Outstanding wet and dry traction
- Acts a little like a snow tire
- Looks cool, with serious function
- Very comfortable drive
- A bit expensive
- A little stiffer than we like over potholes
Michelin Primacy Tour A/S (All-Season)
At first sight, The Primacy has more traditional looking, smaller tread patterns than the CrossClimate 2. The 5 part asymmetric tread pattern includes wide shoulders, which continue to provide outstanding dry traction with a 9.2 and a bit less wet traction at 9.0.
Comfort manages to be even higher with the Primacy than the CrossClimate with a 9.2. The Primacy falters just a bit on ice and snow, performing about average against other all-season tires. The stopping distance increases by less than 5% across poor conditions. While the Primacy is not by definition a snow tire, it’ll handle light now just slightly less well than the CrossClimate 2.
The comfort from the Primacy comes from a two-ply polyester cord casing which provides the stability and flexibility you’ll want when cornering hard. Most people who reviewed the Primacy Tour said that their vehicles were much quieter with the Primacy than with stock tires. This tire certainly helps maintain quiet.
Michelin offers a bit less of a warranty with the Primacy, at a maximum of 6 years, 55,000 miles.
- A bit more comfort than CrossClimate 2
- Great dry and wet traction
- More money than CrossClimate 2
- Not as good on snow
Vredestein Quatrac Pro (All-Season)
The Vredestein Quatrac Pro offers some unexpected performance starting at $214, for more than a bit less than our two Michelin leaders.
The Vredestein finds itself between the CrossClimate 2 and Primacy in terms of wet and dry performance with a very solid 9.2 of 10 in both categories. Vredestein achieves their high numbers with a more traditional tread pattern than the CrossClimate 2. The treads are asymmetric and made of resin and silica based compounds that make the tire flexible for both cold and wet scenarios. The treadwear performance is a little less than the previous two with an 8.5.
The Vredestein is still quite comfortable, scoring a 9.0 and barely under the Primacy for sound and cornering comfort. The ride quality was near top notch at 9.2, meaning the Quatrac Pro made the smooth Audi A7 feel the way it should.
Here is where the Vredestein gets a little off balance. The Quatrac Pro isn’t the greatest all-season tire for winter. 8.3 gets a “Good” on TireRack, but people who drive in snow frequently, or just feel less than sure driving on snow, might want to spend a little more to get a tire with more proven stopping ability on snow and ice. The Quatrac took a few more feet to stop in ice and snow though it readily outperformed some Pirellis that won’t be on our list of suggestions.
You’d almost expect a less expensive tire to offer fewer amenities. Not quite the case with the Quatrac Pro, which offers a generous 8 year or 50,000 mile warranty.
You’ll find the Vredestein Quatrac Pro at TireRack starting at about $215. The price is lower than other top contenders in the same category. If you don’t mind less than stellar performance on snow and ice, this tire would be a great option for Audi A7 drivers who live in a warmer or more temperate overall climate or are confident in their light snow driving skills.
- Very solid wet and dry scores
- Comfortable for the price
- Long warranty
- Not as solid of a snow performer
- Tread wear is a little less
Kumho Majesty 9 Solus TA91 (All-Season)
Kumho Majesty blends performance and value. The wet and dry performance are a bit unbalanced with 8.7 on wet roads and an impressive 9.1 on dry. The most unexpected part of the Kumho Majesty is the comfort and treadwear rating: The Kumho gets a very solid 9.1 for comfort and treadwear performance.
For a tire to be that comfortable and have a nice, long life is a bit rare. At a totally reasonable price of about $165, this tire seems like a steal. Chamfered edges are the key to the quiet, comfortable ride provided by these tires.
While called an all-season tire, you have better options for snow performance.The stopping distance was several feet longer than other tires that don’t claim to be the king of snow driving either, so temper your expectations for slippery surfaces. If you value a low cost with a good ride over inclement abilities, Kumho is a good choice. Do you drive another vehicle in the winter car or just so happen to live in the south or west where falling snow is more of a surprise than anything, this one won’t hurt your wallet as much.
A 6-year, 45,000-mile warranty isn’t great, but more than we expect for the price. You’ll find the Kumho Majesty on TireRack with free shipping here.
- Inexpensive at around $165 per tire
- Still get a warranty
- Great dry performance
- Good tread wear length
- Not the best in wet conditions
- Stopping distance a bit long in snow
Max Performance Summer Tires
Max performance summer tires are indeed meant for dry and wet conditions, but not extreme cold or snow. A max performance summer tire can be driven year round in places where you won’t see snow, or taken off in favor of less performance oriented all-season tires in the fall and winter. To be more direct: Most tire sites don’t offer a snow and ice rating for these tires because they aren’t safe to test in those conditions.
Max performance is more for a decent ride and treadwear, but not thinking about changing your tires every few week's worth of laps at the race track.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (Max Performance)
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 outperforms its own category. The Pilot Sport 4 scores highly in wet with 8.5 and dry with 9.4.
This comes from Michelin’s unique use of the Formula E tread and compounds that repel the drips of flows of wet surfaces while maintaining an exceptional grip on dry. Michelin makes their tread pattern reactive for constant optimized contact when you need it the most. Comfort is also key with the tread pattern, as the Pilot Sport leads the class in comfort at 8.5.
While the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 is effectively the best tire for actual handling purposes, as indicated by the best in class dry performance rating, and does a good job of replacing its also class leading predecessor, the Pilot Sport 3, it does have a couple of drawbacks.
First, it’s not cheap. Starting at around $318 per tire on TireRack, it is one of the more expensive tires in the class but is objectively the best tire that managers to combine exceptional comfort with exceptional performance. If you like driving your Audi A7 around fast, and you are willing to equip it with the best tires available to make the best use of the drivetrain and engine, the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 is a great decision.
- Great dry traction
- The most comfortable max performance summer tire
- Up there in price
Yokohama ADVAN Apex V601 (Max Performance)
The Yokohama Advan Apex V601 provides a very good value. Dry handling is still better than average with 8.9 and wet traction isn’t perfect at 8.2, which is only marginally less than the Pilot Sport 4. Comfort is second best in class on TireRack at 8.1 The comfort factor comes from groove angles optimized for the purpose of keeping sound away from the driver.
One area where Yokohama edges out the competition is in treadwear. A rounded rib profile keeps consistent pressure so the tire wears evenly, leading to a high 8.0 tread wear warranty - especially nice since some drivers avoid over driving on max performance summer tires because they wear out more quickly than all-season.
Now that we’ve talked a little about what the Yokohama is good and not good at, here’s what the Yokohama is the best at: Price. TireRack sells these with free shipping for about $190.
- Decent dry handling
- Good comfort for the price
- Great tread wear
- Less than outstanding wet traction
Ultra High Performance Tires
We’ve added a new element here: ultra high performance means these tires are meant for high speed cornering and driving fast. All-season is often added to ultra high performance tires with sipes to remove water, but despite the name, these aren’t balanced to drive in snow. They should, however, handle better than max performance tires in the rain.
Vredestein Hypertrac All-Season (Ultra High Performance)
With solid ratings all around, the Vredestein Hypertrac provides the dry traction you want in an ultra high performance all-season at 9.3 with 9.1 wet performance. Comfort is also best in class at 9.2, which is very nice because technically speaking, ultra high performance all-seasons tend to sacrifice comfort.
A specific polymer blend keeps the Vredestein stuck to the road under wet conditions. Zip-zag sipes help escort water out of the treads for better performance while stopping under sloppy rides.
The Vredestein is right on par with some big named competitors including the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 (different than the Pilot Sport above) and is overall very competitive with more expensive tires while stopping in the rain. The overall grip is better, leading to slightly shorter lap times, which comes in part from the ability to maintain contact while accelerating.
Another standout of the Hypertrac All-Season is the price. TireRack offers the Hypertrac for about $201 per tire with free shipping. You also get a good warranty at up to 8 years or 50,00- miles for that price. We figure the warranty is longer in part because you might drive on these only half the year depending on where you live.
- Very well balanced performance on wet and dry
- Great warranty
- Not much
Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 (Ultra High Performance)
We are first going to say that the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 looks cool. The sidewall is checkered with lasers for a little detail you’ll notice right away. You’ll also get serious performance with a 9.1 on wet tracks and a 9.3 on dry roads. These are great, and right on track with our selected leader, the Veredstein Hypertrac.
The Pilot Sport All Season 4 handles quite well under hard cornering. We can credit Michelin’s Dynamic Response Technology, which evens out the forces that come with hard cornering, both to maintain a stable edge and to reduce tread wear.
Michelin also uses HELIO technology which includes sunflower oil, in an effort to make a compound that works better in slightly chillier weather. Given this is an all-season tire, this is appreciated, though we still wouldn’t use this tire in snow or cold. The results provided for light snow were about the same or less than the Vredestein.
The big thing missing from Michelin’s test results is overall comfort. While comfort is not a high expectation within this class tire, more effort would be appreciated.
We have another reason why the comfort level is a big deal: The Pilot Sport All Season has great performance, and a higher price. TireRack offers the Pilot Sport All Season 4 at around $258 per tire, which is $50 more than the Vredestein for similar performance. If you like and trust Michelin, which many people do, this might be worth the extra $200 for a set of four tires. Otherwise, we would suggest the Vredestein and save the money for something else.
- Great for cornering
- Well balanced for wet and dry
- Comfortable, but not the best
- Higher priced
Snow Tires for the Audi A7
Michelin X-Ice Snow (Snow Tires)
Looking purely at snow performance, the Michelin X-Ice Snow comes out on top for the Audi A7. If you drive your Audi A7 in snow every season, and want to have the best chance at getting some performance out of your vehicle while remaining safe the X-Ice is where it’s at. A very nice 9.2 out of 10 on snow leads the class against the Continental VikingContact 7. The comfort rating isn’t the best in class, but it’s still pretty good at 8.8, especially for a tire that has aggressive snow treads.
Michelin achieves their highly competitive snow tire with a unique compound called FleX-Ice. This compound has micro roughness to it, which allows the compound itself to provide some level of traction on pavement. It also uses silica compounds that keep the tire materials themselves flexible, even when driven under extremely cold conditions, which are essential for a high performing winter tire. Michelin does add two different kinds of sipes, including full depth and small sipes to move and store moisture, as stored snow is actually highly effective for in depth snow driving.
TireRack offers the Michelin X-Ice Snow starting at around $288 per tire. While many snow tires do not offer a warranty, you get 6 year, 40,000 mile treadlife warranty with the X-Ice.
- Well designed for snow handling
- Not the most comfortable available
Continental VikingContact7 (Snow Tires)
The VikingContact7 provides a more comfortable overall driving experience with a very nice 9.1 out of 10 rating, but a slightly lower snow rating at 8.9. The VikingContact7 also negligible outperforms the X-Ice on dry roads.
The VikingContact7 does well to include varying widths and depths of sipes that create a snow pack for better snow traction. Overall, the winter handling is still great compared to an all-season tire.
Given the difference, we might suggest considering whether you prefer a little more comfort from your snow tire and how much you are really going to be driving on snow and ice. Snow tires help more in light snow than actual icy conditions. For pure snow performance, the Ice-X is still our pick, otherwise, the Continental provides some better dry performance and a nice, comfortable feel.
You can get the Continental VikingContact7 starting at $258 at TireRack. This particular tire does not come with a warranty, though $30 less per tire works too.
- More comfortable
- A little less money
- While still good on snow, not as good as Michelin
Do Snow Tires Work on Ice for the Audi A7?
This answer applies to pretty much all vehicles, not just the A7: There isn’t much a tire can do under treacherous, icy conditions, A snow tire is made more to dig into light to heavy snow and provide an overall safer, more in control experience than the average all-season tire. When driving on actual ice though, there isn’t much a driver can do besides slow down. Tires of all sorts, and even Quattro and other all wheel drive systems don’t offer substantial advantages, especially against black ice.
How do I choose what kind of tires I need?
Knowing the difference between tire types beyond all-season can be confusing. If you want performance above what all-season can provide, and want to learn a little more about difference kinds of tires, TireRack provides an excellent resource here. A person who intends to drive their vehicle in a way that makes all-season tires not enough might realize they need a bit more if they wear tires out, or feel like their vehicle isn’t doing everything it’s capable of while cornering or accelerating.
About The Author
Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.Read More About Matt Meurer