Sedans & Coupes

What’s a Bargain Version of a 2021 Audi RS7? a 2016 RS7

It’s no secret that used luxury cars’ values tend to drop quickly. And German luxury brand Audi’s cars are no exception. A good-condition used Audi RS7 often sells for less than half of its original MSRP. But while a used RS7 makes for a great high-power bargain, how much are you giving up compared to a new one? YouTube team Throttle House decided to find out.

How do the 2021 Audi RS7 and 2016 Audi RS7 Performance compare on paper?

A blue 2016 Audi RS7 Performance on a mountain road
2016 Audi RS7 Performance | Audi

Throttle House’s recent comparison features a brand-new 2021 Audi RS7 going up against a 2016 RS7 Performance. The new sedan starts at $114,400—but the one in the test was optioned up to the equivalent of $125,000. In contrast, the used 2016 Audi RS7 Performance in the video is currently priced at the equivalent of $54,550.

Interestingly, despite costing half the price, the used car is actually more powerful. The standard 2016 Audi RS7 has a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 rated at 560 hp and 516 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports. But in Performance trim, the engine makes 605 hp, and in ‘over-boost’ mode, up to 553 lb-ft, Car and Driver reports. With that, plus an 8-speed automatic and standard AWD, the luxury sedan goes 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds. And, as one unlucky and irresponsible owner can attest to, it has a higher top speed than the standard 2016 RS7.

A red 2021 Audi RS7 overlooking a forest mountain
2021 Audi RS7 | Audi

 The 2021 Audi RS7 also has AWD, an 8-speed automatic, and a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. However, it also has a mild-hybrid system for the standard stop-start system. And, while the 2016 Performance model swapped out its air suspension for a sport-tuned one, the 2021 model retains the adaptive air springs, Car and Driver reports. Though, naturally, they’re stiffer than the ones in the standard A7.

At first glance, the 2021 Audi RS7 seems a bit out-gunned compared to the used 2016 Performance model. The 2021 model’s V8 ‘only’ makes 591 hp, and the car is 460 pounds heavier. However, the 2021 RS7 doesn’t need an over-boost mode to make its 590 lb-ft of torque. And in Car and Driver’s hands, it managed a 0-60 mph time of 3 seconds.

Does a used $54,550 2016 Audi RS7 drive like a new $125,000 2021 model?

The blue-stitched black front seats and carbon-fiber-trimmed dashboard of the 2016 Audi RS7 Performance
2016 Audi RS7 Performance interior | Audi

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Interestingly, in Throttle House’s hands, the 2016 Audi RS7 Performance out-ran the 2021 model to 60 mph. But with a 0.12-second difference, the two cars’ real-world straight-line performance is basically identical. So, how do they compare in non-drag-race scenarios?

When it comes to other performance features, the two sedans trade off in respective advantages. The 2016 Audi RS7 Performance has standard carbon-ceramic brakes, which are optional on the 2021 model. But the 2021 Audi RS7 has standard rear-wheel steering, an option the 2016 car never offered, Roadshow reports. The 2016 Performance model counters with a dual-mode performance exhaust that fills the interior with more crackles and pops.

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However, the 2021 Audi RS7 is slightly better, dynamically speaking. For one, it understeers less in the corners, Throttle House reports. And it rides better than the 2016 Performance model while delivering just as good—if not better—handling. Though the used Audi still grips and speeds down the road with aplomb.

On the interior luxury side, both the new and used Audi sedans have some similarities. Both have quilted leather upholstery with plenty of Alcantara. And the overall material quality is excellent in both cars. Plus, on the ADAS front, the 2021 and 2016 RS7 have similar options, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

The red-stitched black seats and carbon-fiber-trimmed dashboard of the 2021 Audi RS7
2021 Audi RS7 interior | Audi

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However, not only does the 2021 RS7 have two screens to the 2016 model’s one, but both screens are larger. The 2016 car’s screen isn’t even a touchscreen: you control it with a touch-sensitive pad. Plus, while the used Audi has a 7” digital gauge cluster, the 2021 car has a 12.3” cluster, MotorTrend reports. And the new car is noticeably quieter over long distances.

Which one should you buy?

While the used 2016 Audi RS7 Performance is slightly faster and more exuberant, the 2021 RS7 is the more luxurious and refined sedan. Plus, it has a newer infotainment system.

2021 Audi RS6 Avant
2021 Audi RS6 Avant | Audi

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However, not everyone is sold on the touchscreen-heavy interior. Plus, the Throttle House team ranks the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant over the RS7. The wagon has more interior space, more cargo room, and starts at about $5000 cheaper. Plus, it delivers a virtually-identical driving experience.

So, if you’re looking for a high-speed luxury car, a used Audi RS7 is a significant bargain over the 2021 model. But if you want a more comfortable daily driver, the new car has the edge. Though, if you need some extra space, the wagon is ready and waiting.

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