For the past year or so, Audi has been working on its image. No, we don’t mean recovering from the dieselgate scandal. Instead, we’re talking about spreading its new design language across its entire lineup. For the 2017 model year, the German automaker has added the A4 to the list of redesigned vehicles that boast the new look.

We spent some time behind the wheel of the 2017 Audi A4, and the summary of our experience follows.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 A4 is one of the more-affordable compact luxury cars on the market today, and like most of the Audi lineup, it offers huge value when compared to its competitors. The new A4 starts from $38,250 (destination charges included) in its Premium trim level with front-wheel drive—yes, the A4 is one of the few Audis that doesn’t come standard with all-wheel drive—and adding Quattro all-wheel drive bumps the base price to $40,350 with destination fee.

At this starting price, the A4 comes with a respectable line of equipment, including:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Automatic xenon headlights
  • LED running lights
  • Frontal collision mitigation with auto braking
  • Leather upholstery
  • 10-speaker audio system

For buyers in need of more premium features, there are two higher trims—Premium Plus and Prestige—both of which come in either front- or all-wheel drive.

Performance Pros

Audi A4

The A4 only has a single engine and transmission option—a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission—but it is plenty to get this small sedan up and moving nicely. We also found that its updated chassis and available adaptive suspension give plenty of stability in the corners without compromising ride.

  • 249 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque are plenty
  • Suspension is turned almost perfectly
  • Standard dual-clutch transmission is glorious
  • All this and still 28 mpg combined

Performance Cons

In a class of mostly rear-wheel-drive sedans, the A4’s front-drive setup takes away a bit of the fun in the corners. We also found its lack of powertrain options a tad boring, but that should change with the upcoming S4.

  • Would feel so much more fun with a rear-drive setup
  • Lacking powertrain options
  • Dieselgate scandal has squashed the TDI, for now

Interior Pros

Audi A4

The A4’s cabin is, as usual, simple and refined with very little that grabs your attention. There is, however, the optional Audi Virtual Cockpit, which is essentially a 12.3-inch screen that replaces the analog gauges. This system is crisp, innovative, and entertaining to play with.

  • Clean lines make the A4's cabin a great spot
  • Audio Virtual Cockpit is a touch of the future in an otherwise here-and-now cabin
  • Rear seats can handle six-footers, no problem
  • Great attention to detail

The Most Pleasant Surprise

There is a lot that we loved about the 2017 Audi A4, but the one area it blew us away with was performance. Sure, Audi is known for delivering ample performance, but the 2-liter turbocharged engine rockets the sedan to 60 mph in little as 5.6 seconds, besting previous high-performance S4 variants.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

We understand that Audi prefers to go with a timeless look as opposed to selling the farm and completely overhauling its models. This is evident in the A4 as it looks fresh but retains the same timeless style as before. It is about time Audi shifts away from this cautious styling, though, and finally releases a drool-inducing sedan.

The Bottom Line

Sure, its styling is still a bit staid, but in every other way the 2017 A4 is a homerun. It’s fully loaded with all the latest gadgets, its performance is top notch, and its safety ratings are as good as ever. What’s more, it presents an amazing value next to the Mercedes-Benz C300 and the BMW 328.