Audi's senior compact sedan, the A4 continues its tradition of understated luxury, bullet-proof quality, and athletic road manners. Although the A4 has received a thorough redo, its respected character remains the same.
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2017 Audi A4 Overview
What's New for 2017
The A4 has been completely redesigned.
Choosing Your Audi A4
The A4 has long been known (and liked) for its no-nonsense, button-down appearance, a theme that carries into this newest generation. It's more aerodynamic than before and slightly larger, with increased interior room in all dimensions, and yet weight is down a tad.
The sole engine remains a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder, now with a hearty 248 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission comes standard, and Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system is available on all models.
Like most Audi's, the A4 is available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels:
Options on all models are wood interior trim and rear side airbags.
The Premium carries more convenience features this year, so we consider the A4 to be a properly equipped luxury car from the start. If you're shopping on the higher end of the line, the Prestige's excellent adaptive suspension is a bargain at $1,000.
2017 Audi A4 Review
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.
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
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
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.
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