The all-new 2017 Audi A4 has definitely lost a little dynamism in exchange for size and comfort over the years, but the 252-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder is a happy return of some performance. In a class where so many premium car companies are still relying upon six-cylinder engines to be the high horsepower option, Audi redesigned their 2.0-liter four and unleashed more power and torque. As a result, the A4 is a sublime mode of transportation for family and friends, best enjoyed in comfort and at speed as you motor down the freeway.
The success of the A4 boils down to several factors: strong, fuel-efficient engines, an impressive sense of quality, and restrained, tasteful styling that has always echoed larger Audis. The ninth-generation B-series sedan stays true to its core competencies. Furthermore, the 2017 A4 is bristling with technology and a set of advanced safety features that is sought after by the younger generation of buyers moving up the success ladder.
After reworking the 2.0-liter engine, Audi was able to extract a fair amount of performance and sportiness from their spunky turbo four-cylinder. The outcome is an all-new A4 that stays the course with its happy mix of performance and fuel economy by offering a strong, fuel-efficient powerplant that is EPA-rated at 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. We observed the combined 27 mpg after traveling 400 miles on a single tank of gas.
At the helm, the 2017 A4 feels agile to drive, with excellent steering and little rollover in the corners, particularly if you go for the adjustable sport suspension. The turbocharged 2.0-liter and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission are on the punchy side but you quickly adapt to its heavy thrust once the turbo spools up. The Quattro system lends a sure-footedness and boosts your driving confidence upwards several notches. Add in a great driving position, and the result is a highly capable and comfortable car great for long journeys.
The A4 might be one of Audi’s smaller sedans but it still boasts an uncrowded interior. Passengers will enjoy the redesigned interior that measures a half inch wider, offers an inch more of headroom, and 2.6-inches of more front shoulder room. There is plenty of elbow room for both front and rear passengers, and seats that do well on long trips. Back seat riders won’t suffer either since they get a fair amount of legroom and headroom. Even the trunk is large enough to accommodate several pieces of luggage or an impulse-shopping excursion to Costco.
Key touch points such as the gear lever and steering wheel are leather-wrapped. The knobs and buttons turn, twist, and flick with a solid feel and there is lots of soft-touch rubber instead of cheap, shiny plastics throughout the cabin.
Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is one of the best implementations of a fully digital instrument cluster available today. The 12.3-inch display directly behind the steering wheel can show pertinent information in front of the driver in a clear, comprehensive way, and it is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is both easy to navigate and helps keep your eyes pointing straight ahead rather than at a screen in the center stack.
There is a rotary controller down in the center console but all of its functions are doubled-up with buttons and dials on the steering wheel, which means you can keep your hands right where they should be. The top surface of the rotary controller supports MMI touch, whether you’re sketching out letters and numbers to type in a place name, or scrolling and pinch-zooming through maps. Push it left and right and it opens either the function menu or a context-sensitive menu, just as you would get right-clicking a mouse on a computer.
As for safety, there’s a long list of standard-fit and optional tech. That includes Audi Pre Sense basic, Audi Pre Sense City – which detects obstacles and can completely stop the car from speeds below 25 mph – together with rear cross-traffic alert, vehicle exit assist, traffic sign recognition, collision avoidance assist, turn assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go traffic jam assist.
Another segment-first feature includes Turn Assist and Exit Assist. Turn Assist detects and assesses oncoming vehicles for proper spacing, and if it determines that it’s unsafe for you to make the left turn at the intersection, it’ll stop the car. Audi told us that should you still want to overrule it, mind, you can. Exit Assist uses radar to detect approaching cars from behind to prevent you from opening the door with warning lights for you, front and rear passengers. Both of these are options on the much more expensive Q7 SUV, so it’s impressive to see them trickle down to a more affordable car.
Other cars to consider: BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Jaguar XE, Volvo S60, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Acura TLX
The video review for the 2017 Audi A4 is still in the works. For now, enjoy Roman’s First Drive review of the 2017 Audi S3: Fast Things Come in Small Packages
|2017 Audi A4 2.0T quattro S tronic|
|MSRP||$39,400 (Prestige Package)|
|Price as tested||$51,575|
|Engine||2.0L TFSI turbo 4-cylinder|
|Power (hp)||252 hp @ 5,600-6,000 rpm|
|Torque (lb-ft)||273 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,500 rpm|
|Transmission||7-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic|
|Drivetrain layout||quattro AWD|
|Curb weight||3,626 lbs|
|EPA-estimated fuel economy mpg||24 / 31 / 27 (city/hwy/combined)|
|0-60 mph||5.7 seconds|
|Top track speed||130 mph|