2017 Audi A4

Starting MSRP: $37,300 - $45,900

Estimated MPG: 25 city / 33 hwy

2017 Audi A4 Review

The all-new 2017 Audi A4 is an amenity-packed luxury sedan that is easy to love. It offers technology that reimagines what is possible in an instrument panel, as well as turbocharged power and engaging driving dynamics.

By Chris Brewer
Last Updated 05/05/2016

The Audi A4 is a four-door, five-passenger luxury sedan that has been completely redesigned for 2017. It’s available in three trim levels (Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige) with front- or all-wheel-drive A turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission are standard.

The 2017 A4’s design seamlessly combines form and function. The exterior represents Audi’s most aerodynamic vehicle to date, with a coefficient of drag that rivals the very best in the segment. When partnered with the standard turbocharged engine, the A4 provides stellar acceleration, relaxed highway cruising and excellent fuel economy.

Exterior

Exterior
8

The Audi A4’s exterior design favors stately refinement over flash and gimmicks. The relatively conservative sedan features well-defined feature lines that blend together for an athletic appearance that is decidedly European in nature. The styling respects the best-selling sedan’s heritage while quietly bringing new design elements to the table.

The new design features what Audi calls a “singleframe” grille and standard xenon plus headlights with LED running lights. Out back, attractive LED taillights highlight the sporty sedan’s simple but attractive rear fascia. The A4’s new design blends familiar (and now iconic) Audi style with bolder, more aggressive angles and modern touches that hint at the vehicle’s technological prowess.

Additionally, my test vehicle included the S line exterior appearance package with enhanced front and rear bumpers, body-colored side sills, S line fender badges and a unique matte grey rear diffuser.

Interior

Interior
9

The 2017 Audi A4 provides ample room for two adults in the front seats and a cozy spot for up to three children in the rear seats. Audi’s standard leather seats are supportive and comfortable. My vehicle came with the Sport package, which included an attractive set of upgraded sport seats that are well worth the additional cost. Thanks to the A4’s excellent ergonomics, finding a comfortable driving position is effortless and long trips pass without stress or fatigue.

A true luxury sedan, the Audi A4 includes standard three-zone automatic climate control and a large power sunroof with tilt-and-slide functionality. Materials are top shelf and the nearly impeccable fit and finish exudes quality.

When so equipped, the 2017 Audi A4’s driver-centric cabin features one of the most innovative and exciting gauge clusters and dashboard designs I have seen in my time reviewing vehicles. The “virtual cockpit” replaces traditional analog gauges with a 12.3-inch display. The first time you push the A4’s start button and watch the screen light up it takes your breath away. The sharp images and spot-on interpretation of the analog-look gauges are inspiring.

While some may favor a more traditional approach, I found Audi’s new technology refreshing. The optional Google-powered navigation system can take over the 12.3-inch screen, making me wonder if I was looking at the future. The first time I experienced the system was in the 2016 Audi TT, and it’s equally at home in the A4.

The A4’s 13 cubic feet of cargo space is competitive in the segment, besting the amount found in the 2016 BMW 3 Series sedan and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Performance

Performance
9

The 2017 Audi A4 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The engine is coupled with a smooth-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All trim levels of the front-wheel-drive A4 can be equipped with Audi’s respected Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Audi’s powertrain provides a nice balance of performance and fuel economy; front-wheel drive versions of the A4 earn 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. All-wheel-drive variants achieve 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

Rather than trying to look fast or sporty, the thoughtfully engineered sedan is faster and sportier. The A4’s nimble handling and significant midrange torque work together to provide an enthusiast-pleasing driving experience. The power is more than enough for easy highway passing. The adjustable steering can be configured for tight, controlled moves or for a more relaxed feel that allows for lazier cruising, which is especially useful on long stretches of the highway. The engine and transmission are also configurable; a simple selection of the “Dynamic” mode holds the rpm higher before downshifting, which keeps the turbos spooled for more immediate throttle response. Unlike many sedans that have “Sport” settings that are hardly perceptible, the A4 takes on a new personality. The “Comfort” setting is softer and more forgiving than the Dynamic mode’s decidedly aggressive persona.

My A4 Premium Plus featured the optional 19-inch wheels with summer tires. Upgrading the wheels also requires the optional Sport package, which includes a sport-tuned suspension that lowers the A4’s ride height by 23 mm. Once again Audi avoids gimmicks by adding actual sportiness with the optional package. Sure, the lowered A4 looks more aggressive, but it also drives with more authority.

Technology

Technology
10

The 2017 Audi A4 includes a high level of standard technology equipment. Three-zone automatic climate control, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and ambient LED interior lighting are standard on all models. The A4’s 7-inch infotainment system features Audi’s proprietary MMI interface. The intuitive system includes satellite radio, two USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity.

All models also feature keyless entry with push-button ignition, cruise control, a rearview camera, automatic windshield wipers and headlights and Audi Pre Sense Basic (a system that takes steps to prepare the car for a collision when it senses that the driver has undertaken evasive maneuvers). The A4 offers standard Apple CarPlay capability and supports Android Auto smartphone integration.

Opting for the MMI Navigation Plus package adds the Audi Connect multimedia suite, a color driver information system, navigation with voice control and HD radio. The Google-powered navigation system is among the very best in the industry. Continual updates through the A4’s 4G LTE wireless data connection keep the navigation continually on point. Google’s Street View is especially useful for real-world use.

The all-new model also features an available full-color head-up display, which is a first for the A4.

The available 12.3-inch display replaces the standard 5-inch driver information screen. It’s controlled by MMI Touch with handwriting recognition, making the A4’s gauge cluster feature dense and involving. Audi calls it a virtual cockpit with good reason, as I’ve never experienced a more immersive system. The only drawback is that the tech is so advanced it took me some time to feel comfortable with the system. Even though this was my second week-long review of the system, I was still becoming accustomed to the in-depth menus and functions.

Safety

Safety
8

The 2017 Audi A4 includes front, side, and head curtain air bags and electronic stability control. All models include a rearview camera and Audi’s Pre Sense Basic system. Pre Sense essentially recognizes when the A4 is being driving defensively to avoid a potential accident and prepares the vehicle for impact.

The Audi A4 can be optioned with additional driver assistance features, including blind spot monitoring, active lane assist and a nifty traffic jam assist system. Traffic jam assist provides gentle acceleration, braking and steering guidance which translates into semi-autonomous driving in congested traffic. Audi’s Pre Sense City feature detects pedestrians and vehicles at speeds of up to 52 mph and can alert the driver and automatically apply the brakes to help minimize impact.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
7

The 2017 Audi A4 Premium starts at $37,300 and arrives with the standard features expected in an entry-level luxury sedan. The price point is right in the heart of the segment. Shoppers can find more expensive offerings, such as the Mercedes C-class and the Lexus IS, as well as less costly options such as the base BMW 3 Series and Cadillac ATS.

The top-trim A4 Prestige starts at $45,900 and when configured with all the options costs $54,775.

My test vehicle, an A4 Premium Plus, starts at $41,100. My test model included all-wheel drive and 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as Technology, Sport and Cold Weather packages for a grand total of $48,500.

Overall

Overall
9

While the 2017 Audi A4 may not have earned a perfect score in my review, I can honestly say that the sedan is one of my favorite test vehicles of all time. I am married with kids and I consider myself a car enthusiast. The A4 meets all of my needs and expectations for an all-purpose family car that is fun to drive. Cargo space is excellent and the back seat provides plenty of room for two adults. The turbocharged engine is powerful and efficient and the seven-speed transmission would have been something you only found in race cars not too many years ago.

My particular test vehicle featured Audi’s all-wheel drive, which never failed to provide incredible traction and performance, even when I pushed the Audi a little further than I would during my daily routine. While there are certainly other excellent options in the segment, I can recommend the 2017 Audi A4 without hesitation. I wouldn’t mind having one parked in my own driveway.