2017 A4 New Car Test Drive
Redesigned inside and out, the 2017 Audi A4 gains a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine teamed with a new 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission.
The redesigned exterior is led by a horizontally shaped contour grille, with wraparound shoulder lines that flow from the hood to the rear. The appearance of the A4 body hasn't changed substantially, yet the redesign enhances its sports sedan pedigree a bit.
Inside is a roomier cabin and a new wraparound dashboard. Front occupants get greater head and shoulder clearance than what was available in pre-2017 A4 models. Rear-seat riders can finally enjoy more leg space. Notable options include a huge 12.3-inch color display for navigation and a full-color head-up display for speed and other driver data.
Developing 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, Audi's latest turbo four-cylinder engine delivers excellent power, yet fuel economy has improved. Smooth and strong, the powertrain yields 0-60 mph acceleration in about 5.6 seconds.
A stiff new structure, coupled with new adaptive dampers, boosts ride and handing abilities appreciably. The car is slightly lighter than before. Brakes and electric power steering have been tuned to provide road manners that approach the previous high-performance S4.
Still, handling isn't quite as sharp and sporty in the front-wheel-drive based A4 as that of some of its rear-wheel-drive rivals. In inclement conditions, however, its legendary all-wheel drive should give the Audi an advantage.
Audi Drive Select includes four modes: Auto, Comfort, Dynamic, and Individual. Standard xenon-plus headlights complement LED daytime running lights. LED headlights are optional.
Ambient LED lighting is standard inside, along with leather seat upholstery. Toggle switches actuate the tri-zone automatic climate control system. A spartan dashboard makes the sedan's digital displays stand out emphatically.
Audi A4 compares most closely with BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar XE, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS.
Crash-testing has not yet been undertaken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has made the A4 a Top Safety Pick Plus, when equipped with crash-mitigation technology. Audi's compact earned Good ratings in every test.
A rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity are standard. Safety options include blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-follow capability, and a warning if you open a door into oncoming traffic. Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking also is available. Rear-seat side airbags are optional.
The 2017 Audi A4 comes in three trim levels, with front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive. The A4 Premium ($37,300) comes with a sunroof, leather seating surfaces, power front seats, rearview camera, 17-inch wheels, 10-speaker audio with Bluetooth audio streaming, and smartphone interface. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
Premium Plus ($41,100) adds 18-inch wheels, parking sensors, S line exterior trim, and a Bang & Olufsen 755-watt, 19-speaker 3-D audio system. Prestige ($45,900) gets the virtual cockpit instrument display, head-up display, surround-view cameras, blind-spot monitoring, and navigation with voice control. Prestige models can get the adaptive damping suspension, plus a Driver Assistance Package that includes adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition.