Beauty and brains. Audi's redesign of its best-selling 2017 A4 joins an improved engine with innovative design to its long list of advanced technologies and other smart upgrades and imbues the ninth-generation model with strikingly good looks and notable automotive intelligence. It sets a new benchmark for the luxury sedan segment.
The 2017 Audi A4 is offered in three levels: A4 Premium starts at $37,300; Premium Plus at $41,100; and Prestige at $45,900 for front-wheel drive models. Choosing Quattro all-wheel-drive adds $2,100; destination and delivery is $925 on all.
We concentrated our drive on the Prestige with AWD. Its power-on-tap is stirring, especially when engaging the paddle shifters. Steering is more precise as a result of a new five-link front suspension and changes to the steering rack. There are three suspension settings with an adaptive continuously damping version standard, along with settings to accommodate enthusiastic romps or comfortable cruising.
The all-new 2017 A4 is powered by an evolved version of its fuel-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's more powerful than its predecessor. It delivers 252 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, with the promise of a sportier driving experience. Paired with a newly developed seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, the five-seater accelerates from 0-to-60 mph in just over 6 seconds (FWD), and has a top track speed electronically limited to 130 mph. Premium fuel is required; economy ratings are 25 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway.
Beauty begins outside with a reshaped exterior that has cleaner, sportier proportions and is emphasized by powerful wheel arches and a sharp shoulder crease that flows from the headlights to the taillights. Up front, the sedan's wide visage is enhanced by the horizontal diamond-inspired "singleframe" grille and xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights; in back are LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. (LED headlights are standard on Premium Plus and Prestige trims). Even though it is slightly larger than its predecessor, its lightweight aluminum-hybrid construction shaves 50 pounds from front-wheel-drive models and 99 pounds from AWDs.
Good looks carry over inside with a freshened design highlighted by crisp, eye-catching lines and high-quality materials and features, such as Aluminum Trimarin inlays and ventilated front sport seats with lumbar support. Its dimensions are slightly larger, adding increased shoulder and headroom in front, and improved legroom in back.
Three-zone automatic climate control is standard, as is ambient LED lighting, leather seating, and power sunroof. The available Audi virtual cockpit (standard on Prestige) is a 12.3-inch digital display that transitions from a classic instrument cluster to a panoramic infotainment mode. An available full-color head-up display projects relevant driving information onto the driver's windshield.
Audi's smartphone interface offers Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto integration via USB connection. Navigation, telephone, and music are accessed via voice, steering wheel controls, or via the MMI controller, with handwriting touch recognition on the top trims.
The A4's smart genetics bring an impressive collection of more than two dozen technology, safety, and convenience features, including standard Audi pre sense city, which can detect vehicles and pedestrians and can alert the driver to a potential collision and apply automatic braking to help prevent or minimize an impact. Additional available safety technology systems include side assist (radar sensors and optical warnings alert when a vehicle is in the car's blind spot), active lane assist (helps steer the vehicle back onto its intended course, when the car is drifting out of its lane without use of the turn signal), and traffic jam assist (combines acceleration, braking, and steering guidance at speeds between 0 and 37 mph, allowing for semi-autonomous driving in congested traffic).
The redesign integrates the second generation of Audi connect, which brings convenience and safety features both in-car and via smartphone apps, starting with Connect CARE (with peace-of-mind services such as automatic and manual emergency call, online roadside assistance, stolen vehicle locator, and service reminders). Connect PRIME provides driver-oriented services like Google Earth and Street View, semi-dynamic route guidance, and real-time information and streaming content when paired with an AT&T 4G/LTE connection. Curfew, speed, and valet alerts with geo-fencing, remote lock and unlock, and online car finder are also available.
Copyright © 2016 Motor Matters
|Base price||$45,900 (as tested: $48,925)|
|Curb weight||3,626 lbs.|
|Engine type||Turbocharged 4-cylinder w/TFSI|
|Epa mileage rating||25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||15.3 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||252 at 5600 rpm|
|Overall length||186.1 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||273 at 1600-4500 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger AWD compact sedan|
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