2017 Audi A4 Sedan Quattro — A4 redo is a sweetheart

By Jim Prueter

(July 25, 2017) For 2017, Audi introduces its fifth generation A4 sport sedan. It first appeared in 1995, replacing the aging Audi A80. Unless you park it side-by-side with the outgoing A4, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to discern a difference. Even though they look similar, the A4 is thoroughly redesigned, rides on a completely new platform, and has a slightly larger body.

The A4 slots below Audi’s mid-size A6 sedan and above the subcompact A3, sharing family resemblance and visual styling cues. Like all Audi products, the look inside and out is that of tailored perfection, like an Armani Collezioni suit — never out of style and amazing looking, no matter the venue.

The A4 is one of the smaller four-door sedans in its class, but is highly refined. Build quality is superb, and it comes loaded with the latest in advanced active safety technology. It doesn’t take much time behind the wheel of the all-aluminum A4 to appreciate the significant improvements. But let’s be up front here – you’re going to pay for all this goodness. Base price is $37,300; our well-equipped A4 Quattro S-tronic test vehicle came in at  $52,235.

Powered by what we believe is the best 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the industry, performance is 252 pugnacious horsepower, not the most in its class, but still capable, well intentioned, athletic, and pleasingly adequate. It connects to a seven-speed S-tronic automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. We didn’t like the hi-tech shifter, finding it awkward to shift forward for reverse and push a button for park.

Slightly wider and longer for 2017, interior room remains compromised in terms of leg, head and shoulder room. But that doesn’t detract from Audi’s traditional spectacular décor. Every shape is purposely and elegantly sculptured, switchgear is gorgeous, and machined to operate with surgical precision.

Add perfectly contoured leather seats, the Bang & Olufsen surround sound system, LED interior lighting package and the spectacular Audi virtual cockpit (a full glass digital display that replaces traditional analog gauges) and you’re seated in one of the world’s magnificent driving environments. 

On the road, the ride was noticeably improved — quieter, supple, yet controlled. Handling felt secure; even when driving aggressively on twisty Arizona roads, body roll was held in check.

Overall, the new fifth generation A4 emerges as an excellent execution of a luxury compact sedan, thoroughly delivering the goods when compared to the Mercedes-Benz C Class, BMW 3-Series and Lexus IS competitors.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $37,300
Price as Tested: $52,325
Engine: 2.0-Liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 252-hp
Fuel Economy: 24/31 MPG – City/Highway
Crash Test Safety Ratings: 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ -
NHTSA Overall 5 Stars

Competes With:
BMW 3 Series
Cadillac CTS
Lexus IS
Mercedes-Benz C Class

What Stands Out:
Armani-like tailoring inside and out
Advanced safety technology and infotainment systems
Sweet driving dynamics