Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Audi A4 S AWD: A Sporty Compact Luxury Sedan

Highlight: This model is available in a racier S4 trim.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $54,275 (base 2.0-liter FWD $35,830)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; electronic stability control system; electronic parking brake; a rain sensing windshield wiper system; a rear parking camera; power adjustable heated outside mirrors; heated windshield washer nozzles; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base 2.0 Turbo FWD): 17-inch wheels; a front wheel drive system; a 7-speed automatic transmission; a 3-zone climate control system; a manually adjusted tilt and telescopic steering wheel; power sunroof; leather seats; power front seats; a 7-inch infotainment screen; a push button ignition starter system; Xenon headlights; and automatic leveling headlights

Review Vehicle Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; all-wheel drive; 8-inch infotainment screen; a navigation system; and special badging; a keyless engine start/stop system; and Audi Connect Prime, which includes Google Earth, Google Street View, Audi Semi-Dynamic Route Guidance and real-time information via 4G/LTE

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a radar-activated cruise control system; high beam assist system; traffic sign recognition; ventilated front sport seats; manual rear side shades; an adaptive suspension system; heated rear seats; a heated steering wheel; 18-inch design wheels; a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Surround System; heated front memory seats; LED headlights; and special exterior paint

Other Trim Level:

A front wheel drive ultra (190-hp)
A manual all-wheel drive

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 10-speaker AM/FM/CD with satellite

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter turbo, 4-cylinder/252-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: The compact A4 is all-new for the 2017 model year. The vehicle is lighter, wider and a hare longer, equating to more interior comfort. Also the base model drops its CVT transmission for an automatic transmission, which increases the horsepower by approximately 14 percent.  A new Ultra mode also joins the line up with a more fuel-efficient offering. Moreover, there is loads of new equipment too.

Why: The newly restyled A4, with its wider stance, is available in a variety of trims. The A4 continues to be available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. And unlike some of the vehicles in the segment, the A4 can be powered by a manual or an automatic transmission, depending on the trim selected.

The A4 continues to embody the precision and craftsmanship we’ve come to expect from this Germany made vehicle. This four-door compact is just a great road vehicle. It handles well. Its suspension offers the perfect balance between not being too harsh or too mushy. In fact, the A4 we reviewed new dual clutch transmission offers a sportier drive, too.

Inside the vehicle, the A4 is now outfitted with a segment exclusive stand-alone 12-inch screen. Added to that, for the 2017 model year, Audi has revised its optional touchscreen menu, which now operates more like an Internet search engine. Moreover, as it relates to the interior comfort, the vehicle is roomier.  This is due primarily to the longer wheel base and extra width in this German-engineered vehicle. Thus this has equated to more interior room, enhancing shoulder and legroom for all occupants.

Furthermore, this well-crafted machine is also available with the latest high-tech safety features. Some of those features include a radar-activated cruise control system to a lane assist system to automatic bright headlights, when needed.

But: While there was a small bump in the mileage from the 2016 to the 2017 model, the overall driving range on the base front wheel drive model dipped slightly, because of a smaller fuel tank.

And while some of its competitors offer a rear-wheel drive configuration, Audi has stuck to its guns, with its well-executed front-wheel drive application.

Verdict: The price of the current A4 has increased by approximately $1,400 from the outgoing model. However, it’s worth every penny. This precision craft machine gives its competitors a run for the money even with its front-wheel drive configuration. Yes, this newly restyled luxury compact is worth considering for those in the market for an agile, smooth shifting vehicle, with loads of the latest safety and luxury amenities.

Competition: Acura TSX; BMW 4-Series; Cadillac ATS; Infiniti Q50; Jaguar XE; Lexus IS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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