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2017 Audi A4 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Audi A4 was new.


Performance: 8.4

The 2017 Audi A4 delivers a composed ride that remains comfortable on long trips, and it has solid handling on winding roads. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out a good amount of power and has quick acceleration, but some test drivers note that it isn't quite on the same level as some of the engines found in more athletic class rivals. The A4's fuel economy is about average for the class.

  • "… the A4 is more comfortable than it is engaging. You won't get into trouble in the corners (at least not in a Quattro version), but I'll bet a rear-drive 3 Series or a Cadillac ATS will give you more excitement. On the other hand, the Audi rivals a C-Class or Volvo S60 for its ability to cover hundreds of miles in a single stretch." -- Autoblog
  • "When it comes to the sport of everyday driving, the 2017 A4 is an enticing all-rounder, and even though it's German, we think it's a worthy first-team All-American." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "All in, the A4 lacks the nimbleness of BMW (or, for that matter, Cadillac,) but it feels more engaging and controlled in first impressions than its front-wheel-drive alternatives." -- Yahoo Autos

Acceleration and Power

A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 252 horsepower is standard in the A4. The engine is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. You may not want to take the A4 out on the track, and some still think rivals like the BMW 3 Series have better engines, but the A4's turbo-four has enough juice to get you moving. The acceleration is quick from a stop or on the highway, and even with a car full of people, the A4 delivers ample power for all driving situations. The transmission is OK, but it occasionally hesitates when more power is needed.

The A4 gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. That's right around the class average, and it's better than you'll get from class rivals like the Cadillac ATS and the Lexus IS.

  • "The A4 is still powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, with standard front-wheel drive or optional Quattro all-wheel drive. … It's more than capable of getting around slow-moving Leafs and Prii on the highway, if you're curious." -- Autoblog
  • "There's no such restraint in the A4's 2.0-liter four-cylinder, one heck of a fine base engine. Reworked for 252 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque (up 32 hp and 15 pounds-feet over the prior 2.0-liter turbo), it enables potent acceleration in the A4. Even with three adults aboard, our test cars made short work of uphill stretches, with the same gratifying torque plateau as the old A4's 2.0-liter - just noticeably more. The engine also salvages an otherwise unremarkable transmission, which - outside of its Sport mode - exhibits smooth but frequent upshifts and stubborn kickdown resistance." -- Cars.com
  • "And although we wish the 354-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 for the forthcoming S4 model would just get here already, the 252-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder here in the 2017 Audi A4 is a welcome consolation. It pulls hard and responds quickly in concert with its slick seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. Excitement definitely dies off in the upper reaches of the rpm range, but the four-banger sounds surprisingly spirited getting there. Nevertheless, we still think the 240-hp turbo four from BMW is superior, despite how far the driving enjoyment of 3 Series has fallen in recent years." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

The A4 isn't always thought of as a sporty car, but it might impress you if you give it a chance. In the front-wheel drive A4, you won't fear winding roads thanks to the accurate steering and agile handling. Available all-wheel drive provides you with better road grip and makes the A4 even more adept at tackling corners.

Ride comfort stands out as well. A few folks may think the ride is a little on the firm side, but most agree that the smooth ride is great on jaunts across town or a cross-country trip. You can even tailor the A4's driving dynamics to your preferred style thanks to Audi Drive Select, which comes standard. It lets you choose from four driving modes with different suspension settings and throttle response: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual. An adaptive suspension and a sport suspension are available, which further tune the A4 for comfort or performance.

  • "For me, though, the highlight of the ninth-generation A4 is that Audi addressed its Achilles' heel. Understeer is essentially gone. This is huge. Especially if this holds true for the upcoming turbocharged, 350-horsepower S4." -- Motor Trend
  • "We detected absolutely zero understeer - and Audi's Quattro AWD should make things even more entertaining from behind the wheel. The A4 is comfortable, too, and not in an old-fashioned, over-stuffed sofa kind of way. The ride is firm and taut, so you can travel for hundreds of miles without feeling tired or worn out." -- New York Daily News
  • "Audi says the A4 is pitched at the sportier side of the luxury segment, gunning for more of an enthusiast's ear than someone who wants purely a comfortable chair to go to and from work. And the new car is definitely competent in tight corners, feeling more planted than heavy as the all-wheel-drive system shuffles power around. All models come with the Audi Drive Select controller for Normal, Sport, etc. modes that alter steering and throttle inputs." -- Autoblog

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