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Audi A4: The Inside Edge

November 2016, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

The Audi A4 is completely redesigned for 2017 with minimal adjustments to the exterior, a revamped cabin, a more powerful and fuel-efficient base engine, and enough new technology and safety measures to shine alongside segment competitors such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Lexus IS.

The new car is slightly wider and longer with a new trapezoidal grille, lowered nose, and more wedge-like rear end with squinting taillights, but it could easily be mistaken for the more curvaceous 2016 edition at first glance.

The larger dimensions add front-shoulder and rear-passenger space to an interior that has drawn rave reviews for its clean, sophisticated design. The cabin features a “floating” dash-mounted LCD screen and an updated joystick for Audi’s MMI infotainment system.

Specs for the 2017-MY Audi A4
Specs for the 2017-MY Audi A4

Also available is “Virtual Cockpit,” a system that replaces the instrument cluster with a 12-inch screen on which drivers can adjust the size of the speedometer and tachometer and toggle through displays for audio, phone, navigation, and fuel consumption.

The base engine is an updated version of the outgoing A4’s iron-block 2.0 that now delivers 252 horsepower (hp) and 273 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The turbocharged four-banger gets a combined fuel efficiency rating of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) with front-wheel drive and 27 mpg with available Quattro all-wheel drive.

Every A4 comes standard with keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, sunroof, and smartphone connectivity.

Upgrading to Premium Plus brings 19-speaker stereo with satellite radio, parking sensors, LED headlights, and Audi’s “S-line” exterior trim package.

The top-of-the-line Prestige edition adds the Virtual Cockpit and head-up display, navigation, and a bubble of protection in the form of surround-view cameras that power rear and blind-spot collision warnings. Lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control are available across the lineup.

The 2017 Audi A4 with seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission is available now for a starting MSRP of $34,900; a six-speed stick is due in early 2017. Opting for all-wheel drive adds $2,100 to the sticker, but even a fully equipped Prestige won’t veer too far north of $50,000.

Future variants will include the 190-hp, fuel-sipping A4 Ultra and the next generation S4; plans for a turbodiesel model appear to have been scrapped as of press time.

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