2017 Audi A4

2017 Audi A4

Episode 3610
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

2017 is the first model year for the 5th generation of the Audi A4 sport sedan. But, wait a minute, if you throw in its Audi 80 ancestry, it’s actually the 9th gen b-series architecture for Audi. Regardless, over the years all those cars just keep getting better and better. So let’s find out if it’s b-car business as usual at Volkswagen’s premium brand. 

The 2017 Audi A4 may be on the smaller side of four-doors, but it is both big-time polished and potent; boasting technology above any flagship luxury machine of 10-years ago.

That includes a Driver Assistance package with the latest safety technology; cameras to read road markings and even road signs, and of course automatic braking. So, you have to work pretty hard to crash it. We tried, but it stopped just shy of our barrier every time; applying the brakes in full, almost immediately after a warning chime. 

As for interior technology, there is still a large MMI display on the dash; but it’s largely redundant if you opt for the huge 12-inch all-encompassing virtual gauge cluster as well as a new full color Head Up Display. With all pertinent info right before your eyes, and controls right there on the steering wheel; there’s no need to look or reach elsewhere. 

Those are just highlights of what is a fantastic interior, fully upholding the lofty standards we have for Audi.

Leather seating is standard, and space is up over last year in all seating positions. Trunk space is very good at 13.0 cubic-ft.  

Power sneaks up a little, with a revised 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 252-horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque for both front and all-wheel drive models. Now, that’s only 32 added ponies, but it feels like much more than that. 

Possibly because weight is down slightly, but more likely because the 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission has been tightened up as well. No manual is available.  

The exterior design is clearly an evolution of the previous A4, combined with style indicators from the larger A6-7 and 8. A4 suspension is 5-link independent all-around, with upgraded sport tuning available, as is adaptive damping, integrated into Audi Drive Select.   

Our car’s optional, rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive aids that sporty feel as well, with its self-locking center differential and selective torque control. 

With quattro, understeer is minimal, challenging the best of its rear-drive competition. And while the A4 has once again gotten bigger, it surely doesn’t drive like it. Though, we will stop short of saying its loads of fun to toss around; it’s more of a case of sterile mechanical precision. 

Steering is very light at lower speeds, but firmed up quickly here at our track as the pace increased. After some slight lag off the starting block, the power eventually started getting put down in a smooth and steady fashion; ushering us to 60 in a fine 5.8-seconds. 

There’s a nice growl from the engine, but not much from the exhaust, while the transmission keeps the gears coming quickly; clearing the 1/4-mile in 14.3-seconds at 99 miles-per-hour.  

Braking was most impressive, a 104-foot average from 60; with rock steady stability and zero fade. 

In everyday driving, everything about the A4 is smooth; as it absorbs bumps and pavement imperfections more like a full-size sedan than any compact. The dual-clutch tranny is mostly seamless, with the only hiccups coming during low-speed maneuvering. 

Ride quality can be dialed to your liking, but even in full comfort mode, body control is well managed, and it never feels soft. 

The low seating position will not endear it to those crossover inclined, but visibility is excellent all around.

Though very well-equipped in standard Premium trim, Prestige is where you want to be with 18-inch alloy wheels, S-line aluminum trim, and full LED lighting outside; along with Bang & Olufsen surround sound and heated seats for inside.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 25-City, 33-Highway, and 28–Combined, with our average coming in at a fine 29.1 miles-per-gallon of Premium. For an average Energy Impact Score, of 11.8-barrels of oil burned yearly, with C02 emissions of 5.2–tons. 

Pricing starts at $35,850, that’s just a bit more than a base BMW 3-series, but significantly less than a base Mercedes-Benz C-class; Prestige trim with quattro however, will have you at $48,950.

And while those other German sport sedans are certainly the logical competition for the 2017 Audi A4. To us, it’s more in the spirit of the Cadillac ATS with luxury, performance, and technology addressed in equal balance. So, it is indeed business as usual; with another solid small-ish sedan from Audi. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 252
  • Torque: 273 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.3 seconds @ 99 mph
  • EPA: 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 11.8 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.2 tons/yr
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.