Photo by Vince Taroc.
Technology bubbles to the surface of Audi's redesign of its entry luxury A4 for 2017 for a vehicle whose use in sales fleets has been mostly concentrated in the pharmaceutical industry.
The car moves the needle with on-board Wi-Fi and a Virtual Cockpit option that allows a driver to bring the navigation map into the instrument cluster, and customize that display.
Audi may be able to expand the fleet uses of the A4 to other industries that have shown interest in the 2017 model, including the food and beverage industry. Of course, the A4 will also find a place in Silvercar's fleet as part of Audi's strategic partnership with that rental provider.
Let's take a closer look at what's new in 2017 for the A4.
Audi's A4 sedan receives several improvements, including a more efficient and powerful 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, an all-wheel-drive option, and new 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. This is notable, because it's the first time you can purchase an A4 with quattro all-wheel drive. The A4 remains on the B9 platform.
Audi has extended the A4's overall length to 186.1 inches, which is 1 inch longer than the outgoing model. Audi has also reduced weight. The lightest 2017 A4 weighs 3,483 pounds, which is 100 pounds less than the lightest 2016 A4. While17-inch wheels are standard, Audi offers 18-inchers.
Photo by Vince Taroc.
The interior of the 2017 A4 is where the car really shines. Retro air vents provide visual lines across the dash surrounded by textured silver trim.
The tech features mostly impress, including Virtual Cockpit, which is part of the Technology Package. You can shrink the gauges to bring more of the map into view. While the horizontal map view is more expansive on the fixed dashboard screen, the IP map does help you navigate close-at-hand turns. And it's just cool.
The on-board Wi-Fi is a nice option but much of its functionality repeats what can do in other places, such as Apply CarPlay or the car's factory system. It must be used with the MMI connect app. You can stream songs, but I was only able to get a few of my songs to show up. You can use it to access Google Earth for nav, which may be better than the more limited CarPlay nav.
Without incentives, the A4 starts at $40,350. Our tested model, which included the Premium Plus and Technology packages, would sell for $48,475.