2017 Audi A4

What a blast, but would you be willing to repair it?

This was a surprise rental.  It was an exchange at our location due to a faulty tire sensor and later to discover, bad tires.

I had the privilege of renting this jewel with a brand new set of shoes and gone over with a fine tooth comb.

a417side

This particular one was coated bumper to bumper in a stunning metallic Scuba Blue paint that looks varying shades of blue and black depending on lighting conditions.  The 17″ ten-spoke alloy wheels are befitting on a ride in this class and should be at nearly $40,000 new.  Audi was in the forefront of putting LED strip DRL (Daytime Running Lamps) over 10 years ago and added them to their entire line by 2011.  Many automakers followed with their own variations.  Fast forward years later and they might start new trends with chasing LED light rear turn signals.  I like the fact the A4 is very capable on the city streets AND the highway.  It takes corners like a boss and doesn’t mind being pushed to the limit.  The 8-way power seats are some of the most comfortable I’ve had the pleasure of in my 30+ years of driving.  I drove it non-stop 330 miles and was not fatigued at all.  The A4 handles in typical German fashion: precise and effortlessly.

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The center stack is accented at the bottom with some rarely used buttons.
Drive select – This can change the throttle, steering, and fuel economy.  I tried changing them during my 700-mile trek, but I couldn’t tell the difference from one setting to another.  I just left it on auto since I wasn’t trying to hyper-mile or racing on a track.
@OFF – This can defeat the fuel saving shut off feature when in drive gear and at a red light.  I understand automakers are trying every method possible to save gas, but I left this off after experiencing the shudder the car produced after letting my foot off the brake.  It’s about as smooth as a high octane car with a teaspoon of regular unleaded left in the tank.  It was in no way, shape, or form a smooth re-start.
Traction-Control OFF – There’s so few instances that this would even need to be off.  Unless you are climbing a snowy hill or just want to squeal the tires, just leave it on.
The last button on the right can turn off the infotainment screen that appears it would be able to drop down into the console, but it is stationary and can’t even be tilted.

a417dashboard

I’m a 5 year old at heart when it comes to car interior buttons.  This A4 has more than enough buttons, knobs, and lights to keep a 5 year old busy for a lengthy road trip.  The first thing I noticed in the A4 was the amazing interior lighting.  It’s very subtle LED lighting and indirect on the dash, floor boards and door handles.

The first thing I do when I rent a car is reset the trip odometer.  I’ve learned since working at a rental car agency that the trip odometer reset button is just as uniform in car brands as the sound system controls.  The A4 trip reset button is on the dash behind the steering wheel, gear paddle shifter, and windshield wiper controls.  The headlight controls to the left of the steering wheel are the typical off / default to AUTO when it is dark / parking lights on / headlights on.  That would suffice for most automakers and consumers, but Audi felt it necessary to add the 2 buttons on the extreme left to dim the DRL and engage to dim the headlights that were previously off.  I’ll just have to assume this is needed on some random backroads in Germany because I can’t think of a purpose during my drive times in any condition.

One final note:  Thank you Audi for only experimenting with Continually Variable Transmissions and going to a standard dual-clutch automatic instead.

Things of note:
Primo sound system
annoying engine shut-off and restart at stop lights
38mpg highway – noticeably higher than the EPA stated 33mpg

Buy it? Rent it? Avoid it?
No way I’d buy a car with a historic reputation for electronic gremlins, but if you can get one with a solid bumper to bumper warranty the A4 would be worth considering.  But only if your finances would allow for German car maintenance costs.  This one in particular had the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) light come on 41 miles into my trip.  Maybe it was just a fluke after getting the new tires, but still a problem resulting in a mechanics assistance.  Renting one was a lot of fun due to the engine and handling alone.  The standard 250hp is on the lower end of the horsepower ranks in the Audi line, but it works well on the A4 that tips the scales at barely 3500 lbs.  The throttle response is pleasantly quick in all 7 gears which is unusual for a turbo and ideal when passing in highway traffic.
Audi if you’re listening . . .
There’s a whole new market out there of people that would like the exhilaration of an Autobahn burner, but with simpler ergonomics.
On a scale from 1-100: (1-walking isn’t that bad, 100-I’ll live in it if necessary)
Buy it new – 25
Buy it later at half the sticker price – 15
F.E.D. (Fun, Efficiency & Desirability) – 85
Oooh and ahhh factor – 70
Recommended – (25 to buy / 80 to rent)

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4 thoughts on “2017 Audi A4

  1. Good observations. I like that this car has some nice touches on the interior ambiance like the lighting. But also agree, while the Germans definitely know a thing or two about performance, I fear the repair bills for anything that’s out of warranty. Scuba Blue is a nice shade on this one!

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