2017 Audi A4 Could Be the Best Compact German Luxury Sedan, CR Finds

The all-new Audi A4 arrives at the worst time ever. The image of the brand has been tarnished by the recent diesel emissions scandal that rocked the entire German car market to the core in 2015. So can one luxury sedan make up for everything?
2017 Audi A4 Could Be the Best Compact German Luxury Sedan, CR Finds 1 photo
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Automakers usually tell us that their new models are way better than the old ones, and sometimes that's not true. But in this case, it's plain to see. All of Audi's pioneering technologies have been bundled up into a compact luxury sedan that's quiet, technologically advanced, and discreetly stylish.

The ride is way better than before, and handling isn't compromised in any way, which is not to say that it goes down the road like the Cadillac ATS. Consumer Reports also loves the all-new 7-speed automatic that replaces the CVTs of old. It's a DSG-style unit, but does away with the studdering people mostly associate with Passats and Golfs.

The most controversial thing you're going to hear in this video is that Audi is the most reliable of the German luxury car brands. Nobody wants to believe that, based on bad experiences and the bitter aftertaste of the TDI scandal. But data is data, plus the A4 feels like it's carved out of one piece of granite.

The only bad news is that Audi fixed one problem only to create another. Most automakers are using buttonless dashboards to project a futuristic aura. However, the A4 is full of buttons. Thanks to that, a complex MMI controller you can write on and the digital dash called "Virtual Cockpit," it's a steep learning curve after getting inside one of these. It's like being dropped into NORAD.

In a way, the new A4 reflects Audi's confidence as a brand. A decade ago, you only had to pay $36,000 for a decent one. But they've figured out how to compete with BMW and Mercedes, so they're charging more. This test car is $48,000 with quattro and all the technology. Still, you won't find something in the Q7 that's not here too.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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