/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

2017 Audi A4 sharpens up (pictures)

Audi's 2017 A4 looks familiar, if a bit edgier on the outside. But inside and under the skin, it's all new and very impressive, particularly in terms of infotainment and advanced safety technology.

skype-headshot
Chris Paukert
18-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
1 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The 2017 Audi A4 has an icier stare and sharper creases than before.

23-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
2 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Audi's hexagonal "Single-Frame" grille is now more angular than before, and does a better job of disguising the bumper's strike plate.

25-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
3 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

It's hard to tell from here, but the A4's wheelbase and length are up slightly, although overall height remains the same as last year's model.

24-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
4 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

You can't see it, but the A4's underbelly is now enshrouded in order to improve aerodynamics. It's a big reason why the car's coefficient of drag has dropped down to o.23, making this Audi one of the sleekest cars on the planet.

29-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
5 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The A4's rear end is, like many sedans of this type, rather anonymous, but LED tail lamps help update the look.

34-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
6 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

This photography car is in fact a European-spec TDI model, one of several different A4 models I drove on the launch. Text impressions are of the TFSI gasoline model.

35-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
7 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Not only has the belt-line crease been redone to flow into the hood shut line, the rocker panel's creases are deeper and more angular than before.

19-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
8 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

These LED headlamps are optional, but bi-xenon units are now standard. Dumping conventional halogen headlamps meant Audi could go with a smaller, lighter housing.

30-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
9 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Two-piece tail lamps (now with LED illumination) are used to emphasize width and give the A4 a broader stance.

21-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
10 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Note the well-disguised camera hidden under Audi's iconic Four Ring logo.

20-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
11 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Multi-tone wheels are all the rage these days. These upsized alloys have both machined and charcoal gray surfacing.

31-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
12 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The A4 2-liter TFSI features a single pair of  chromed exhaust outlets on the driver's side.

22-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
13 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Redesigned mirrors now mount on the door skins and feature LED turn signals. Their mirror surface is nice and wide, which is good for visibility.

11-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
14 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

This interior features a traditional and somewhat sober color scheme, but more assertive leather tones and trim colors are available.

13-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
15 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The A4's interior is all new, including a fixed (not retractable) center screen and a slimmer dashboard design that emphasizes width to help the cabin feel roomier.

37-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
16 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

This interior featured aluminum trim, but real wood in both glossy and matte finishes is available.

15-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
17 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

This leather-wrapped wheel is a new piece that's actually made out of magnesium to keep weight down. It features a commendably small airbag boss and an array of easy-to-access controls.

33-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
18 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The rear seat has better leg- and knee-room than before. My 5-foot-9-inch frame was comfortable enough, though I didn't have much headroom to spare.

10-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
19 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The dual-clutch transmission's gear selector has been redesigned. The placement of the P for Parking button near the driver's thumb takes some getting used to.

16-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
20 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Audi's longstanding thumbwheel switches are among the best in the business.

Note the cruise-control stalk, which incorporates controls for Audi's active lane assist technology.

02-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
21 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The optional Virtual Cockpit is a stunning piece of tech.

This particular screen showing the navigation system using Google Maps topography has the speedometer and tachometer minimized.

08-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
22 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

The A4 features excellent new tri-zone climate control (driver, passenger and rear seats). The system uses a trio of TFT displays (the central one and two smaller ones to display temperatures in the knobs themselves), along with trick capacitive-touch toggles.

09-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
23 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

Note how when you touch a button, new menu options can appear, or sometimes the system simply enlarges the iconography for easier viewing.

This system works easily and beautifully.

32-2017-audi-a4-cp.jpg
24 of 24 Chris Paukert/CNET

At 17 cubic feet, the A4's trunk is appreciably larger than most rivals. With the rear seats folded, space expands to 34.1 cubic feet.

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch to play in 2021

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch to play in 2021

39 Photos
iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple's highest end 2021 phones

More Galleries

iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max camera testing: Photos from Apple's highest end 2021 phones

66 Photos
2022 Ford Expedition: More than meets the eye

More Galleries

2022 Ford Expedition: More than meets the eye

54 Photos
Apple's iPhone 13, new iPad Mini and more: Everything we saw at Apple's Sept. event

More Galleries

Apple's iPhone 13, new iPad Mini and more: Everything we saw at Apple's Sept. event

104 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

65 Photos
Check out the bombers and fighters of the South Dakota Air and Space Museum

More Galleries

Check out the bombers and fighters of the South Dakota Air and Space Museum

35 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos