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July 25, 2017

Review: 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TDI

The premium luxury sedan class has always looked in the direction of BMW or Mercedes-Benz for leadership. And while others remain content driving something with a blue-and-white roundel or a three-pointed star upfront, out of nowhere, the 2017 Audi A4 has them beat. Delivering a stirring performance without sacrificing comfort and all of the latest technology without overwhelming users, it’s now the unequivocal pack leader.

Surprisingly, Audi has decided that the A4 would take segment leadership without shouting its intentions from a mile away. The styling certainly isn’t for guys who like wearing bright red pants; instead it’s like a well-tailored suit. By and large, the design is evolutionary, typical of Audi’s Russian doll styling technique spread to the A6 and A8. Yet, look at the details and everything is crisp with no line out of place. In particular, that heavy crease that runs along the side and into the clamshell hood’s shut line is a testament to Audi’s exquisite attention to detail.

Under that suit-and-tie getup though is a well-chiseled athlete’s body. It’s gone through an extensive weight loss regimen thanks to a brand-new MLB Evo platform, shedding a remarkable 120 kilograms in the process. As a result, it’s nimble and fun in all the right ways. Though more feedback would have been appreciated, the steering is precise and weighs up consistently. It also handles predictably and securely, with prodigious amounts of grip.

What really sets the A4 apart from the competition is its wonderfully refined, relaxed, and comfortable driving experience. The suspension is pliant with the right amount of damping while the body itself is solid, free from any odd shudders, thunks, or clonks. This is definitely the sedan to effortlessly travel long distances in.

And speaking about long distance drives, the A4’s 2.0-liter TDI engine makes it feel so effortless. Though paper figures don’t seem impressive—150 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque—in reality, it delivers lag-free performance with strong pull from idle to redline. What’s more, it sounds and feels refined even when worked hard, a pleasant surprise for a diesel engine. Plus, it delivers 8.84 km/L despite being limited to gnarly 11 km/h traffic.

Connected to the engine is a 7-speed dual clutch automatic. Called S-tronic in Audi speak, it engages easily, smoothly, and predictably from a stop or slow roll with none of the jerkiness commonly associated with dual clutch gearboxes. Actually, it mimics a conventional torque converter automatic except that this gearbox shifts instantaneously.

While its driving behavior is enough to make the A4 a convincing choice among executives, the interior seals the deal. Though the use of premium materials is expected of vehicles in this class, the execution shows that Audi’s a step ahead. Not only is the interior full of soft-touch materials and well-damped switches, but the fit and finish is a grade or two above every other car in this class. Not only are the panel gaps miniscule, but everything feels solid with a satisfying level of solidity from the MMI rotary knob to the muted thud each time the doors are closed.

Another great news is how the A4 integrates all sorts of advanced technologies without making it complicated to use. Buttons are few, but every function from the infotainment system settings to the Audi Drive Select remains just a menu or two away. Singlehandedly though, the best feature in here is the Virtual Cockpit, where a giant 12.3-inch display replaces the traditional analog instrument dials.

In terms of space, it’s par for the course in this class. Front passengers will have no issues getting comfortable. Getting in and out is easy thanks to the wide doors and low sills. Once inside, there’s plenty of head, leg, and elbow room—sometimes feeling a size wider than it is. There’s also a generous range of seat adjustment that fits almost any body size. Over at the back, space is much more limited because of a thick transmission tunnel, but at least the seats are supportive and they do get their own climate control vents and zone. The trunk is flat and square, allowing a golf set or two to fit in.

Audi’s tagline of “Vorsprung Durch Technik” or Advancement Through Technology is amiably represented in the all-new A4. Aside from the Virtual Cockpit and Audi Drive Select which alters several vehicle parameters based on the chosen driving mode, it comes with some interesting features such as intelligent park assist that lets it steer itself into a spot. Oddly enough, it’s pretty lean when it comes to safety technology: there are no parking cameras or blind spot indicators (it does have city emergency braking).

Brushing the lack of safety systems aside, the 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TDI remains the undisputed class valedictorian in the premium compact sedan class. It offers a pleasantly entertaining drive through canyon roads without any detriment to everyday comfort or even the occasional long-distance cruise. Topping it all off, it offers a class-above interior with many high-tech features with none of the confusion. This is for the man with the quiet confidence to lead, but who aren’t afraid to take someone else’s lunch money.

2017 Audi A4 2.0 TDI
Ownership 2017 Audi A4 2.0 TDI
Year Introduced 2016
Vehicle Classification Executive Sedan
The Basics
Body Type 4-door sedan
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.0
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 150 @ 3,250-4,200
Nm @ rpm 320 @ 1,500-3,250
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 7 DCT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 8.84 km/L @ 11 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,726
Width (mm) 1,842
Height (mm) 1,404
Wheelbase (mm) 2,824
Curb Weight (kg) 1,470
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Five-Link
Rear Suspension Independent, Five-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Vented Disc
Tires Pirelli Cinturato P7 245/40 R 18 Y (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front and Rear
Other Safety Features Tire Pressuring Monitoring System
Emergency City Braking
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front and Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Electric (front)
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 40/20/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control 3-Zone
Audio System Stereo
SD Card
# of Speakers 10
Steering Controls Yes


  1. Diesel is controversial in Europe right now.

    1. Wala naman Tayo SA Europe. PPV hindi nga ibenebenta doon too crude while it's selling like hotcakes dito

  2. this or the is350 f sport?

  3. I would go for Lexus IS350.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. 3.8M for a 2.0L engine.. you must be out of your mind lol

    1. Yes of course, engine with lots of technological advancements. Wag kang bobo, di mo lang kaya bumili kaya ganyan HAHA

    2. Common Rail Direct Injection Tubodiesels are what Hyundai and Kia use too. There's nothing unique about the Audi's engine.

      In fact Subaru is straight up more advanced in executing symmetrical AWD than Audi. Subaru's AWD drivetrain is more compact so the engine doesn't to jut out of the wheelbase as it does on an Audi. Add that to a Subaru boxer engine and you get a lower center of gravity with most heavy weight components closer to the center of the car giving natural better handling. Audi has to compensate for its poor design with extremely thick front tires.

  6. Hi Uly,
    How does the 2017 Jetta stack up as opposed to this A4? I understand you haven't published a review of the former, but I was thinking you might have an insight as to overall execution of both in terms of quality and other tangible aspects. Can't find a thorough review of the current (updated) Jetta.


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