By on August 17, 2016

2017 Audi A4 Ultra

With front-wheel drive, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the all-new 2017 Audi A4 Ultra’s EPA highway fuel economy figure is 37 miles per gallon.

Audi says, “No other luxury sedan in its competitive segment offers higher EPA-estimated city or highway mileage” than the new fuel-sipping A4, which the Environmental Protection Agency rates at 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg combined.

The EPA scores the rear-wheel-drive BMW at 32 mpg city and 42 highway and the 330e at a combined 72 mpge equivalent. Audi presumably excluded these non-entry-level, uniquely powered models from the “competitive segment” definition.

The A4 Ultra, which improves upon the standard front-wheel-drive 2017 Audi A4’s 25/33 mpg ratings, is reduced to 190 horsepower and 236 lbs-ft of torque from the usual A4’s 252 horsepower and 273 lbs-ft.

Non-diesel rivals such as the BMW 320i, Mercedes-Benz C300, and Lexus IS200t have combined EPA fuel economy ratings of 28, 28, and 26 miles per gallon, respectively. Even the Audi A4’s little A3 brother maxed out at a combined 27 mpg in MY2016.

Including delivery fees, pricing for the 2017 Audi A4 Ultra begins at $35,850 in Premium guise — a $2,400 savings compared with the typical front-wheel-drive A4 2.0T — and $39,650 for the Premium Plus.

Audi also uses the Ultra badge on a particularly high-mileage version of the Audi A3 e-tron.

[Image: Audi USA]

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55 Comments on “No Diesel Required: 2017 Audi A4 2.0T Ultra Does 37 MPG Highway...”


  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    “The A4 Ultra, which improves upon the standard front-wheel-drive 2017 Audi A4’s 25/33 mpg ratings, is reduced to 190 horsepower and 236 lbs-ft of torque from the usual A4’s 252 horsepower and 273 lbs-ft.”

    That’s a pretty massive decrease in power. Is that really worth it to the average A4 buyer to lose that much power to save $7 a month on gas? I’ll gladly take the hit on my mpgs for that increase in performance.

    As a side note, I hope it doesn’t have one of those mandatory “features” to boost the city mpg rating where the car shuts off at every stop. It seems to be the new trend.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      CAFE makes people pay extra for less of the performance that they care about.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I don’t believe stop/start systems affect EPA ratings.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        And why wouldn’t you want it anyway? Why sit at some long light with the motor running? It takes about nothing to start a warmed up DI motor. Every little bit helps.

        • 0 avatar
          jacob_coulter

          It feels like a transmission that’s on its last legs at every stop. Also, things like the AC compressor stops running and it can get hot very quickly in many climates.

          All for meager cost savings that most people won’t ever even realize.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I have no such issues with my BMW. If the A/C is needed, the engine stays running. I have to think it contributes to real-world mileage that is quite impressive for a car of its performance level.

            I do think it is less intrusive with a manual than with an automatic, as you have full control over it. But even with rented automatics, it doesn’t bother me particularly. On the rare occasions where it doesn’t make sense, there is an off switch.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Interesting. What brand doesn’t take HVAC into account when implementing start-stop?
            All the systems I know of either keep the AC running electrically, or re-start the motor when maximum cooling is required.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            My wife’s 6MT Clubman S has the auto start-stop. It is definitely noticed through your feet when the engine cranks back over. One way to keep it from going off without hitting the button is to just keep the clutch pedal in.

            One bonus is that the start stop restarts the engine immediately if you stall. The clutch pickup point is so different than my FR-S that I have stalled the Clubman a time or two.

        • 0 avatar
          garuda

          You clearly have not driven a poorly softwared start/stop system such the Peugeot’s. It was also my sincere hope that people who had to drive the company car wouldn’t notice it, but it was obvious. It makes all of those drivers reluctant/objectionable to having that feature in their own cars now.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Just because some companies can’t get a technology quite right doesn’t mean it is useless technology. It works perfectly and unobtrusively in my BMW. An engine that is not running is not using fuel, so I don’t see any way it would not be effective in the real world, regardless of what happens on artificial tests.

            I really could not care less what Peugeot is up to. They don’t even sell them in my country.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Start/stop does count for CAFE ratings even if it doesn’t show up in the numbers on the sticker.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      I agree. Without AWD, the A4 is too much like a FWD Lexus. And losing that much power for such a small fuel economy gain doesn’t seem like a compromise that many Audi buyers will make. I don’t see the Ultra being a sales leader.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Sure, but isn’t there about a 50/50 chance that Audi drivers are mindlessly, slowly humblebraging to their social media followers about their awesome luxury car (#blessed), while clogging up the middle lane? These are people who will never use the missing 60hp, but an extra $7/month might just help them make rent?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “No other luxury sedan in its competitive segment …”. Sorry but A4 is no luxury sedan. Luxury is A8.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      That’s what I was thinking. It might qualify as near-luxury, provided you’re drowning in German brand Kool-Aid and have never experienced a loaded Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        If you think any Accord is comparable to an A4, enjoy the Accord and spend the difference on golf or something.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I don’t think it is comparable at all. An Accord is roomy and comfortable. It embodies the best in engineering and is built with precision. The A4 is none of those things.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            Sorry, but the Accord isn’t even in the same league as an A4. It’s a nice car, but it simply is outclassed by the Audi.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Disposable luxury is only class for someone who has none.

          • 0 avatar
            andyinatl

            Accord Touring is nice. But it’s nowhere near A4 when it comes to refinement, and i LOVE Hondas. All Hondas (including Acuras) have a carpet that looks like sprayed on rat fur and paint that scratches when someone even looks at it. Barely acceptable in basic transportation category anymore, not to say anything about entry luxury.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            @Todd – I own a new A5. The wife has a loaded Accord. I spend a lot of time driving the Accord and I can tell you first hand that while the Accord is a nice car overall, it does not compare to my Audi. The Accord is a car built for the masses as a transportation appliance. The Audi is so much more of a driver’s car. Of course mine is a 6-speed manual and has all the performance packages, and the Honda is fully loaded, so it’s obviously not a stick. I guess it’s an unfair comparison, but it is what it is.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The Accord Touring’s engine is more refined than any German four cylinder. Engine stop-start is the icy hand of poverty. There’s more to refinement than surface superficiality. None of my Hondas have exhibited any more upholstery wear than my German cars, although the paint on one of them is pathetic. OTOH, the silver paint on my first Audi was worse when it was half as old. My second Audi was repainted after its brown paint faded in four years. The silver paint on my Mercedes was pretty much just grey after a decade. But yes, I’ve at least seen some evidence that Honda paint can live up to the bashing. I’ve also been told by someone that works for Honda that if I take the car to the dealer for an oil change, they’ll repaint its roof under a silent recall even though it is almost ten years old.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Of course mine is a 6-speed manual and has all the performance packages”

            Well, I’m not sure if your A5 is comparable to the A4 Scooter $201/Month Lease Edition introduced here.

            You really think this thing is going to be a “driver’s car”?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I had a couple A4s as loaners when my daily was an A7. What they weren’t inferior to an Accord in was irrelevant. I’m glad you like your car.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            The Accord is a noisy, cheaply built, tinny econobox blown up to mega-proportions for [email protected] Americans. The A4 is none of those things.

            An Accord is awesome compared to a Camry, but so is a good pair of sneakers.

            I’m not even much of a fan of Audis in general and I think this is utterly hilarious.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            @ ajla – That wasn’t the comparison I was making. I think an eco version of the A4 is a silly idea. But put an Accord up against a basic A4 S-line and it’s not even comparable. And we won’t even talk about the S4.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            As much as the Buick Verano is near-luxury I guess. My old Verano 2.0T(6MT) would see 37 mpg @ 70 mph on a 6 hour leg of PA-80 and back. The ATS with AWD and 6-speed auto could only muster 34-35 mpg @ 69 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        ToddAtlasF1, I own a 9th generation Accord at the EX-L trim level. It’s a very good car when priced in the mid 20s, but it lacks the refinement to compete with near-luxury cars. At trim levels priced in the 30s, the numb electric power steering, somewhat jittery suspension tuning, cheap carpet, etc. would be annoying. It’s an almost full-sized economy car. A Japanese Impala that drives like a Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          Fast forward to 60k miles… the Accord has had only routine maintenance and still feels as tight as the day it was purchased; the Audi is on its second timing chain & tensioner set, second set of front control arms, 2 or 3 window regulators, consumes abnormal amounts of oil, the DSG shutters and hesitates, leaks from every seam, and to top it off it smells like crayons plus most of the buttons on the dash are unrecognizable.

          Luxury? Refinement? Excitement? Hahahha what a joke. Biggest piles of trash on the planet. As Todd stated, disposable luxury that no one should consider outside of a lease.

          • 0 avatar
            White Shadow

            I think you must be stuck in the 90s. Audi today has really good reliability ratings. Besides, people generally lease German cars, so they aren’t concerned with anything beyond three or four years

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          you can call A4 a sport sedan if you want to but it ain’t luxury. Can you have good times with 2 prostitutes on the back seat? I guess -not. then it ain’t luxury. But in Avalon you can – that is! luxury

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The compact Germans (along with the other compact competition) were known as “entry-level” luxury and were not “luxury” (compromising on amenities like space, power and interior appointment is not luxury).

        Really have to step up to the midsize segment to get to luxury.

        But as the compacts increasingly get larger and get better interiors (starting with the current C Class) – there may come a day when the “compacts” (not so much compact anymore) enter the luxury threshold.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      It’s still “luxury” in American Branding Terms.

      People can just get over “Only The SuperLux Cars Like A Bentley!!!!!” thing, because it’s dead and the body’s so far gone it’s past bloating and into liquefaction, okay?

      • 0 avatar
        NickS

        I don’t know what MY Audis y’all use as points of reference to compare against Accords, but it is complete rubbish to compare them in the last 10 years.

        The driving dynamics and the firmly-planted-into-the-pavement feel of an Audi are way over anything any honda in the last decade plus.

        Engine-wise, sure the tech is more or less the same. Let’s say, anyway.

        And, whaaaat? There are zero recent Audi A4s that need timing system service twice within 60K, or the suspension system replaced in that timeframe. These claims are complete and utter fiction. If someone mistreats an Audi that badly in 60K to need new suspension arms, they are clueless. Std timing belt service is 100K on most every VAG engine. One of my neighbors has 245000 miles on his A4.

        Most Honda owners I know who got the keys to the A4 for a test drive are forever changed.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          I am no longer in the business but continue to wrench part-time as well as for recreation. I have personally replaced chain tensioners on VAG products just outside of warranty. Water pumps and thermostats with < 60k miles. I have replaced entire engines due to low oil pressure and gunked up sumps. Cam shafts that are rounded so bad compression is nominal. Cars that eat tires despite spec alignment. Carbon build up and burnt valves. Steering columns that bind. DI injectors that clog and fail. DI pumps that fail prematurely. I could go on and on and on.

          I do not see ANY of these problems on Japanese vehicles of similar age. I have no clue what an Earthdreams direct injector, pump, chain tensioner, or what the underside of the valve cover even looks like! Lol Nothing but fluid changes and tire rotations.

          Just look at the re-sale values and that tells you everything you need to know!

          German Kool Aid…. Do not drink it.

          • 0 avatar
            NickS

            I wasn’t talking about reliability, there is no contest there. Audis are not prone to neglect or serial abuse. Durability-wise though, they can go to 300K without a major problem. I have done it and so have many other folks.

            Carbon deposits have hit a particular breed from across all OEMs who first went completely DI with no port injection. I know of several Audi owners who have had the entire engine replaced for free due to oil consumption, even outside warranty. Not standard practice, but Audi does come through. The premium price of the vehicles does show up somewhere.

            And once again, if you own an Audi and neglect it, or expect only fluid changes you have no standing in complaining. Stick with the Accord and enjoy the opposite of driving dynamics. I know a couple of Honda owners who had to pony up to get a new transmission. Yeah, if you don’t service it, it will fail, no matter the marquee.

            And let me throw another little counterpoint. There was a certain breed of Hondas with an epic fail of their clearcoat and paint. Honda did exactly nothing for these owners, many of whom had garaged their vehicles. The owner of a body shop near me put two of his kids through college thanks to those Hondas.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    How do they get 37 mpg highway? The government site says 33 mpg, 28 combined.
    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/37302.shtml

  • avatar
    carguy

    If you want good mileage and don’t care about power or AWD then a Mazda6 would probably be the smarter choice.

  • avatar
    NutellaBC

    The 240hp Volvo S60 has a 36mpg rating on the hwy, much better deal IMO.

  • avatar
    JD23

    “The EPA scores the rear-wheel-drive BMW at 32 mpg city and 42 highway…”

    To which BMW does this sentence refer?

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    So, it’s FWD but unlike prior FWD A4s, it’s got a 7 speed DCT instead of a CVT. That’s a good step towards being a better drivers car right there, even without AWD. This engine also hopefully takes some weight off the nose. The efficiency is better, but I think its also a torpedo at the 320i, which is very down on features at a comparable price. It also has a less powerful engine, but it is RWD. Personally, I think its still a bit too expensive, but it does interest me.

  • avatar
    SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

    “No other luxury sedan in its competitive segment offers higher EPA-estimated city or highway mileage”

    I suppose this FWD Audi competes with the FWD Lexus ES300h: 39MPG Highway, 40MPG city, 40MPG combined.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The Turbo Loophole has another user.

    A 3600 lb turbocharged car would be hard-pressed to exceed 20 MPG in actual stop-and-go traffic; it may be able to achieve close to 25 MPG in hilly suburban terrain @ 35MPH average.

    It might see 27 MPG in light traffic on level ground with few stops.

    You can’t violate physics – if you don’t recover braking energy, your “city” mileage is going to be very low.

    Look at Consumer Reports “City” mileage numbers for a close to “real world” expectation –

    A 2016 1.5T EcoBoost Fusion gets 16 MPG City according to CR; a 2016 Malibu 1.5T gets 19 MPG; I’d expect this Audi to be in this range or lower.

    More fuel is going to be wasted by this turbo bait-and-switch tactic, because well-meaning people will buy these cars, believing the “city MPG” hype.

    The EPA better WAKE UP to this scam, but as long as gas prices stay low, people won’t complain.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    I think a turbo is essentially a 50% increase in power displacement.

    So, all other things being equal (mass & aero), a 1.6 liter turbo should be comparable to a 2.3-2.5 liter.

    In city driving, with a lot of idling, the smaller displacement should give the turbo a significant advantage in fuel consumption. So, if you drive in NYC or Chicago, with lots of time stopped, turbo helps. But for most suburban driving, the gain is minimal.

    That said, I’d rather have a normally aspirated engine. I see the turbo as another major component that will break one day. I also think, all things being equal, NA has better response.

    Turbos, stop-start, are not worth it IMO. If one wants to use less fuel, one should

    a. drive less or
    b. get a smaller vehicle.

    But if one absolutely can’t do A or B, I guess these hi-cost marginal improvements help save fuel–and set one up for some minor inconvenience day to day (turbo lag, the ANNOYANCE of JERKY stop/START), and some potentially major repair bills that will negate the minor savings realized.

    Also, I’m impressed with the mpg of the Verano above (37) and ATS AWD (34-35). My 2011 Malibu with 95k miles got about 32 mpg on an 1100 mile trip across PA. That included some local driving. I cruised at about 70-72 most of the time (range was 65 to 80). And I was very happy to have a relatively large car, with A/C, get that type of mpg.

    A generation ago, as a kid, similar trip across PA on I-80, our Fairmont 4-cyl, 4-speed got 30 mpg–no A/C and spent most of the time doing 55-60 (range 50-70). And those fill-ups were for pure highway driving, no local or around town driving

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I wish could attach the Morphs meme. What if I told you… you could stay off the turbo and get the same mileage in the faster A4?

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    My company car, ’15 TLX V6 (FWD), has gotten as high as 41.2 mpg doing 77 mph w/ AC on from Boston to DC. Several weeks ago I had a last minute drive from Philly to Pittsburgh averaging 79 mph w/ AC on and got 39.7 mpg. These are manual calculations not the trip computer which appears to be .8 mpg too high. I think that’s good for a 290 HP V6 even though the 9 spd trans is clunky in city driving. The EPA sticker says highway should be 34 mpg but I know from speaking w/ other TLX V6 owners it’s fairly easy to surpass.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    The stock photo appears to be of an A4 quattro.

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