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2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro

The A4 has been the backbone of Audi's lineup and key in its resurgence in the post-Unintended Acceleration days. This car has managed to build up a successful following by being an alternative to the more popular BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class while being nearly as good, if not actually better, than the competition. Audi chose to stake a claim in simple clothes covering technology that was more intuitive than some, being different without being difficult.

But Audi is as much a part of the establishment as its big rivals now, so it's not getting any alternative breaks anymore. It's the young tech startup that's finally a grownup – and learned to dress like one.

While Jonathon Ramsey got to drive this new A4 last fall in Italy, Audi sent me to San Diego last week to drive the US-spec model that goes on sale in a couple of weeks. And, in short, if you liked the old A4, you'll really like this one.