On sale now at Audi dealerships, the 2017 A4 offers "good protection in a small overlap front crash and superior-rated, standard front crash-prevention system," the Institute said on Wednesday.
The small overlap front crash test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole.
"The previous generation of the midsize car rated poor in the small overlap evaluation," the Institute said. "In that test, the structure didn't hold up, with intrusion into the driver's space reaching 11 inches at the footwell and the instrument panel.
"In contrast, the 2017 A4 had maximum intrusion of only 3 inches at the footrest."
The 2017 A4 earned "good" ratings in other Institute crash tests.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not rated the 2017 A4.
Every 2017 Audi A4 features antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags are optional.
Also standard is a front collision-mitigation system with automatic braking, while rear collision mitigation and blind-spot monitoring are included in the Technology package (standard on Prestige, optional on Premium Plus).
Lane-departure warning and intervention is available only on the Prestige via the optional Driver Assistance package.
The Technology package's Audi Connect system additionally provides automatic crash notification, SOS emergency response, geo-fencing alerts (location, speed and curfew) and a stolen vehicle locator.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers must wait to make some comparisons, since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet rated the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.