The Audi S4 is a more focused version of the Audi A4 made for those who want to combine the practicality of the regular Avant with a more exciting engine and a relatively focused driving experience. The S4 slots perfectly below the flagship 450hp Audi RS4 Avant, yet they use the very same engine. So, is Audi S4 a good car?
The Audi S4 is indeed a really good car because it is a sweet spot in the Audi A4 range. There are two different versions of the S4, a diesel S4 and a gasoline Audi S4 Avant. The diesel model is available for the European market while the US market gets the gasoline version which is arguably the better choice.
Design-wise, the S4 separates itself from the regular A4 with a more stylish body kit, quad exhaust pipes, low-profile wheels, larger brakes, and a sporty grille. The interior of the S4 is cladded with Alcantara, aluminum, and even carbon fiber. The S4 drives in a more dynamic manner when compared to the regular A4, but the differences aren’t substantial.
The reliability of the S4 is decent, but only if you maintain it well enough. Practicality is great because of the spacious interior and an equally accommodating trunk space. The S4 is also a really good family car because it is quiet, comfortable, and filled with lots of family-friendly features.
Audi S4 – The powertrain
The Audi S4 gets either a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine with 354hp or a diesel 3.0L turbocharged V6 with 347hp. Both of these can reach 60mph from a standstill in about 4.9 seconds and can reach a maximum speed of 155mph. These are also mated to an 8-speed automatic torque converter gearbox and the power is being sent to all four wheels through Audi’s iconic Quattro AWD system.
The diesel S4 is the more efficient engine of the bunch because it can return up to 40MPG if you are sensible with the gas pedal while the gasoline S4 can do 30MPG at best. The diesel S4 gets 150lb-ft of torque more than the S4, but the rev limited is situated around 5,000RPM which makes the engine a bit too ordinary for a true S car.
Either way, both of these powertrains are sophisticated and fitting for a luxury car. From an enthusiast’s point of view, the gasoline S4 is much more fun, but the diesel S4 is the one to get if you do lots of highway miles.
Audi S4 – Design and chassis
The Audi S4 looks more focused than the regular A4 Avant thanks to a myriad of styling upgrades which include a more stylish body kit, a set of low-profile wheels, larger brakes, a lower ride height, sporty seats, a sporty steering wheel, quad exhausts, and a sporty grille. The S4 looks relatively understated which means that those who love sleeper cars will love the S4.
The interior of the S4 is luxurious, ergonomic, and relatively large as well. The driving experience is closer to the regular A4 Avant than it is to the range-topping RS4 Avant. It sits relatively flat in the corners, but its priorities comfort over dynamics which is why it tends to understeer.
Audi S4 – Reliability and common issues
The reliability of the Audi S4 is decent, but only if you maintain it well enough. Most common Audi S4 issues include ignition coil trouble, transmission trouble, oil leaks, premature brake wear, and issues with overheating.
Older S4 models which used the 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 suffer from issues related to carbon buildup on the intake manifold which could potentially ruin the engine if not cleaned in due time. All in all, the A4 costs quite a bit of money to maintain if you neglect it.
Audi S4 – Value and practicality
The Audi S4 starts at around $51,000 but range-topping Prestige models go for a lot more than that. They do retain value relatively well and are popular cars on the 2nd hand market. If you are not someone who cares about speed, acceleration, and looks, the regular Audi A4 Avant is the more value-oriented choice for you.
Practicality-wise, the S4 is great because it is an Avant/estate car. This means that it offers lots of seating space for all four passengers and that the trunk space is comparably large as well. Visibility is also great and the S4 is a good family car thanks to a really safe platform and lots of family-friendly features throughout the cabin.
Should I buy the Audi S4?
If you are one of those who believes the regular Audi A4 is a bit dull and it lacks character and you want something that can please you both on highways and on canyon roads, the S4 Avant is a great choice. If you are a family man and you often use four seats, the S4 is also a really good car for you.
It may not be as exciting as the RS4, but it does not need to be because it is a family estate car after all. If you don’t care about performance and dynamics, the regular A4 is the better choice. Also, if you prefer coupes over estate cars/sedans, the S5 is the better choice.
Does Audi offer the Audi RS4 in sedan form?
Audi does not offer the RS4 in sedan form and they are likely not going to, at least not in the immediate future. Audi also offers the RS6 as an Avant only because the RS7 is a relatively similar car and there is no need to make the RS6 in sedan form.
The Audi RS4 Avant is a great choice overall because it offers a more accommodating interior and a trunk space that is larger and easier to pack than the one found in the S4 sedan.
Which Audi Sport car is the best?
The best Audi Sport model is likely the Audi RS6 because it is one of the best cars you can buy these days. The RS6 can do everything which means that it is an unrivaled everything-in-one-package type of car. The RS3 is also a great Audi Sport car because it is compact and luxurious, and it offers an amazing engine.
The RS5/RS7 are the best-looking Audi Sport models while the Audi R8 is the undisputed flagship Audi Sport supercar.