The Audi S4 occupies an interesting place in the Audi lineup, improving performance over the A4 sedan on which it’s based while maintaining a manner tame enough to be a comfortable daily driver. The S4 isn’t quite as adept at carving canyon roads as rivals like the S4 BMW M340i or Mercedes-AMG C43, but the 349-horsepower turbocharged V-6 engine and Quattro all-wheel-drive system provide more than enough oomph. Thankfully, the strong powertrain is paired with powerful brakes, and the automatic gearbox executes quick shifts. The S4 also doesn’t sacrifice a smooth ride to achieve its athletic handling, something discerning drivers can appreciate. The cabin is the main attraction thanks to its stylish design, high-quality materials and sharp and responsive infotainment screen. The S4 deftly blends luxury and performance into a well-rounded, modest sports sedan.
What’s New for 2024?
For 2024, the Audi S4 adds a host of standard equipment, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and a heated steering wheel. All S4s are now also equipped with a set of parking sensors and remote engine start via the myAudi phone app, while the Navigation package (optional on Premium Plus and standard on Prestige) gains traffic sign recognition and predictive adaptive cruise control. There are also new paint colors, with Iris White replaced by Arkona White and Tango Red changed to Progressive Red.
Price and Which One to Buy
Every S4 comes with the same powertrain and wheels, but trim levels reflect some key technological differences. The Premium Plus trim—which comes standard with a 360-degree rearview camera, a larger 12.3-inch gauge cluster with Audi Virtual Cockpit navigation, wireless phone charging, and front and rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic alert—offers the best balance of technology and price . Premium Plus also unlocks the available S Sport package, which adds eye-catching red brake calipers and a torque-vectoring rear differential. We also suggest the Magma Red seats to spice up the monochromatic interior.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
All S4s ship with a 349-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. temporary the version we tested is quicker than most rivals, the engine’s response and exhaust note—both very important features of a sports sedan—lack depth than expected. Despite its weak engine characteristics and lack of a manual transmission, the V-6 delivers plenty of thrust on demand, seamlessly transitioning between relaxed and responsive. Also impressive is its automatic gearbox, which has a response that seems so perceptive, we found the urge to shift for ourselves almost eliminated—well, almost. Looking at the numbers, the S4 is above most competitors in performance. However, the experience lacks the emotion and sharp handling response of its main rivals. The chassis is its greatest strength, with tightly controlled body movement and compliant damping that make it equal parts sport and luxury sedan. The S4 is very accurate and easy to control; Its precise steering, excellent cornering stability, and tenacious on-track grip boosted our confidence for torpedoes on ramps—but it also cruised calmly around town. While the brakes are very responsive, they are very sensitive at city speeds. Fluctuating feedback also interferes with fun on more curvy sections of road where the brake pedal can feel too soft.
Real World Fuel Economy and MPG
The S4 sedan gets 21 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway for a 24-mpg combined rating in 2023, according to EPA estimates, and we expect similar figures for 2024. Once we tested it on our 75-mph highway fuel economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can judge the real world mpg. For more information on the S4’s fuel economy, visit the website EPA website.
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
Audi is a benchmark of interior quality, and the S4 is further proof of this. Each cabin is trimmed with impressive materials and standard features like diamond-stitched sports seats with massage features. Along with the perfect fit and finish, the interior is racy and luxurious. The flat-bottom steering wheel, easy controls, and height-adjustable seat provide an exceptional driving position. However, we found the comfort of the front seats to be diminished by the overly stiff cushions. The S4 has a quiet interior that also contributes to its calm demeanor—for better or worse. Despite having a 13-cubic-foot trunk—tied for smallest in its class with the C43 sedan—the S4 holds a large amount of cargo. Although the interior storage is modest, this sedan can hold a variety of loose items and personal items provided it is not too large. Compare to Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400, Audi is a better travel companion. We only wish the S4’s rear seats were bigger and the front passenger space was more spacious.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi fits every S4 with a 10.1-inch central infotainment screen and ample infotainment options. Along with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, the MMI system we tested responded quickly to commands and had user-friendly controls. Although it is within the driver’s line of sight, certain areas of the display require leaning forward to reach. Unfortunately, the S4 no longer includes a rotary controller on the center console, which would have helped make the system easier to operate.
Safety Features and Driver Assistance
Sports sedans include several standards driver assistance featuresadding adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist to the list of standard equipment for 2024. For more information on the S4 crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
- Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are available
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The S4 has a standard warranty that’s in line with most competitors.
- The limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No free scheduled maintenance
2020 Audi S4
TYPE OF VEHICLE
front engine, all wheel drive, 5 passenger, 4 door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$62,840 (base price: $50,895)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
183 in32995 cm3
349 hp @ 6200 rpm
369 lb-ft @ 1370 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multi-link/multi-link
Brakes (F/R): 13.8-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S001, 255/35R-19 96Y A0
Wheelbase: 111.0 in
Length: 187.5 in
Width: 72.7 inches
Height: 56.2 inches
Passenger volume: 92 feet3
Trunk volume: 12 feet3
Curb Weight: 3927 lb
C/D TEST RESULT
Launch, 1 foot: 0.2 seconds
60 mph: 4.2 seconds
100 mph: 10.7 seconds
130 mph: 19.5 seconds
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.7 seconds
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 seconds
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 seconds
¼ mile: 12.8 seconds @ 108 mph
Top speed (governor limited, mfr claims): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 feet
Road grip, 300-foot skid pad: 0.95 g
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 23/20/27 mpg
More Features and Specifications