Audi Reviews

In the Driver’s Seat: 2016 Audi S4 Review

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Every year Audi teases us with notions that the RS4 will return to the US. But for those who can’t wait, the S4 Sedan is a completely sensible choice. After a few recent updates, they sent us one for a week of quattro excitement. The car’s birth certificate shows the anglicised name to be S4 Sedan 3.0T quattro S tronic. Germanic nomenclature is never arbitrary, so we set out to decipher the description and understand the cult status among enthusiasts.

Audi doesn’t make big changes on their best selling sedans, so the design is instantly identifiable. While the A4 received a crisp refresh for model year ’16, S4 remains in the same outfit it received in 2013. The Black Optic package delivers a murdered out exterior with gloss black wheels, body color mirrors, and trim. We always wish more manufacturers would offer similar trim levels; until we remember that shade makes no difference in Florida. Forgive us for the stock photos, it was impossible to keep the car from attracting the pollen of our allergy season.


After a few minutes of run time to cool down the interior, we decided to run a few errands to see if the Audi was adequate at “adulting.” Sensory deprivation is the name of the game. Outside annoyances are removed thanks to great insulation. The suspension soaks up all undulations and no feedback is sent to the steering wheel. One of our major gripes with the A3 is no matter how advanced a 4 cylinder engine is, they vibrate like paint mixers at idle. S4 arrives with a potent and smooth 3.0-liter supercharged V6  Rated at 333 hp and 325 lb-ft, the output is decent for a car of this size. You need not worry about wheel spin thanks to the latest in quattro All Wheel dual clutch automatic shifts quick in manual mode, but it lacks the urgency found on their more powerful cars. Seating is comfortable up front with race inspired buckets. Back seats are adequate, but rear legroom is not competitive with others in this segment.

The most enjoyable feature of the S4 is the Bang & Olufsen audio. Only 14 speakers are used to make you forget you are motoring. Even if the infotainment system takes some time to learn, the technology package is worth it. Audi’s build quality is top-notch. Fit & finish inside and out is on-par with almost anything we have encountered. The only glaring problem with the A4 and S4 is the Passat hiding in plain sight. For $55,300 we had hoped to see more distinction between the brands. Mileage is rated at 18 city and 28 highway, not too shabby for an AWD sedan. If you need a safe & quiet AWD sedan, there is no reason to not consider the A4/S4 for your next ride.

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