2020 Audi S4 review: A sweeter sweet spot

Ah, the Audi S4. I never imagine I’ve ever satisfied one particular that I have not favored. Guaranteed, I am however mourning the loss of the handbook transmission selection in this most recent era, but the existing product retains all the other critical S4 hallmarks. With a even larger encouraging of electric power, greater handling and smidge extra model than the normal A4, modern S4 remains a wonderfully sorted and very able activity sedan. And for 2020, delicate updates sweeten the offer just a minor extra.


  • Extra intense styling
  • Snappy and intuitive infotainment
  • Solid and easy turbocharged engine
  • Fantastic journey and handling harmony

Never Like

  • Lacking the handbook
  • Steering could be weightier
  • Lacks a genuine intense exhaust be aware

Extra visible intensity

Like the overall 2020 A4 spouse and children, the S4 gains from a broader single-body grille, but with a honeycomb insert specific to the S cars. The reduce front air dams are extra aggressively formed than the normal A4’s, and my Glacier White metallic examination vehicle options even extra mindset with an optional Black Optic Deal that throws in black exterior trim alongside with wicked-on the lookout 19-inch V-spoke star wheels. It is clear and appealing.

What is actually also clear and appealing? The S4’s cabin. It is your typical Audi interior: only laid out, intuitive to work through and designed from a selection of top quality products. Important parts of the dash and doorway panels are wrapped in leather-based, Alcantara is scattered throughout, and even the tricky-plastic surfaces glimpse and really feel significant. This S4 receives some other sporty touches such as a flat-bottom steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and stainless-metal pedals, but the activity seats are the most noteworthy. They glimpse fancy with diamond stitching and are supremely at ease with generous support. They also offer a massage function, which I am usually happy to get gain of.

The S4 is also useful, with a selection of nooks and crannies up front to stash smaller objects in. You will find a lot of room in the front for older people and there’s serviceable genuine estate in rear, though if you roll a few people deep in again, the inadequate schmuck in the center will have to straddle a massive center transmission hump. Then when you require to transfer stuff, there’s 12 cubic feet of room in the trunk, able of swallowing the products from all but the most out-of-command grocery browsing visits.

Extra tech

The other important prong to the 2020 S4’s update is housed within the dash. Audi’s MIB three method controls infotainment capabilities through a ten.one-inch touchscreen. When compared with the outgoing method, it really is ten periods faster, which is obvious in how swiftly it responds to inputs, completes vacation spot searches and calculates navigation routes. It is easy to work through, visuals are crisp and the method is packed complete of options, such as a gnarly 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio setup, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle.

Audi’s trick Virtual Cockpit is also in the S4 with the 12.three-inch gauge cluster giving many displays. You can pick out concerning massive Google Earth imagery with 3D metropolis maps or an S Efficiency manner with a tach and speedo positioned front and center, flanked by a enhance gauge and lap timer.

Audi’s MIB three infotainment method is swift and intuitive.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The S4 is also set up to reduce any moveable gadgets that come aboard from ever likely useless. Travellers up front have USB-A and USB-C shops, a wi-fi charging pad and a 12-volt socket within arm’s access. Riders in again have two USB-A ports and a 12-volt plug on the again of the center console. Heck, there’s even a 12-volt outlet in the trunk.

On the protection technological know-how front, this S4 is flush with equipment. It is acquired adaptive cruise command, ahead-collision warning with computerized braking, blind-place monitoring, lane-trying to keep support, a 360-diploma camera, rear cross-site visitors inform and a head-up display.

All-all over performer

Very little about the S4’s general performance credentials adjust for the 2020 product year update, which I am not definitely bummed about. The three.-liter turbocharged V6 with 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque is however its easy, punchy self, doing the job with a fluid-shifting eight-speed computerized. Use the Audi Travel Decide on method to select the Dynamic placing for lag-cost-free launches, having the three,847-pound sedan to sixty mph in 4.4 seconds. Wholesome thrust is conveniently obtainable throughout the entirety of the rev band to zip absent from stoplights and simply merge onto expressways.

The S4’s turbocharged V6 generates a healthier 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

How do the Audi’s quantities stack up against the opposition? Quite properly, apart from for horsepower. The BMW M340i xDrive and Mercedes-AMG C43 outgun it with 382 hp and 385 hp, respectively. In the torque department, the S4 is in the middle of the blend, a bit edging previous the Bimmer’s 368 pound-feet of twist, but guiding the Benz’s 384. As for -to-sixty-mph periods, they’re all in the reduced-to-mid 4-2nd selection with M340i the fastest at 4.one seconds and C43 occupying the rear at 4.5 seconds.

Gasoline overall economy in the S4 is appropriate, all factors deemed, returning an EPA-estimated twenty miles for every gallon in the metropolis and 27 mpg on the highway. All over a week of mostly metropolis motoring, I observed 21 mpg with my admittedly large right foot. The only small drivetrain nitpick I have is that I would like the adjustable exhaust method experienced a a bit louder and throatier placing. As is, the Present placing is the most boisterous with only a reduced-important gurgle.

Dynamically, the S4 however provides drivers a in the vicinity of-great middle floor concerning general performance and journey ease and comfort. When you might be in the temper to toss it tricky through corners, place the adaptive suspension and the obtainable Dynamic Steering method into Sport for brisk transform-in and managed physique motions. I hardly ever push it definitely tricky, but the S4 shines through spirited drives, tracking through bends with minor physique lean, and it hangs on restricted with the Bridgestone Potenza summer months tires. No doubt the optional torque-vectoring rear differential is earning its retain hustling the rear all over, also. If you leave all the things in Sport for typical driving, impact harness is far from jarring, and the steering is just not overly hefty. In fact, I would like Audi would dial in a minor extra steering weight.

Bridgestone Potenza summer months tires aid the S4 hold on restricted all over corners.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

When you just want to cruise, placing the S4’s chassis in the Cozy placing is the ticket. You will find extra physique roll and the steering lightens and is just not as swift to answer off center, but damping for bumps boosts for a supple and quiet journey all over town or buzzing down the interstate. The only thing you can expect to have to get acclimated to just before acquiring a wholly cozy motoring experience is the grabby brakes. The first chunk is robust and necessitates a minor sensation-out interval just before you can brake smoothly.

How I’d spec it

At $66,490 which include $995 for vacation spot, my selection-topping S4 Status is packed to the gills with styling, infotainment and protection tech goodies. Of training course, that usually means it will come with a bottom line that is a far cry from its $fifty,895 base price.

When building my S4, I’d decide for the midrange High quality In addition that receives me will have to-haves such as blind-place monitoring, rear cross-site visitors inform and a wi-fi charger alongside with the Virtual Cockpit tech. I love the glimpse of the $595 Glacier White metallic paint and $one,four hundred Black Optic Deal. Toss in the $2,five hundred S Sport Deal for the adaptive dampers and torque-vectoring diff and $one,a hundred and fifty for the Dynamic Steering to up handling prowess. Tack on $950 so I can rock out to the Bang & Olufsen sound method and that delivers my Audi to a cool $fifty nine,990 out the doorway. 

With all the bells and whistles, this S4 examination vehicle punches in at $66,490.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Sweet-place activity sedan

With the BMW M340i xDrive setting up at $fifty seven,690 and the Mercedes-AMG C43 beginning at $55,950, the S4’s extra reasonably priced pricing is one more constructive likely in its favor. The three Collection is a sharper-handling specimen and the C-Course possesses a extra elegant cabin than the S4, but neither is as properly-rounded. With peppy electric power, outstanding journey and handling blend, clear and extra intense looks and cabin tech enhancements, the Audi remains the most comprehensive and persuasive vehicle of the bunch.

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