2016 Audi S4 new car reviews

The Audi S4 has been in hot pursuit of the BMW M3 for well over two decades. While it hasn't quite gathered the following that the M3 has, it offers plenty. The latest rendition features a 333-horsepower supercharged V6 hitched to a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. But Audi really pulled out all the stops with driver interaction. Their infotainment system is cutting edge and offers everything a luxury sedan should, all controlled by the dial on the center console.

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Rick Goolsby Rick Goolsby
Events Manager

So I got to spend some quality time with the Audi S4 while doing some route driving for our upcoming Classic Motorsports Magazine Orange Blossom Tour in March. While scouting the tour route, I was able to drive the Audi on a mix of interstate, city and back roads.

if there is such a thing as the perfect sports sedan, the Audi S4 comes really close. From the exterior to the interior, I was very impressed with the way the Audi was put together. The instrument panel is a little difficult to figure out quickly, but with time, all the controls became second nature. The seats were good, but I wished they had been all leather instead of the leather and microfiber mix.

So how does it perform?

The Audi S4 has three different modes: Comfort, auto, and individual. I kept it in auto for the majority of the time, with an occasional pull back of the auto shifter into sport mode which really brings this car to life. It practically does all the upshifting and downshifting for you. The handling on the back roads was slot car perfect, while at the same time being comfortable to drive on the interstate or in the city. Fuel mileage was the achilles heel for the Audi, only averaging in the 17 mpg range.

Overall, I loved the Audi S4 and feel that if you are in the market for a sports sedan in the $55,000 range, I would really take a good close look at this car before all the other competitors.

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Robbie
Robbie SuperDork
1/15/16 1:06 p.m.

S4: 333 HP (M3 had this is like what? 2002?), 3800 lbs
M3: 425 HP, 3600 lbs

Looks like the S4 will continue in its 'hot pursuit' status. It's quite a chunk of change cheaper though (about 10k).

codrus
codrus Dork
1/15/16 1:39 p.m.

The S4 is really positioned in competition with the 335i, the competitor to the M3 is the RS4. Alas, they don't sell it here because it's Avant-only and the US market hates wagons.

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
1/15/16 1:40 p.m.

...and the new AWD Ford Fusion. 325HP.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UltraDork
1/15/16 1:59 p.m.

I really like the current S4, but it hasn't had a major refresh since 2010. That's getting pretty old in that market.

bradyzq
bradyzq Dork
1/15/16 3:59 p.m.

Current gen S4 is your last chance to get a manual transmission.

And they put down 300+ HP at the wheels. So, power is mucho underrated.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/15/16 4:51 p.m.

So I want a sports car.. .. . . . And an infotainment system is important how?

rslifkin
rslifkin New Reader
1/15/16 5:01 p.m.
dean1484 wrote: So I want a sports car.. .. . . . And an infotainment system is important how?

That's what I was thinking... If they're trying to chase the sports car market, they're focusing on and talking up the wrong parts of the car...

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
1/15/16 6:24 p.m.
rslifkin wrote:
dean1484 wrote: So I want a sports car.. .. . . . And an infotainment system is important how?

That's what I was thinking... If they're trying to chase the sports car market, they're focusing on and talking up the wrong parts of the car...

S4 is a sedan. The target market is someone who wants sporty daily transport, not a weekend boy racer. As stated above the real M3 fighter is the RS4.

codrus
codrus Dork
1/15/16 6:48 p.m.
bradyzq wrote: Current gen S4 is your last chance to get a manual transmission. And they put down 300+ HP at the wheels. So, power is mucho underrated.

That depends on the dyno, but yes. My B6 S4 (340hp 4.2L V8) made 250 at the wheels on 034's Mustang Dyno, whereas stock B8s make around 280.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UltraDork
1/15/16 9:49 p.m.
Fueled by Caffeine wrote:
rslifkin wrote:
dean1484 wrote: So I want a sports car.. .. . . . And an infotainment system is important how?

That's what I was thinking... If they're trying to chase the sports car market, they're focusing on and talking up the wrong parts of the car...

S4 is a sedan. The target market is someone who wants sporty daily transport, not a weekend boy racer. As stated above the real M3 fighter is the RS4.

I was going to say, if you want a sports car, what are you doing looking at a $60k AWD sedan?

SeanC
SeanC New Reader
1/16/16 6:46 a.m.

Another awesome car that by the time it's old enough that I could afford to buy one, I wouldn't want to...lol.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
1/16/16 1:28 p.m.

If you want a proper 2 door, you want an S5. Same stuff as a S4. You could get an RS5 here in the states too for a while. I do wish the RS4 was sold here as well. We deserve all the choices!

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/16/16 11:49 p.m.

Saying that car is a sports car is like saying my x type is a sports car.

It is just another high end smallish sedan. A very nice car but not a sports car.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
1/17/16 9:07 a.m.

Nobody else has referred to it as a sports car. The article refers to it as a sports sedan. I think that fits well.

westsidetalon
westsidetalon Reader
1/17/16 10:09 a.m.

Damn I really like the complete package the B8 S4 offers but swore off Audis when I owned a complete lemon B5 A4. I really wonder if they have improved since then.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/17/16 10:44 a.m.

The S4 moniker isn't really what it used to be. Look at the models and engine choices. There used to be two engines available for the A4 - a base 4 and an V6 upgrade. Now that's gone. The A4 is only available with the 4. The V6 upgrade is now called the S4. The "old S4" is now the RS4 (although availability varies in the US each year - only the RS7 right now).

Audi did this a few years ago across just about the entire model line. I see a ton of A5's and S5's. I can always tell the older ones because some of the A5's are V6 versions, which are now badged as S5's.

It is a shame the Avant is no longer available as it basically removes Audi from serious consideration for me.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
1/17/16 2:59 p.m.

The A4 Avant is now called the Allroad. It has nothing to do with the old A6 derived Allroad from 01-05.

DavidMiller
DavidMiller
1/17/16 11:08 p.m.

It is indeed not a sports car, but I like it the most.

codrus
codrus Dork
1/18/16 11:41 a.m.
Ian F wrote: The S4 moniker isn't really what it used to be. Look at the models and engine choices. There used to be two engines available for the A4 - a base 4 and an V6 upgrade. Now that's gone. The A4 is only available with the 4. The V6 upgrade is now called the S4. The "old S4" is now the RS4 (although availability varies in the US each year - only the RS7 right now).

It's true that there is one fewer engine available in the A4/S4 line, but it doesn't really have to do with the S4. What's happened is that Audi split the low-end A4 customers off into a new car model and called it the A3. So we have:

  • old turbo 4-banger is the 1.8T in the A3
  • old NA V6 around 3L is the 2.0T in the A3 and A4
  • old NA V8 is the supercharged V6 in the S4 and S5
  • old high-strung V8 from the RS4 is now ??? dunno, they haven't announced it yet, but one candidate is the 4.0T twin turbo V8 out of the S6.

Yes, the engines at each point have gotten smaller in displacement and sprouted turbos, that's an industry-wide trend resulting from the drastically increased CAFE/etc requirements that Obama pushed through a few years ago.

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
1/20/16 10:48 a.m.

IIRC the regulation overhaul that streamlined emissions into a single standard in the U.S. was welcomed by the industry and made it possible for U.S. spec cars to be sold into China. I know GM sells ALLOT of cars into China these days. So it was a big win for U.S. industry. The better mileage also helped reduce demand for gasoline contributing to the current glut of supply. I like cheap gazzoline and prefer big auto over big oil and Putin. Sometimes government gets it right.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
1/20/16 11:00 a.m.

If someone who recently won the lottery would buy me one of these, I would be most grateful.

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