2020 Audi S4 review: A sweeter sweet spot

Ah, the Audi S4. I you should not imagine I have at any time satisfied one particular that I have not appreciated. Sure, I am however mourning the reduction of the guide transmission alternative in this most up-to-date era, but the present design retains all the other vital S4 hallmarks. With a even bigger supporting of energy, superior managing and smidge much more style than the standard A4, modern S4 continues to be a superbly sorted and extremely capable sport sedan. And for 2020, moderate updates sweeten the package just a very little much more.


  • Much more intense styling
  • Snappy and intuitive infotainment
  • Potent and easy turbocharged motor
  • Fantastic experience and managing equilibrium

You should not Like

  • Missing the guide
  • Steering could be weightier
  • Lacks a real intense exhaust note

Much more visible intensity

Like the whole 2020 A4 family, the S4 gains from a wider single-body grille, but with a honeycomb insert unique to the S motor vehicles. The decreased entrance air dams are much more aggressively formed than the standard A4’s, and my Glacier White metallic test motor vehicle characteristics even much more angle with an optional Black Optic Package deal that throws in black exterior trim together with wicked-wanting 19-inch V-spoke star wheels. It’s clean up and desirable.

What is actually also clean up and desirable? The S4’s cabin. It’s your normal Audi inside: simply laid out, intuitive to function as a result of and built from a wide range of high quality components. Key portions of the dash and doorway panels are wrapped in leather-based, Alcantara is scattered all through, and even the difficult-plastic surfaces appear and truly feel substantial. This S4 will get some other sporty touches such as a flat-base steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and stainless-steel pedals, but the sport seats are the most noteworthy. They appear extravagant with diamond stitching and are supremely at ease with generous assistance. They also supply a therapeutic massage function, which I am generally happy to just take edge of.

The S4 is also purposeful, with a wide range of nooks and crannies up entrance to stash more compact objects in. There is certainly a great deal of place in the entrance for grown ups and you can find serviceable real estate in rear, though if you roll a few men and women deep in back, the very poor schmuck in the centre will have to straddle a large centre transmission hump. Then when you will need to transfer things, you can find 12 cubic feet of place in the trunk, capable of swallowing the merchandise from all but the most out-of-control grocery procuring excursions.

Much more tech

The other key prong to the 2020 S4’s update is housed within the dash. Audi’s MIB 3 process controls infotainment features as a result of a 10.1-inch touchscreen. In contrast with the outgoing process, it really is 10 occasions speedier, which is recognizable in how quickly it responds to inputs, completes desired destination queries and calculates navigation routes. It’s quick to function as a result of, visuals are crisp and the process is packed total of characteristics, such as a gnarly 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio setup, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile.

Audi’s trick Virtual Cockpit is also in the S4 with the 12.3-inch gauge cluster offering a number of shows. You can pick out among large Google Earth imagery with 3D metropolis maps or an S Overall performance mode with a tach and speedo put entrance and centre, flanked by a increase gauge and lap timer.

Audi’s MIB 3 infotainment process is fast and intuitive.

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The S4 is also established up to prevent any transportable equipment that appear aboard from at any time likely useless. Passengers up entrance have USB-A and USB-C stores, a wi-fi charging pad and a 12-volt socket within arm’s access. Riders in back have two USB-A ports and a 12-volt plug on the back of the centre console. Heck, you can find even a 12-volt outlet in the trunk.

On the basic safety engineering entrance, this S4 is flush with gear. It’s bought adaptive cruise control, ahead-collision warning with computerized braking, blind-location monitoring, lane-maintaining aid, a 360-diploma digicam, rear cross-site visitors inform and a head-up show.

All-close to performer

Absolutely nothing about the S4’s effectiveness qualifications alter for the 2020 design calendar year update, which I am not truly bummed about. The 3.-liter turbocharged V6 with 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque is however its easy, punchy self, doing work with a fluid-shifting 8-velocity computerized. Use the Audi Push Decide on process to select the Dynamic setting for lag-absolutely free launches, finding the 3,847-pound sedan to 60 mph in four.four seconds. Balanced thrust is readily out there all through the entirety of the rev band to zip away from stoplights and effortlessly merge on to expressways.

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

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How do the Audi’s figures stack up against the competitors? Quite very well, except for horsepower. The BMW M340i xDrive and Mercedes-AMG C43 outgun it with 382 hp and 385 hp, respectively. In the torque section, the S4 is in the middle of the combine, a little edging past the Bimmer’s 368 pound-feet of twist, but driving the Benz’s 384. As for -to-60-mph occasions, they’re all in the minimal-to-mid four-2nd variety with M340i the fastest at four.1 seconds and C43 occupying the rear at four.five seconds.

Gas economic system in the S4 is suitable, all points viewed as, returning an EPA-estimated twenty miles per gallon in the metropolis and 27 mpg on the highway. Throughout a week of primarily metropolis motoring, I observed 21 mpg with my admittedly hefty suitable foot. The only smaller drivetrain nitpick I have is that I would like the adjustable exhaust process experienced a a little louder and throatier setting. As is, the Present setting is the most boisterous with only a minimal-important gurgle.

Dynamically, the S4 however provides motorists a in the vicinity of-best middle ground among effectiveness and experience comfort. When you’re in the mood to toss it difficult as a result of corners, place the adaptive suspension and the out there Dynamic Steering process into Sport for brisk flip-in and controlled physique motions. I in no way push it truly difficult, but the S4 shines during spirited drives, monitoring as a result of bends with very little physique lean, and it hangs on tight with the Bridgestone Potenza summertime tires. No doubt the optional torque-vectoring rear differential is earning its keep hustling the rear close to, far too. If you leave every thing in Sport for ordinary driving, impact harness is significantly from jarring, and the steering is not extremely hefty. In fact, I would like Audi would dial in a very little much more steering fat.

Bridgestone Potenza summertime tires enable the S4 cling on tight close to corners.

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When you just want to cruise, placing the S4’s chassis in the Comfy setting is the ticket. There is certainly much more physique roll and the steering lightens and is not as fast to answer off centre, but damping for bumps improves for a supple and quiet experience close to town or buzzing down the interstate. The only issue you will have to get acclimated to before obtaining a fully cozy motoring practical experience is the grabby brakes. The preliminary bite is robust and necessitates a very little emotion-out period before you can brake easily.

How I would spec it

At $66,490 together with $995 for desired destination, my variety-topping S4 Prestige is packed to the gills with styling, infotainment and basic safety tech goodies. Of program, that indicates it comes with a base line that is a significantly cry from its $fifty,895 base selling price.

When creating my S4, I would decide for the midrange Top quality In addition that will get me have to-haves such as blind-location monitoring, rear cross-site visitors inform and a wi-fi charger together with the Virtual Cockpit tech. I love the appear of the $595 Glacier White metallic paint and $1,four hundred Black Optic Package deal. Toss in the $2,500 S Sport Package deal for the adaptive dampers and torque-vectoring diff and $1,a hundred and fifty for the Dynamic Steering to up managing prowess. Tack on $950 so I can rock out to the Bang & Olufsen audio process and that provides my Audi to a great $fifty nine,990 out the doorway. 

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

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Sweet-location sport sedan

With the BMW M340i xDrive starting at $57,690 and the Mercedes-AMG C43 beginning at $55,950, the S4’s much more cost-effective pricing is yet another constructive likely in its favor. The 3 Series is a sharper-managing specimen and the C-Course possesses a much more trendy cabin than the S4, but neither is as very well-rounded. With peppy energy, amazing experience and managing combine, clean up and much more intense appears to be like and cabin tech enhancements, the Audi continues to be the most full and persuasive motor vehicle of the bunch.