New for 2015
The Audi S4 remains unchanged for 2015, but adds four new exterior color options: Florett Silver metallic, Mythos Black metallic, Sepang Blue Pearl, and Daytona Gray Pearl.
The Audi S4 is a performance-oriented version of the automaker’s compact luxury sedan. While an RS 4 was sold at one time, the S4 is the most powerful iteration of the A4 available today.
The 2015 Audi S4 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, which is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and the quattro all-wheel-drive system. The EPA rates the manual-equipped S4 for 17/26 mpg city/highway, and the seven-speed dual-clutch model at 18/28 mpg.
Despite being the performance model, the S4 doesn’t skimp on the luxury features. The S4 offers three-zone climate control, Leather/Alcantara seats, heated front seats, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, Bluetooth with streaming audio, HID headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, and the MMI infotainment system.
The 2015 Audi S4 received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing received four ratings of Good and one of Poor in the small overlap front category (the highest possible rating is Good).
What We Think
The 2015 Audi S4 is an entertaining vehicle to drive, but is comfortable when not being wrung out. In a review of a 2011 Audi S4 Quattro with the six-speed manual one editor noted, “Audi’s supercharged V-6 impresses me more each time I drive it, providing torque a plenty, instant throttle response, and a level of refinement we normally associate with inline configurations. The torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system similarly strikes a perfect balance — it’s fast-acting enough to impart impressive handling capabilities, but doesn’t dominate the driving experience as such setups tend to do on other all-wheel-drive performance cars. The result is a fun-to-drive, refined, and very quick sports sedan whose talents are reasonably accessible to the average driver.” Another expressed a similar sentiment and noted, “The S4 is neither the glitziest luxury car nor the most aggressive sports car, but it’s tremendous fun and everything works well together.”
Our only complaints centered on the steering, which was adjustable but “never the right amount of assistance” and, we noted that “it changes way too much with speed.” Despite the complaint, we continued to opine the S4’s merits, as one editor said, “I never feel like Audi is forcing technology on customers, and every control is easy to use and understand. The S4 is exactly the sort of car I’d like to live with on a daily basis.” Perhaps the only downside is the great length of time we’ve lived with this particular iteration of the Audi S4, which was refreshed last year but remains essentially the same car that debuted in 2008.
With the introduction of the Audi A3/S3 for 2015 the S4 is facing some stiff competition close to home. The new S3 makes the sprint to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds , to the S4’s 4.9 seconds, which is possible thanks to the excellence of the little S3 and the not-insubstantial girth of the older S4. The S3 Prestige trim level comes in at more than $1,000 cheaper than the entry-level S4, making the newcomer a tantalizing option for those who aren’t perturbed by its lack of a manual transmission.
- Excellent manual transmission
- Responsive supercharged V-6
- High-quality interior
You Won’t Like
- The newcomer S3 is quicker and cheaper
- Steering effort never quite right
- Older platform lacks active safety tech of newer models
- BMW 335i xDrive
- Mercedes-Benz C400 4Matic
- Infiniti Q50
- Lexus IS 350
- Audi S3