2008 Audi S4

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$3,914–$25,030 USED Shop local deals
(4.8) 4 reviews
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Audi S4. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Exuberant performance
  • Handling
  • Refinement
  • Ride on smooth pavement
  • Seat comfort and support

The Bad

  • Manual-gearbox operation
  • Some driveline whine with manual
  • Wind rush in convertible with top down
  • Fuel economy
  • Backseat legroom (convertible)

Notable Features of the 2008 Audi S4

  • 340-hp, 4.2-liter V-8
  • Manual or automatic
  • Quattro AWD
  • Three body styles

2008 Audi S4 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Audi continues to offer its S4 in sedan, wagon (Avant) and convertible (Cabriolet) body styles for 2008. Bluetooth-based cell phone connectivity and Sirius Satellite Radio are now standard, and RS 4-like 18-inch alloy wheels are available. Competitors include the Cadillac CTS-V and Lexus IS-F.

Quattro all-wheel drive is standard on all S4 models. A Torsen torque-sensing center differential helps send power to the wheels with the most traction. The extensive use of aluminum in the suspension results in low unsprung mass.

(Skip to details on the: S4 Avant or S4 Cabriolet)


Exterior
Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights flank the S4's grille, which features a unique S-model look. Large front air intakes are installed, and the sedan has a trunk-mounted spoiler. Alloy wheels hold 18-inch tires, and the side mirrors have aluminum accents. The S4's sport suspension includes stiffer shocks and springs, stronger stabilizer bars and a lowered ride height.

Interior
The S4 sedan features a 60/40-split folding rear seat and holds five people. The driver faces gray instruments and a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel. Tiptronic shift paddles are installed on models equipped with the automatic transmission. Silk Nappa leather upholstery is used, and the Recaro sport seats have 12-way power adjustment.

All S4s are prewired for either Sirius or XM Satellite Radio. Options include a navigation system and a Bose premium sound system.


Under the Hood
Audi's 4.2-...
Vehicle Overview
Audi continues to offer its S4 in sedan, wagon (Avant) and convertible (Cabriolet) body styles for 2008. Bluetooth-based cell phone connectivity and Sirius Satellite Radio are now standard, and RS 4-like 18-inch alloy wheels are available. Competitors include the Cadillac CTS-V and Lexus IS-F.

Quattro all-wheel drive is standard on all S4 models. A Torsen torque-sensing center differential helps send power to the wheels with the most traction. The extensive use of aluminum in the suspension results in low unsprung mass.

(Skip to details on the: S4 Avant or S4 Cabriolet)


Exterior
Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights flank the S4's grille, which features a unique S-model look. Large front air intakes are installed, and the sedan has a trunk-mounted spoiler. Alloy wheels hold 18-inch tires, and the side mirrors have aluminum accents. The S4's sport suspension includes stiffer shocks and springs, stronger stabilizer bars and a lowered ride height.

Interior
The S4 sedan features a 60/40-split folding rear seat and holds five people. The driver faces gray instruments and a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel. Tiptronic shift paddles are installed on models equipped with the automatic transmission. Silk Nappa leather upholstery is used, and the Recaro sport seats have 12-way power adjustment.

All S4s are prewired for either Sirius or XM Satellite Radio. Options include a navigation system and a Bose premium sound system.


Under the Hood
Audi's 4.2-liter V-8, which is also used in the automaker's larger models, was modified to fit into the S4's compact engine compartment. Developing 340 horsepower at 7,000 rpm, the V-8 produces 302 pounds-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. Audi says the S4 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds when equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox. A specially tuned exhaust system is installed. A six-speed automatic transmission that features a manual-shift provision is available.

Safety
Antilock brakes have electronic brake-force distribution. Standard side curtain airbags cover the entire side-window area. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags for front occupants are standard, and rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional. Height-adjustable front seat belts have load limiters, and an electronic stability system is standard.

S4 Avant
Capable of seating five people, the S4 Avant wagon uses the same powertrain as the S4 sedan. Aluminum roof rails are installed. Avant models have a full-size cargo cover and a protective net. With 27.8 cubic feet of cargo room, the S4 Avant has slightly more than double the sedan's cargo space. Back to top

S4 Cabriolet
An iPod connection kit is available for 2008, and heated front seats are standard. Powertrain details for the S4 Cabriolet are the same as the sedan's. In models equipped with the automatic transmission, paddle shifters are included for manual gear changes. Audi claims a 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of 5.8 seconds with the manual gearbox.

Structural refinements in the S4 convertible are found in its sills, A-pillars, under the rear seat and in the double bulkhead behind the backseat. Sensors in the active rollover protection system detect an imminent rollover and deploy protective hoops behind the rear seats. The power fabric top contains a heated glass rear window.

The quick, capable S4 Cabriolet rides and handles as if it's almost gliding atop the pavement, without a hint of heaviness. Little steering effort is needed, but the open-top S4 responds instantly and confidently once you get past that sensation of lightness. Acceleration with the manual shift falls short of startling, but it comes close — both from a standstill and when passing or merging. Shifts demand some finesse to avoid jerkiness.

The ride is almost gentle on smooth surfaces, but roughness turns up as the pavement gets harsher. Wind rush with the top down can get nasty, but the S4 convertible feels solid even on undulating pavement. Backseat legroom is rather sparse, and trunk space is modest. Back to top



Latest 2008 S4 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

S4 Avant

by S4Lovr from Denver,Colorado on July 18, 2013

This car is awesome, period. Everywhere I go, I get complements on my (new to me) Avant. And the power, its there when you need it ! Now its not a 500 horse powerhouse like some cars out there, but ... Read full review

(5.0)

2008 Audi S4 Cabriolet

by johnnyp from Summit, NJ on April 16, 2012

Great car! Wanted a convertible that was comfortable and could seat 4 passengers + good looks + good performance. BMW 6 series and 3 series are great performers but lacked passenger room, especially ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Audi S4 currently has 2 recalls

NHTSA Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2008 Audi S4 4.2

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall Rollover Rating
4 Star
Driver's
4 Star
Passenger's
4 Star
Front Seat
5 Star
Rear Seat
4 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The S4 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker