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2014 Audi S4

$22,195 — $34,271 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • On-demand power
  • Tasteful, subtle styling
  • Interior quality
  • Premium stereo
  • Available limited-slip differential

The Bad

  • Tight backseat
  • Limited-slip rear differential not standard
  • Once-competitive fuel economy is slipping
  • Some safety features lumped into expensive packages
2014 Audi S4 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2014 Audi S4
  • Standard Audi Drive Select
  • Available Audi Connect information system
  • Supercharged V-6 engine
  • All-wheel drive
  • Manual or automatic

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

by Joe Bruzek -

Subtle cosmetic add-ons don't reveal all of the 2014 Audi S4's performance credentials, but one trip around the block in this supercharged sedan is all the convincing most drivers will need.

The Audi S4 performance version of the pedestrian A4 has remained relatively unchanged since the current generation's introduction as a 2010 model, though it got some touch-ups in 2013, including redesigned bumpers, grille, hood, headlamps and LED daytime running lights. Changes for 2014 are minor, but important things like the 333-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, performance-tuned all-wheel drive and an S4-specific sport suspension continue to offer good torque and a well-rounded performance package.

The S4 isn't a racy sports sedan that begs to be driven on the track. It's more of a casual experience, perfectly appropriate for back-road fun and the occasional blast down the highway, where the immediacy of the supercharged V-6 never disappoints. Tipping our S4 test vehicle's fun scale into the red was the standard six-speed manual transmission, which is the only way I want to experience the S4. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional.

Competitors are more along the lines of a BMW 335 with M Sport package than the track-ready M3, or a Lexus IS 350 with F-Sport package instead of the V-8-powered IS-F. Audi's coupe version of the S4, the S5, has a higher-performance RS5 version that competes on a similar level as the BMW M3 sedan a...

by Joe Bruzek -

Subtle cosmetic add-ons don't reveal all of the 2014 Audi S4's performance credentials, but one trip around the block in this supercharged sedan is all the convincing most drivers will need.

The Audi S4 performance version of the pedestrian A4 has remained relatively unchanged since the current generation's introduction as a 2010 model, though it got some touch-ups in 2013, including redesigned bumpers, grille, hood, headlamps and LED daytime running lights. Changes for 2014 are minor, but important things like the 333-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, performance-tuned all-wheel drive and an S4-specific sport suspension continue to offer good torque and a well-rounded performance package.

The S4 isn't a racy sports sedan that begs to be driven on the track. It's more of a casual experience, perfectly appropriate for back-road fun and the occasional blast down the highway, where the immediacy of the supercharged V-6 never disappoints. Tipping our S4 test vehicle's fun scale into the red was the standard six-speed manual transmission, which is the only way I want to experience the S4. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional.

Competitors are more along the lines of a BMW 335 with M Sport package than the track-ready M3, or a Lexus IS 350 with F-Sport package instead of the V-8-powered IS-F. Audi's coupe version of the S4, the S5, has a higher-performance RS5 version that competes on a similar level as the BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe, but Audi's sedan has no such variant. Compare the S4 versus its rivals here, and S4 models over the years here.

The Audi S4 comes in two trims, the Premium Plus, starting at $48,995 (including destination), while Prestige models start at $54,895 and include adaptive front lighting, navigation, blind spot monitoring and a Bang & Olufsen stereo in addition to the Premium Plus' standard equipment, which you can see in detail here.

Exterior & Styling
The S4's appearance differs very little from a bare-bones A4. It's even harder to distinguish on the road now that all upper A4 trim levels include an S Line style package with unique front and rear bumpers, side skirts and door sills that nearly match the S4's look. The S Line package can even be had on base A4 models.

On the S4, an available Black Optic package costs $1,300 and is a must; it increases the car's menacing factor with a high-gloss black grille and gloss-black window trim, plus stand-out, 19-inch Rotor-design wheels in Titanium finish and body-colored side mirrors that replace the standard imitation aluminum ones. The package is also available on the A4. On the S4 I drove, the Black Optic package really set off the Misano Red exterior. In fact, stepping out to the Cars.com parking garage to pick up the S4 for the first time — not knowing what color and wheels to expect — the S4 elicited an audible "Nice" as I walked over, even if it wasn't very distinguished from an A4 configuration.

How It Drives
The Audi S4 makes everyday driving entertaining. The supercharged V-6 is perfectly matched to the hefty 3,858-pound S4 and is especially enthusiastic with the standard six-speed manual transmission. The manual gearbox works harmoniously with the engine and standard all-wheel drive, with a smooth shifter and clutch pedal offering an accurate feel that's neither too fluffy nor too firm, and always precise. The whole driving experience is refined and livable, whether you're poking through traffic or banging gears on an onramp.

Audi's Drive Select is newly standard on the S4 for 2014 and gives individual control of steering, engine, adaptive suspension (when equipped) and automatic transmission (also when equipped) responsiveness, adjusted through the Multi Media Interface controller. There's also a Drive Select button just above the climate controls; it's a much-needed addition considering how cumbersome it can be to call up the dedicated Drive Select menu then change settings within the MMI display. In the manual-transmission S4 I drove (which lacked the available Adaptive Dynamic Suspension), Drive Select adjusted just accelerator sensitivity and the amount of electric power steering assist. It was nice to dial in a little heftier steering feel for Audi's traditionally over-boosted steering.

Push the accelerator pedal down, and power is instantaneous in the way you'd expect from a supercharged engine. Even as power builds, the 3.0-liter never falls off at higher engine speeds. Then there's the fantastic sound — it's almost exotic, though the engine/exhaust volume could use a few cranks up. Zero to 60 mph happens in 4.9 seconds. The manual transmission and all-wheel drive let you manage power off the line — a sometimes precarious task in powerful all-wheel-drive cars with manual transmissions.

A key component of how the S4 puts power to the ground is Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive, configured for the S4 with a rear bias of 40:60 front/rear, giving the S4 a more rear-wheel-drive-like feel. Paired with the optional $1,100 Sports Differential — which transfers more power to the outside wheel during cornering, for added traction — the S4 is playful. Worth $1,100? Yes, but I'd expect a sports sedan to include something as valuable as the Sports Differential standard. Also, my impressions come with a caveat: My test car was equipped with winter tires, which didn't have the roadholding ability that the standard summer tires would provide. With the winter tires, I could coax the S4's rear end into sliding around, though the car's default move with these tires was understeer.

One option not equipped on my S4 was a $1,000 adjustable-firmness Adaptive Dynamic Suspension, which you can probably live without for casual daily driving, as the standard sport-tuned suspension already has an exceptionally well-balanced blend of ride comfort and handling. Another caution, though: Those soft winter tires could have been playing tricks on me; a stiffer sidewall summer tire could easily change the ride quality. You'll have to see for yourself.

Fuel economy for the manual transmission S4 is rated 17/26/20 mpg city/highway/combined, while the dual-clutch automatic is rated a bit better, at 18/28/21 mpg. For a supercharged engine, these numbers are respectable; many vehicles in the segment are turbocharged or naturally aspirated, which typically offers an efficiency advantage. The turbocharged BMW 335i xDrive is rated 20/28/23 mpg with the manual transmission, while the naturally aspirated 2014 Lexus IS 350 V-6 with all-wheel drive is rated 19/26/21 mpg with its automatic transmission.

Interior
Audi's interiors are predictable, in a good way. They deliver a modern blend of quality and style that leans toward the mechanical side of design, and you'll always find nice materials on the inside. The Audi S4 is no exception, even though its insides haven't changed much since 2010. New for 2014 is an available layered aluminum/black wood inlay for the center console, door and dashboard trim. This $1,100 trim package is a unique addition that stands out against the carbon fiber or piano-black pieces common across the segment.

The S4's standard sports seats are covered in leather and suede-like Alcantara material; they're heated and completely comfortable. There's not much room to spare in the small backseat.

Ergonomics & Electronics
I have a love-hate relationship with Audi's knob-based MMI control system for multimedia and car functions. I always need a few runs to the grocery store to acclimate to Audi's quadrant-based system, but once I do it's always easy to use while driving because the controller is within easy reach. In the S4, it's mostly a positive experience because Audi includes the Drive Select button for a quick change of driving modes. Other Audis don't have the Drive Select button, even though they should.

Cargo & Storage
A smallish 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space is very usable, as it's unobstructed by intruding wheel wells. Still, the trunk is smaller than the BMW 3 Series sedan's 13.0 cubic feet and the Lexus IS 350's 13.8 cubic feet. The Audi's rear seats fold down for additional cargo room, if needed.

Safety
The 2014 Audi S4 received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's highest, five-star overall crash-test rating, but it has not been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A backup camera is optional, which is disappointing given the car's high entry price. A blind spot warning system, called Side Assist, is available as a $500 stand-alone option or included in the Prestige trim for $54,895. Backseat side-impact airbags are also optional. A backup camera is included when the S4 is equipped with a navigation system, which comes standard on the Prestige and is optional on Premium Plus S4s for $3,050.

Value in Its Class
The moderately equipped S4 we tested totaled $56,045. On top of that, there's still room for more than $10,000 worth of options in the form of the Prestige Package, Driver Assist package, automatic transmission, adaptive suspension, backseat side-impact airbags, Nappa leather upholstery and more. For my tastes, I tested the perfect Audi S4. That is, before options put the price into an area the S4 isn't equipped to mess with: BMW M3 base price territory.

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Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
18 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.9)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Awesome

by zxqw11 from Williston on October 10, 2018

I am amazed by the power it has, and the red exterior gives it the sports car effect. I am very satisfied of this vehicle!!! Read full review

(5.0)

Luxury and Sporty both one

by JohnnyO from Oakville, Ontario on June 26, 2018

The car surpassed all my expectations with regard to acceleration, speed, handling, comfort and reliability. It was a wee bit pricey but most luxury European vehicles are. I think it is worth every ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2014 Audi S4 currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2014 Audi S4 has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Audi

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/less than 60,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    1 year/unlimited miles after expiration of new vehicle limited warranty or from date of sale if the new vehicle limited warranty has expired

  • Powertrain

    N/A

  • Dealer Certification Required

    300-plus-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2014 S4 Stories

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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

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