2006 Audi S4 Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Audi S4

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Audi S4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 340 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Audi S4

  • Though not quite as enthralling as BMW's frenetic M3, the 2006 Audi S4 still offers entertaining performance along with a more livable personality.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Broad power band, confident handling, high-quality materials and attractive cabin design, available as a sedan, wagon or convertible.

  • Cons

    Small backseat.

  • What's New for 2006

    The S4 now has brushed aluminum for its interior trim highlights; gray birch and carbon-fiber trim are optional. The torque split for the quattro system has been revised to 40 front/60 rear on manual transmission cars. A special edition, called the 25quattro, is released to celebrate a quarter century of Audi's superb all-wheel-drive system.

Full 2006 Audi S4 Review

What's New for 2006

The S4 now has brushed aluminum for its interior trim highlights; gray birch and carbon-fiber trim are optional. The torque split for the quattro system has been revised to 40 front/60 rear on manual transmission cars. A special edition, called the 25quattro, is released to celebrate a quarter century of Audi's superb all-wheel-drive system.


Much in the way that BMW has its pumped-up "M" cars and Mercedes its AMG-massaged land jets, Audi has its tweaked "S" versions of its vehicles. Although the previous-generation S4 packed a twin-turbo, 250-horsepower V6 under its hood, Audi didn't think that was enough for the latest overachieving A4. The current-generation Audi S4 -- available as a sedan, wagon or convertible -- ups the ante with a muscular 4.2-liter, 340-horsepower V8 powering all four wheels.

The Audi S4 has certainly moved up in the performance ranks with the addition of the V8. Even with a pair of turbos, the previous V6 was no match for eight high-revving pistons. Moreover, Audi was determined to beat the M3 in the spec sheet race and continued to massage the 4.2-liter engine until it surpassed the Bimmer's 333-hp rating. With 340 hp screaming out at a heady 7,000 rpm, the S4 loves the upper end of its rev band. Of course, a few tweaks were needed to match the chassis to the prodigious power plant. A tightened-up suspension along with 18-inch high-performance tires help to make the most of the powerful V8 and Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Far from being a one-dimensional car, the Audi S4 also provides a comfortable and functional cockpit -- for example, in the sedan and wagon models the ultrasupportive front buckets are 12-way adjustable Recaros covered in what Audi calls Silk Nappa leather. Elsewhere, you'll find the fine-quality materials and upscale conveniences that make the A4 family the most luxurious among all entry-level luxury cars. The S4's most noticeable shortcoming is endemic to the entire A4 lineup, namely the lack of rear-seat room. Now that virtually all Japanese sedans have spacious rear accommodations, and most European competitors have at least paid passing attention to the needs of those relegated to the back, the S4's lack of rear legroom might be off-putting to some enthusiasts with families.

Still, the fact that you can get the Audi S4 as a sedan, wagon or convertible body styles gives it an edge over the BMW M3. Apart from the rear accommodations, the S4 is a thoroughly entertaining and comfortable choice. Audi's decision to price the S4 within shouting distance of M3 and Mercedes' C55 AMG takes some serious chutzpah, but at least the Audi car has the specs to back it up. Shopping for a high-performance sedan, wagon or convertible this year? You'd be making a mistake if you didn't take the 2006 Audi S4 for a spin before making your decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Audi S4 is available as a sedan, wagon (Avant) or convertible (Cabriolet) in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 18-inch wheels and tires, HID headlights, 12-way power-adjustable Recaro seats, Silk Nappa leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors and a 10-speaker audio system with an in-dash CD changer. Convertibles are equipped with more conventional leather-upholstered sport seats in place of the Recaros, along with a power-operated soft top. Among the available options are an upgraded 215-watt Bose stereo and a navigation system. A limited run of 250 "25quattro" editions celebrates 25 years of Audi's all-wheel-drive system. Carbon-fiber accents on the front and rear spoilers, 18-inch multispoke DTM wheels, silver paint, a gray and black interior scheme with carbon-fiber trim and a special shift knob mark the 25quattro, which also comes loaded with satellite radio and the navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

All S4 models are fitted with a 4.2-liter, 340-horsepower V8 that channels the power to Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed Tiptronic automatic. The latter transmission allows manual-style shifting via steering wheel-mounted paddles. Audi claims that an S4 sedan equipped with the manual tranny can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds.


Safety features include a superb set of four-wheel antilock disc brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, BrakeAssist and stability control. Additionally, the Audi S4 is equipped with side airbags for the driver and front passenger. There are also side curtain airbags for the front and rear; seat-mounted side airbags for the rear are optional. In government crash testing, the A4 sedan on which the S4 is based received five stars (the highest rating) for front-seat occupants in the side-impact category and four stars for the rear. And in frontal-offset crash testing, the Audi car earned the highest rating of "Good" and was named a "Best Pick."

Interior Design and Special Features

Audi interiors are some of the finest in the luxury car arena; one look at the S4's cabin and the high quality of materials used is quickly apparent. Tasteful accents abound, such as brushed aluminum trim and gray instrument facings. The serious performance intentions of the Audi S4 are reinforced by standard Recaro front seats in the sedan and wagon, which feature aggressive bolstering to hold one in place during spirited runs through the twisties. Although the rear seat is fine for small children, adults seated back there will likely complain about a shortage of legroom. The Avant wagon provides up to 61 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded.

Driving Impressions

As one would expect, with a 340-horse V8, performance is thrilling, and on winding back roads, the S4's top-notch underpinnings result in excellent handling while still providing a supple ride. While the 2006 Audi S4 isn't quite as razor-sharp as the M3, the extra grip afforded by its all-wheel drive could justify the trade-off for many enthusiasts, particularly those who live in parts of the country where rain- or snow-slicked roads are a part of life.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Fast, rough and thirsty

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi S4 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M)

One of the fastest cars I have ever owned (and I like fast expensive cars), a blast to drive for fun, but after a year I can't live with it anymore. A fifteen gallon tank and 15-18 miles to the gallon means filling up every other day. At 80 mph the car is turning 3200 rpm and while the suspension feels great on back roads, on the highway (where I spend too much time) the suspension makes small road imperfections feel like speed bumps. I know I won't get much sympathy here, but when talking on the cell phone on the highway, road imperfections make my voice warble, not good when talking to clients. A GREAT weekend car, but a tough daily driver.

Audi s4 25th quattro

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi S4 25quattro Special Edition quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M)

The Audi is flawless with exception to the throttle. Quite abrupt and takes careful modulation to get the smoothest operation. Best car I've owned to date. Comfort is wonderful and conveniences are outstanding. Performance is on par or better than most sport cars in the higher dollar range. Engine performance and torque are nothing short of massive, without being peaky. Lug it in a lower gear and it accelerates away without hesitation. I can't wait to drive the RS4. Fit and trim is perfect. Transmission is precise with positive shifting. Front to rear bias is absolutely terrific with neutral steering. Sound system is perfectly matched to the Audi without being harsh and overbearing.

2006 audi s4 quattro 4dr

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi S4 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M)

This is a great all-around car with few compromises. I traded a 2003 M3 for my S4. I love the S4s V8 rumble, MUCH better than the M3's metallic howl at higher rpm. The S4 is a technology showcase (w/ NAV.sys) vs the basic M3. The M3 wins by the numbers (0-60, slalom times, etc), but the Audi is easier to live with and more luxury. The AWD S4 pulls effortless out of a corner; the stability system remains invisible unless real trouble is at hand.

Who needs a bmw?

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi S4 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

After test driving a new Corvette and a Boxster S, I drove the Audi S4. I fell in love with the S4! Great looks, the sweetest interior, and a cool sounding exhaust note. The MMI system and the Sirius radio help keep my mind from driving this car as fast as it wants to go!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The best i've owned

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi S4 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M)

The moment I test drove it I fell in love. Have owned M3s and C55. Nothing corners like the S4. Rigid body, great handling, powerplant sounds like Mozart wrote the notes. Passing ability, and comfort are all just perfect. No reason to have a porsche. Trunk is huge, will hold two golf bags in comfort. I do not think I could have done better, and I test drove them all. Quality and finish are impeccable. Even the factory blue tooth, and navigation, as well as premium sound are superior. Good going Audi!

Great convertible

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi S4 quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

The S4 convertible is a stylish car! I have driven mine for 2000 miles now and just love it. Compared to other convertibles in this high performance range you get much more car for your money. I looked at the M3, but found the Audi better for every day driving. Great and smooth 8 cyl engine

Talk About The 2006 S4

2006 Audi S4 Discussions See all Started By

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I couldn't have said this better myself. -17% for the BMW vs -46% for the S4. These numbers are light years apart....

2006 Audi A4 2dr Convertible S4 / Compare Instant Lease Quotes...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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