Used 2008 Audi RS 4
Pros & Cons
- Superb ride and handling balance, world-class engine, robust brakes, supportive seats.
- Eyebrow-raising price, weighs nearly 2 tons, smallish rear seat.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Want high-end sports car performance, but need an actual backseat and trunk? The 2008 Audi RS 4 may be just what the doctor ordered, as it's more fun than an M5 and much less expensive. No one will ever call it cheap, though.
Audi made a giant leap when it shoehorned a V8 into a compact luxury sedan with the S4. To make sure it wasn't quickly outdone by its perpetual rivals from Munich and Stuttgart, the 2008 Audi RS 4 is its pre-emptive strike of sorts, boasting a manic 420-horsepower V8 attached to a tweaked version of the Quattro all-wheel-drive system that skews power to the rear wheels. Beyond its fiercer V8, the RS 4 further differs from the relatively tame S4 via a more sporting chassis, bigger brakes and 19-inch wheels. These additions create a car that is simply superb in all the areas that make a top-notch performance car: acceleration, braking, ride quality and cornering.
For 2008, the RS 4 sedan is joined by a Cabriolet model that will be available in limited numbers. With the same supremely powerful V8 squeezed under its hood, the RS 4 Cabriolet should provide some of the most topless fun one can have outside the Playboy mansion. Like the tamer S4, the convertible version has less aggressively bolstered sport seats and a slightly different interior design, as well as obvious reductions in body rigidity.
As BMW and Mercedes prepare to up the ante in the ever-increasing horsepower war with their respective new M3 and C63 AMG, Audi can rest assured that it already has a thoroughly awesome weapon ready for battle. In a comparison test, we even picked the RS 4 over the BMW M5. The shocking price tag attached to the 2008 Audi RS 4 (and its new competitors) will probably make some people think twice about ponying up that much for a compact sedan, but between its power, agility and utility, the Audi makes a rational case for itself against similarly priced sports cars and larger luxury sedans.
Audi RS 4 models
The 2008 Audi RS 4 is a compact ultra-performance car based on the Audi A4, and it's available in sedan and convertible body styles. Standard features include 19-inch wheels with 255/35 high-performance tires, Dynamic Ride Control suspension, xenon headlights, Recaro sport seats with power adjustment (the Cabriolet has less aggressive, non-Recaro seats) and front seat heaters. Silk napa leather upholstery, carbon-fiber cabin trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer, a sunroof (on the sedan, obviously) and rear park assist are also standard.
A premium package is optional on the sedan and includes auto-dimming mirrors, a navigation system, an upgraded Bose audio system with satellite radio, heated rear seats, Homelink, a power rear sunshade and Bluetooth capability. These items are all standard on the limited-production RS 4 Cabriolet. Integration for an iPod is a stand-alone option on the sedan and a no-cost option in place of the standard six-CD changer on the Cabriolet. The Titanium and Audi Exclusive Packages add special exterior and interior trim features to the RS 4 sedan.
Performance & mpg
A 4.2-liter V8 engine powers the RS 4. Equipped with direct fuel injection and sporting a 12.5:1 compression ratio, this powerhouse makes 420 hp and 317 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox (the only transmission offered) sends the power to all four wheels through Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which has a 40/60 front-to-rear power split in this application. During instrumented testing, an RS 4 sedan shot to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and ran the quarter-mile in 13 seconds at 107 mph, which should be good enough to hang with the new M3 and C63 AMG.
Stability control, antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags are all standard on the 2008 Audi RS 4. (The Cabriolet doesn't have the curtains, though). Official crash tests have not been performed on the RS 4, but one could assume with fair confidence that its scores would be similar to the good ratings achieved by the regular A4 sedan.
With more than 400 hp and the grip of all-wheel drive, the 2008 Audi RS 4 has no problem catapulting itself off the line or out of a corner. With a broad torque spread, there's always power on tap. Apart from the incredible acceleration, the RS 4 makes a strong showing in the braking and handling departments. Through the curves, the RS 4 is a composed master despite its hefty curb weight. Inside Line testers recorded a slalom speed of 70.6 mph, which puts the RS 4 in an elite circle of cars with four doors. In fact, we awarded it first place in a comparison test against the BMW M5. Confidence and grip from the front tires are superb, balance is good and steering feel at speed is better than any Audi we've ever driven.
Audi consistently produces some of the finest automobile interiors, and the 2008 RS 4 is no exception. The sedan design differs slightly from the Cabriolet's, but both models feature superb materials, excellent fit and finish, and efficient controls. The navigation system isn't the most user-friendly design, though. As a serious performance car, the S4 sedan is saddled with standard Recaro front seats, which feature aggressive bolstering to hold one in place when zipping around corners. Although the rear seat is fine for small children, adults seated back there will likely complain about a shortage of legroom. Of course, it's a welcome amount of space compared to sports cars that offer similar performance.
|Overall||undefined / 5|
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Trending topics in reviews
- handling & steering
- wheels & tires
- sound system
- ride quality
- road noise
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- steering wheel
- driving experience
- fuel efficiency
- maintenance & parts
- emission system
Most helpful consumer reviews
This is one of the greats, for sure. Classic lines, great build quality, amazing powertrain. The engine always feels 'on boil' and the transmission gearing matches the power band perfectly. Great noises - I almost never turn on the radio with this engine and exhaust note filling the cabin. Still gets a lot of looks even though the B8 body style is out. I'll be keeping this one for a long time to come.
This is one of the Best cars out there, better than a BMW M3 or M5, Better than a Benz 63AMG. I enjoyed Herb's comments on this car, obviously he's never driven an RS4 and must dislike Audi. Anyone who compares this car to an EVO is, well, not well informed. Best of luck to you Herb!! LOL There's no car out that that can compare to this, it looks like a cute little kitty, but can tear your head right off. Handling is out of this world and has a fully defeatable traction control which blows your mind.
My 2008 Audi RS4 with the available options has now turned 32,000 miles. The hardest part of owning this car during my 60 mile per day over a twisty highway is in keeping my speeds down. I put a K&N air filter in, and keep the S button pushed down and whether it is raining or dry, the handling, sounds, speed, control and Gallardo sourced brakes are incredible. This is a phenomenal car. Buy one if you want a Porsche GT3 with usable back seats, that in turn can be flattened out to create a cargo bay, or a place for your dogs to lay down on a trip. Unbelievable car!
My RS4 continues to amaze me every time I take her for a drive. Amazing in every way and especially when you consider what a wonderful daily driver the RS4 can be. I've been able to get 24.9 mpg when driving very conservatively. What other 400+ HP V8 car can you say that about? My only complaint is the location of the parking brake with regard to the arm rest. Otherwise, perfect.
Features & Specs
|quattro 2dr Convertible AWD|
4.2L 8cyl 6M
|MPG||12 city / 19 hwy|
|420 hp @ 7800 rpm|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
|Frontal Barrier Crash Rating||Rating|
|Driver||4 / 5|
|Passenger||4 / 5|
|Side Crash Rating||Rating|
|Side Barrier Rating||Rating|
|Driver||5 / 5|
|Passenger||4 / 5|
|Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings||Rating|
|Front Seat||Not Rated|
|Back Seat||Not Rated|
|Rollover||4 / 5|
|Dynamic Test Result||No Tip|
|Risk Of Rollover||Not Rated|
Is the Audi RS 4 a good car?
Is the Audi RS 4 reliable?
Is the 2008 Audi RS 4 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2008 Audi RS 4?
The least-expensive 2008 Audi RS 4 is the 2008 Audi RS 4 quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $81,900.
Other versions include:
- quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M) which starts at $81,900
What are the different models of Audi RS 4?
More about the 2008 Audi RS 4
Used 2008 Audi RS 4 Overview
The Used 2008 Audi RS 4 is offered in the following submodels: RS 4 Sedan, RS 4 Convertible. Available styles include quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M), and quattro 2dr Convertible AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6M).
What do people think of the 2008 Audi RS 4?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2008 Audi RS 4 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2008 RS 4 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2008 RS 4.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2008 Audi RS 4 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2008 RS 4 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2008 Audi RS 4?
Which 2008 Audi RS 4s are available in my area?
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Can't find a new 2008 Audi RS 4s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Audi RS 4 for sale - 6 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $24,605.
Find a new Audi for sale - 6 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $25,237.
Why trust Edmunds?
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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Audi RS 4?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Audi lease specials