2005 Audi S4 Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Broad power band, confident handling, high-quality materials and attractive cabin design, available as a sedan, wagon or convertible.
- Not the tire smoker you would expect, small backseat, priced close to more established rivals.
Most helpful consumer reviews
quattro AWD 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6M)
I've owned my S4 for over 30k miles now, so I think I can properly review it as a used car. It's a blast to drive if you drive it like it wants to be driven. You honestly have to take care to drive it slowly. I commute 3 hours round trip to DC everyday and while I hate my commute, if I just stomp on the gas in 3rd gear at 3k revs, it makes you smile like a teenager watching American Pie during a certain scene. Gun it in first and you almost feel uncomfortable. It throws you back and takes some getting used to. I typically drive conservatively, but if you downshift in this car and hear the growl, it just makes you smile. I give my car to my wife when I'm out of town, and it scares her.
quattro AWD 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6M)
Thanks to most of the reviewers here, I made the decision to purchase a used S4 (along with Audi's pure protection additional warranty). I have to say it is the most amazing car I've ever owned--even over my 67 Mustang fastback. As another reviewer said "it does everything right". A pleasure to drive, doesn't look fast but runs like a refined rocket, handles like a track car and is great in snowy terrain of the north west. Highway MPG is doable, and for those that lament about city MPG, realize it's 340HP w/over 300lb ft torque...in the same engine compartment as the A4 (which I've owned 1.8t) and also liked. This is like a supermodel love affair in comparison. Gracious, powerful, refined
quattro AWD 2dr Cabriolet (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
I drove both new and used BMW's and Mercedes before I picked my 5-year-old S4 Cabrio. Haven't regretted my choice for a second. I think of this car as the "ultimate compromise." You can speed top-down through the sweepers of Big Sur in Summer or tackle the hills at Tahoe in the winter. You can hoon it like a teenager, or ferry the kids to grandma's in safety and comfort. And oh, the engine! It's the finest engine I've ever owned - power and torque and an understated rumble. It's hard to say how this car could be improved. A hint: the 2005 tends to be ~$10k cheaper than face-lifted 06-09 models, even though it's almost exactly identical under the skin.
quattro AWD 2dr Cabriolet (4.2L 8cyl 6M)
Time to debunk some myths about this car that previous owners seem starstruck over 1/ The engine....well yes its ok but thats it, after all 340hp in a 3700lb body is NOT going to set the world on fire! For comparison the then new C5 vette in 1997 made 345hp and weighed 3400lb. So WHY does the S4 feel so lively? Very simple, its all in the gearing! It is running the equivalent of a 4.11 final drive which as any gearhead knows will give you blinding acceleration and instant thrust through the gears at the expense of fuel economy. Which brings me to.. 2. Fuel economy...TBH I do not find it to be awful, I average 19-20mpg and given the facts on the gearing is about right. Now if we were to swap the gearing to similar to a 1997 vette came with( 2.87, 3.23 or 3.42 if memory serves) you would see a large increase in average mpg, probably 5 to 6 mpg more. But then your highly rewarding impetus would be diminshed, oh well. Please do not get me wrong, I am NOT critical of the car at all, but it is not a miracle motor some claim, just a good old fashioned combination of sound engineering and gearing. Moreover Audi are to be praised for having the corporate balls to build this the way they did although in the mid 2000,s the economic rug if you like had not been pulled out from under the vast majority of Americans. Drive and enjoy, prepare for high maintenance cost and so so fuel economy.