2014 Audi S4 Review
2014 Audi S4 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Fantastic supercharged V6
- likable balance between sharp handling and a comfortable ride
- classy interior
- standard all-wheel drive
- respectable fuel economy
- excellent crash test scores.
- Unintuitive standard control layout.
Selectable driving settings are now standard on all models, and a Black Optic package with high-gloss black exterior trim and 19-inch smoke-colored wheels is newly available.
With its subtle cosmetic upgrades and surprising quickness, the 2014 Audi S4 is a sleeper sport sedan if ever there was one. Faster sedans are out there, of course, but they cost more and aren't necessarily as luxurious.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2014 Audi S4 Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$233/mo for S4 Premium Plus quattro
S4 Premium Plus quattro
Avg. Midsize Car
Stylish and competent, with a swank and neatly laid-out interior, the 2014 Audi S4 is a very nice compact luxury sedan with room for four adults, respectable trunk capacity and lots of available high-end features. But it's also a bona fide sport sedan thanks to a zesty, 333-horsepower supercharged V6 that makes it about a second-and-a-half quicker to 60 mph than the A4 sedan on which it's based.
Standard all-wheel drive helps ensure all that power gets to the ground and makes the S4 an appealing option for driving enthusiasts living in wet or snowy climates. At first glance, though, you could mistake this car for an A4, because its exterior styling upgrades are so subtle. But those in the know will spot the S4 sedan's unique wheels, brushed metallic mirror caps, extended body sills and lowered suspension. If they bother to look inside, they'll see sport seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel as well. The result is an understated sport sedan that doesn't advertise your penchant for driving fast.
Of course, the S4's numerous upgrades do not come for free. In base trim, it's competitive with the BMW 335i, which offers similar speed and handling capabilities. If you overdo it with the options, the price begins to creep into the territory of the far more powerful and extroverted Cadillac CTS-V and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG sedans (though when typically equipped, those cars still tend to be quite a bit more expensive). Ultimately, few cars can match the 2014 Audi S4's balance of luxury, performance and restrained style, and if you're shopping for a premium-brand sport sedan, it's definitely worth a look.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 Audi S4 is powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that produces 333 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission come standard, while a seven-speed automated manual transmission (called S tronic) is also available and serves as the automatic-transmission option on this car. Audi offers what it calls an optional Sport rear differential, essentially a limited-slip differential that helps apportion torque between the rear wheels to improve the car's cornering line. It's worth buying if you like to drive on twisty back roads.
In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped S4 accelerated from zero to 60 in a quick 4.9 seconds, which is quicker than six-cylinder sport luxury sedans like the Infiniti Q50 and Mercedes-Benz C350. However, the C63 is capable of performing this feat in the low 4-second range.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city/26 mpg highway) with the manual and 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city/28 mpg highway) with the S tronic. Although the 335i, Q50 and C350 are more fuel-efficient, the S4 has much better ratings than the C63.
The 2014 Audi S4 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill launch assist, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional, and the Prestige package adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and a blind-spot warning system. This package also allows you to add adaptive cruise control (at additional cost), and it includes a collision warning and mitigation feature that primes the brakes if it detects a possible frontal crash.
In Edmunds brake testing, the S4 stopped from 60 mph in 109 feet, an average distance for this class of sedan with summer tires.
The 2014 A4/S4 aced government crash tests, receiving five out of five stars for combined overall protection, with five stars for frontal protection, five stars for side crash protection and five stars for rollover protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the A4 (on which the S4 is based) earned a top rating of Good for its performance in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The A4 earned a Poor rating (the lowest) in the Institute's new, small-overlap frontal-offset crash test, but only a handful of cars have been subjected to this test and a majority have earned low ratings.
With the supercharged V6 engine's considerable power and torque, the 2014 Audi S4 accelerates with genuine enthusiasm, whether it is equipped with the manual transmission or the automated S tronic transmission. The manual transmission has somewhat long shifter throws and a long clutch pedal travel, but is generally pleasant to operate. The S tronic offers a best-of-both-worlds blend of performance and convenience, as it provides quick, deliberate shifts whether you use the shift paddles on the steering wheel or simply leave it in automatic mode. Although you may be inclined to choose the manual, the S tronic is a satisfying alterative, especially if your S4 will be driven by multiple members of your household.
Responsive and communicative brakes inspire confidence without biting too abruptly when you're driving in stop-and-go traffic. Likewise, the S4's handling is terrific, thanks to its firm state of suspension tune, all-wheel drive and standard summer tires each contributing to its awesome grip, even in inclement weather. The selectable driving settings add sharpness to the throttle response and shift characteristics, and can liven up handling on models equipped with the optional dynamic steering (part of the Driver Assist package) and adaptive suspension dampers.
Rounding out the S4's likable qualities is its ride quality, which remains quite comfortable in spite of the car's sharp handling. All told, the Audi S4 is a driver's car that makes peace with the reality that you can't always drive alone.
There is little to fault inside any Audi when it comes to interior design, and the S4's cabin remains as clean and organized as the A4 on which it is based. Upgrades unique to the S4 are its supportive sport seats (with either full leather upholstery or a combination of leather and simulated suede), a flat-bottom steering wheel and gray-faced instruments.
Many of the S4's controls are straightforward. Infotainment features are controlled via Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI), which consists of a small knob surrounded by buttons that control menus on a central screen. Overall, it's an effective interface, though some audio functions are buried in menus and, in practice, we've found BMW's iDrive and Mercedes' COMAND systems a bit more intuitive to use. In S4s without the navigation system, the MMI knob is located on the dashboard (rather than the center console), and we find this setup less convenient to operate.
The S4's generous interior space gives it an advantage over some of the smaller cars in its segment. It accommodates five adults for short jaunts or comfortably seats four adults for long trips. Trunk capacity is average for the class at 12.4 cubic feet.
2014 Audi S4 models
The 2014 Audi S4 is a higher-performance version of the A4 compact luxury sedan. It's offered in a single Premium Plus trim level with an available option package known as the Prestige.
Standard features of the S4 Premium Plus include 18-inch wheels, summer performance tires, selectable driving settings (known as Audi drive select), a sunroof, automatic xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, foglights, automatic wipers, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated eight-way power front sport seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), driver memory settings, leather and simulated suede upholstery, aluminum interior accents, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a dash-mounted MMI (Multi Media Interface) electronics controller and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, iPod interface and satellite radio.
The Prestige package adds adaptive xenon headlights, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, rear parking sensors, voice controls, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, blind-spot monitoring, an MMI controller mounted on the center console, Bluetooth audio connectivity, Audi Connect smartphone integration, a navigation system and HD radio. If you don't want to pay for this entire package, the nav system and Bang & Olufsen stereo can be purchased separately.
However, you must select the Prestige package if you want the Driver Assist package, which includes adaptive cruise control and an enhanced steering system (which varies the steering effort and quickness). The power rear sunshade/manual side shade option also requires the Prestige package.
Other options include 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a rear limited-slip differential, full leather upholstery, rear-seat side airbags, all-season 18-inch tires (no charge), carbon-fiber interior inlays, layered aluminum/black wood inlays, and a Black Optic package with high-gloss black exterior trim and unique 19-inch smoke-colored wheels.
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Excellent Driver's Car
2014 Audi S4 Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 7AM)
2014 1st REVIEW - I am now on my third Audi and my current S4 is certainly the best. I test drove all models excluding A8 (can't afford it anyway) and S4 drives the best. Especially in its Sport mode - what a thrill! You can make it a normal commute car and join thousands of other generics on the highway during rush hours. But you can put in more aggressive mode and enjoy a proper sports … car at a press of a button (well several buttons anyway). Brilliant design, excellent engineering and great execution. ----- 2017 2nd REVIEW - My first review (see above) was written 3+ years ago. Well now I owned this car for 3.5 years. It is an excellent driver's car indeed. Engine is simply superb, smart technology and very thoughtful quality accents are everywhere, car software is perfect. It still drives like a dream. I am very happy with my purchase. Love the quality and reliability, love the intelligence and absolutely love the speed and acceleration. No breakdowns whatsoever in 3.5 years and 56K miles. However maintenance cost is way too high if you don't do it yourself. I decided to do as much as possible myself (I like working on my cars) and after some initial investment in required tools my son and I already changed oil, breaks, disks, sparks plugs, filters, etc - everything strictly according to the maintenance schedule and AUDI torque specs. We use only OEM parts and save about 60-70% compared to our local dealership price. We also had to buy a special cable to re-program the car, reset service reminder, etc. I actually love working on this AUDI, it is very well engineered and it is a pleasure to service it. There is one more thing to know / consider. You should not expect this car to be very economical fuel consumption-wise. It all depends on how you drive it - you can get anywhere from 15 to 28 MPG on a highway. Once you floor it, your MPG drops - but the thrill is very well worth it. Highly recommended to those who like quality, sophistication, reliability, technology and speed. This S4 delivers all of that. Good job AUDI! 2019 3rd REVIEW - I now have almost 85K miles on the odometer. Still truly enjoy driving my S4 every time I am behind the wheel. Superb, high quality and very reliable car. Very fast, very sporty and responsive. My car still looks like new and I am not going to get a new one any time soon. I always precisely follow recommended service schedule (everything by the book!) and so far I had no problems except for one issue. At around 70K miles I started smelling gas around the vehicle. I run diagnostics and it showed misfire error code in one of the cylinders. The problem was fixed by replacing all 6 ignition coils - I did everything myself in about 20 min. After some on-line research I found that this seems to be a well-known issue - my suggestion would be to replace all coils every 60K miles. Otherwise no problems whatsoever. 2021 4th REVIEW - so far so very good. No issues, scheduled maintenance only. Recently had a road trip across the country, car performed very well and was large enough for comfortable all-day driving. It is now 100K miles + on my odometer. End of 2022 5th REVIEW - after noticing some minor noises coming out of front suspension at around 105K miles, I changed suspension components in the front myself, properly following original Audi service manual - took me three days but everything was done 100% accurately and carefully using original parts and new bolts and nuts. I had PCV-related code when I diagnosed the car recently, but the code was “unconfirmed” so I just cleared it and it did not show again next time I read the codes. I don’t drive it much these days, but when I do I am still very happy with the car. All maintenance is done according to the schedule, hopefully that will make it last 200K and beyond. The car is already 9 years old but still looks like new!
5 out of 5 stars
2012 Audi S4 Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 7AM)
Phantom Black 2012 S4 Prestige edition, 7 speed dual clutch S tronic, quattro, dynamic steering, Audi drive select w/ sports differential, carbon fiber inlays, power sun shades. Beautiful, powerful, dynamic, efficient, all wheel drive, 333 hp, 325 lbs torque, huge trunk, 4 door = perfect car. Sometimes BMW M owners get sad when I drive by :(
5 out of 5 stars
Everything you want in a 6M sport sedan
2014 Audi S4 Prestige quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 6M)
If you are looking for well engineered sport sedan, super fun to drive, classy not flashy, comfortable, and, most importantly for me, with a 6M, this is your car. Let me just get the transmission issue out of the way right now. I don't know why people would get an automatic in a car like the S4. You're buying a Camry, Impala, or whatever, sure, go with an automatic, who cares, but … an Audi with V6 supercharged engine? The whole point of a car like the S4 is to have some fun, but then you get an automatic with it and you're saying, "actually, I want to reduce the fun I have with this car." What? Anyway, whatever, just my bias. Okay, to the car itself -- what a marvelous vehicle. I did a lot of research on cars in this range, test drove a few, and knew this was the one I wanted. It took me nearly a year to find a used one in the right color (grey), black optic package (just for the wheels, don't care about extras), with the 6M, and the right price, but when I found it online, I jumped and bought it used with 12K miles and hope to keep it a long time. Engine and transmission: fantastic, best transmission I've ever driven, engine sounds great, power is there all day long at whatever speed you want. Spectacular. Some people (mainly auto critics) complain about not enough "feedback" from the steering. I don't know any better and the steering feels great to me. This car sticks to the road. I put Conti ExtremeContact DWS on a few months ago. They are not quite as sticky as the summer tires that were on, but the very marginal loss of performance in turns is more than offset by the superb all weather capability. With the Contis and quattro, I am ready for any ice and snow or rain. Interior and exterior are beautiful, not flashy, very sophisticated. That's what I wanted. If you want to show off, get some attention, you may need to look at another car. Tech: these are my only nits. As noted in reviews, the MMI control knob spins in a non-intuitive direction. Why? I have no idea. The MMI interface is good, not great, but good. Love the dash display, all the options. Climate control is my least favorite feature. It works, but it is too complicated, too many buttons. I am still not 100% positive what I am ending up with when I make certain adjustments. I can live with it. The S4 comes with so many other helpful electronic features that I highly recommend you go through the manual page by page to make sure you are aware of them all. (For example, you can set the passenger side mirror to tilt down when you back up. Never would have known that.) You can adjust suspension, engine sound, etc. In sum, this is a wonderful car. There are other possibilities in this price/performance range, but I can't imagine anyone ever regretting the S4. (especially with the 6M transmission!)
4 out of 5 stars
One of my best purchases
Sam K., 06/01/2016
2014 Audi S4 Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 7AM)
Was on the fence between the S4 and the 335i, and boy am I glad I got the Audi. I've had the car for 2 years, and this is a short summary of what I've learned. I'll go straight to the point and point out the bad first. Transmission: can get clunky; when you pop it into Drive, its response is laggy Handling: my previous Genesis coupe felt more confident-inspiring in the corners MMI: I … prefer the MB Command or the Porsche interface That's pretty much all the cons that I can think of. The car accelerates as well as any 3.0L S'charged sport sedan will go. Brakes are fantastic with a consistent feel. The seats are not plush, but won't give you any issues. Drove from FL to NY and did not feel too bad. Build quality is top notch. My brother has the F30 328xi and the Audi feels more sturdy.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2014 Audi S4, so we've included reviews for other years of the S4 since its last redesign.
2014 S4 Highlights
|Combined MPG||20 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$233/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat4 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.9%