2016 Audi S4 Review
2016 Audi S4 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Strong and smooth supercharged V6
- dynamic handling
- compliant ride
- uptown interior
- accommodating backseat
- standard all-wheel drive.
- Unintuitive base MMI control layout
- Bluetooth audio doesn't come standard on the base Premium Plus trim
- no USB port.
The S4 is essentially unchanged for 2016.
Offering understated styling and confident, refined performance, the 2016 Audi S4 remains a top choice if you want a nimble luxury sport sedan with a little extra kick.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 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
The fun and spirited 2016 Audi S4 sport sedan is what happens when you inject an extra shot of performance into an ordinary Audi A4. That shot comes mainly in the form of a sublime supercharged V6 that pumps out 333 horsepower, about 50 percent more than the A4's four-cylinder. That V6 can be hooked up to an available dual-clutch automated manual. Not offered on the A4, it is remarkably quick-shifting and extracts the most of the car's performance. You also get a sport-tuned suspension for sharp, nimble handling and strong, upgraded brakes.
A unique grille, exclusive alloy wheels, subtle badging and distinctive trim accents set the 2016 Audi S4 apart from its A4 sibling.
But the S4 is much more than the sum of its sporting hardware. It also has a commendable ride quality, a well-appointed cabin with high-quality materials and even a relatively spacious backseat. This isn't a car that demands much compromise relative to its workaday A4 brethren. On the contrary, it's every bit as livable as an A4; it's just a lot more fun to drive when you feel like blowing off some steam on a curvy road.
If there's a downside here, it's that the S4's technology offerings are a bit outdated. The base Premium Plus trim doesn't include Bluetooth streaming audio, for instance, and its dash-mounted MMI controls aren't as user-friendly as the available console-mounted setup. To rectify both, you need to get the Technology package, which is a pricey option on Premium Plus and standard on the higher-level Prestige trim. One thing that can't be rectified is the lack of USB connectivity, as the S4 soldiers on for 2016 with Audi's proprietary digital media interface.
You won't find such problems on the 2016 BMW 340i, which also strikes a very appealing balance between performance and comfort. The same could be said of the luxurious and capable Mercedes-Benz C400 4Matic. If sharp handling is a priority, the Cadillac ATS should also be on your list. Even among this crowd, though, we think the 2016 Audi S4 remains a very appealing choice for a hopped-up entry-level luxury sport sedan.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Audi S4 is motivated by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine rated at 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 (S tronic) is the self-shifting option. The available sport differential can enhance at-the-limit handling by distributing torque between the rear wheels in a matter of milliseconds to improve the car's cornering line.
With 333 horsepower, the S4's supercharged V6 delivers quick acceleration while remaining impressively smooth and refined.
In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped S4 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. That's an impressive time, though the 340i and C400 are similarly quick. An S4 with the automated manual bested that time with a decidedly swift 4.5-second run.
The 2016 Audi S4 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, hill start assist, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear seat side airbags are optional. The Technology package (optional on the Premium Plus trim and standard on the Prestige) adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor.
In Edmunds brake testing, an S4 with 19-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in 106 feet, a strong showing for this type of sedan with summer tires.
In government crash testing, the S4 came up aces with an overall rating of five out of five stars, including five stars for both frontal and side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't tested the S4, but it gave the related A4 its highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact test but the lowest rating of "Poor" in the small-overlap frontal-offset test. The side-impact, roof-strength and seat/head restraint design (whiplash protection) tests all resulted in "Good" scores.
Audi's supercharged V6 engine is quite potent in the relatively compact 2016 S4 (and similar S5), generating relentless acceleration. It's also superbly refined, transmitting virtually no vibration to the cabin, even at redline. You'll get the best performance from the quick and smooth-shifting S tronic transmission, but if you don't mind shifting yourself, the traditional manual is a more involving choice.
In spirited driving, the S4's brakes inspire confidence without being grabby. Handling is nimble and precise. In addition, the optional sport differential noticeably enhances the car's at-the-limit handling by minimizing the understeer to which the nose-heavy, front-drive-based S4 is naturally prone. Thankfully, ride quality remains quite comfortable and the cabin is appropriately hushed at speed.
Audis are known for their stylish, sumptuously trimmed cabins, and the S4's interior doesn't disappoint. The quality of the materials is generally excellent, while the understated dashboard design should continue to look classy for years to come. Compared to the A4, the S4 adds form-fitting sport seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and gray-faced instruments, subtly signaling its sporting intentions without making a fuss about it. Drivers of all sizes should have no difficulty getting comfortable behind the wheel, while four adults can ride comfortably on long trips. That's not a given for sedans in this size class. Trunk capacity is average at 12.4 cubic feet.
Form-fitting sport seats and rich materials reflect the S4's sport-luxury character.
Infotainment features are controlled through the MMI infotainment system, which consists of a controller knob and related buttons that let you navigate through menus on a central screen. Overall, it's an effective system, though we've found BMW's iDrive and Mercedes' COMAND systems a bit more intuitive to use. Notably, in S4s without the Technology package, the MMI knob is located on the dashboard, potentially requiring an unwelcome reach from the driver seat to make adjustments. But when equipped with the Technology package -- as are most S4s -- the knob and buttons migrate to the center console between the seats, where they fall readily to hand and let you control an upgraded 7-inch display.
2016 Audi S4 models
The 2016 Audi S4 is a high-performance version of the A4 luxury sedan. It's offered in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige.
The Premium Plus includes 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, selectable drive modes (Audi Drive Select), a sunroof, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, LED running lights and taillights, automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors with exterior heating, keyless entry and ignition, 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, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth phone connectivity, the MMI infotainment system (with a dash-mounted controller and a 6.5-inch display screen) and a 10-speaker sound system with a CD player, an SD card slot, Audi's proprietary digital music interface (with an iPod cable) and satellite radio.
The Prestige package adds adaptive headlights and a Technology package that includes a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, a color driver information center, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor, a navigation system, an upgraded version of MMI (with controls mounted on the center console and a 7-inch display), voice controls, Bluetooth audio connectivity, a CD player, HD radio and Audi Connect telematics.
The Technology package is also optionally available on the Premium Plus. Available exclusively on Prestige versions is the Driver Assistance package, which adds adaptive cruise control and adaptive steering.
Options on both Premium Plus and Prestige trims include a High Gloss Black package (19-inch dark gray wheels, gloss-black exterior trim and mirror housings in body-color paint instead of the standard silver), a torque-vectoring sport rear differential, adaptive dampers (with adjustable settings via Drive Select), premium leather upholstery and rear side airbags.
4.7 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
Easy to live with
C.E. Gunn, 02/04/2016
2015 Audi S4 Premium Plus quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 6M)
The S4 does everything well. It is very quick, handles well, and brakes well. After approximately 11,000 mi. (in a year and a half) it is holding up well, and it still looks sharp. The miles are low because our summer drive is a Porsche Cayman S. The S4 is about as quick in a straight line, but it can't compare to the Porsche's road-holding. (Part of the difference lies in tires.) At … nearly 14,000 miles, we still feel this is a great car. The supercharged V6 is a delight, and the transmission works well with it. 'No problems to report. Update: After another 4,000 miles, we still think this is a great car. 'Will buy another in a year or two if they didn't mess up the V6. Update: At nearly 20,000 mi., we still think this is a great car. No problems to report. Highway mpg is in the 32-34 range.
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 2016 Audi S4, so we've included reviews for other years of the S4 since its last redesign.
2016 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%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood