2015 Audi S4 Review

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2015 Audi S4 Overview

If the daily commute or that quick trip to the mall demands a little more power and agility than is found in Audi’s relatively staid A4 sedan, check out the German automaker’s 2015 S4 offering. Riding on its lesser sibling’s platform and looking deceivingly similar, the plush, 5-passenger and compact S4 boasts a heftier engine and a sport-tuned suspension, as well as a few added appearance features and creature comforts. And of course, it also comes with a heftier MSRP.

In any case, this upfeatured 4-door filly enters the 2015 model year essentially unchanged from 2014 except for a newly available Nogaro Blue edition that boasts pearl-effect paint, alcantara leather upholstery, 19-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels and RS4 Aluminum Race inlays.

Also returning is the trim pairing of the lesser Premium Plus Quattro and the top-shelf Prestige Quattro. And, yes, the Quattro designation indicates that both trims remain delivered with standard full-time all-wheel drive (AWD).

Again blessed with the traditional 3.0-liter supercharged V6 powerplant and 6-speed manual transmission, this latest S4 offering is expected to return boasting 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. But you don’t need to sweat the labor-intensive clutch-shift, clutch-shift challenge, as a 7-speed auto-manual transmission, along with its accompanying steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, also remains available for 2015. Look for 17 mpg city/26 highway from the stick-shift-stocked S4 and 18/28 from auto-manual-equipped versions.

Appearance-wise, this high-end compact 4-door again sports 18-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, rear spoiler and heated power-adjustable outside mirrors in both 2015 iterations.

Inside, despite a disappointing reviewer reception for the dashboard layout in the 2014 S4 offering, the 2015 trims again overcome this oversight with pure plush. Alcantara leather upholstery comes standard in both trims, as do heated, power-adjustable front seats and full power accessories. Of course, cruise control remains standard, as do telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a remote garage door opener, tri-zone climate control, a cooled storage compartment, Bluetooth hands-free calling and memory for driver’s settings. All of this remains complemented, by the way, with upscale leather and alloy cabin accents.

Entertainment in the lesser Premium Plus trim remains a standard 180-watt sound system boasting a single-CD player, 10 speakers and satellite radio, all under the auspices of Audi’e touted MMI (MultiMedia Interfaced) controller.

When you step up to the Prestige level, look for such additional standard goodies as a rear-view camera, keyless entry/ignition, Audi Connect smartphone apps, blind-spot monitoring, GPS navigation and a Side Assist camera upgrade. Additionally, the top-shelf Prestige remains delivered with a standard Bang & Olufsen audio upgrade with 14 speakers and 550 watts of power.

Besides the new-for-2015 Nogaro Blue edition, a number of other options remain available to 2015 S4s, including the popular Driver Assist Package with adaptive cruise control, enhanced steering (variable steering effort, quicker response) and a power rear sunshade. Also, the upgraded audio and the GPS navigation system remain available to the Premium Plus trim, while the returning Black Optics Package offers upgraded leather, 19-inch black-hued wheels and a gloss-black exterior paint job. Further options for either trim include adaptive suspension dampers and a limited-slip rear differential, as well as carbon-fiber interior inlays and genuine wood and aluminum accents.

Finally, standard safety features in the 2015 S4 include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and, of course, front and rear head airbags. Daytime running lights and front fog/driving lights also come standard in this latest S4 iteration, as do turn-signal-integrated mirrors, high-intensity-discharge headlights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. Optional safety equipment, meantime, includes rear side-mounted airbags and adaptive xenon headlights.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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