2020 Audi S4 Review

S4

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2020 Audi S4 Overview

The S4 gets similar treatment to the A4 this year, with a visual update that makes the sport sedan an even more attractive package. But more important is its upgrade to a new infotainment interface, a 10.1-inch touchscreen that replaces the controversial dial-controlled system used previously. The S4 competes with the sportier members of BMW's 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz's C-Class.

Looking at the 2020 S4—the sporty version of Audi’s A4 entry-level luxury sport sedan—it’ll be easy to spot the changes this year. New grille, wheels, mirrors, and bumpers are about as transformative as a mid-cycle refresh gets, and they give the S4 more aggressive yet classic styling. But it’s the ditching of the old, small screen and its much-maligned dial controller for the larger, 10.1-inch touchscreen that’s sure to get all the press. Now Audis can experience all the fingerprints the rest of the automotive world has been living with all these years.

Following the A4’s lead, the S4 is available in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels, all powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that delivers 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, with all-wheel drive (AWD) and an 8-speed automatic transmission standard across the board. EPA estimates for the S4 are 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined.

Starting with the base Premium trim, the S4 sports automatic LED headlights; a sport suspension; sport seats with 12-way power, heat, and massage; and a flat-bottom steering wheel. A sunroof is standard, as are 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard with the new infotainment upgrade, and interior ambient lighting will help set the mood.

The Premium Plus trim adds features found in the optional Convenience package, such as keyless entry and ignition, satellite radio, a driver-seat memory system, and safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear-collision mitigation to complement standard features like forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The Premium Plus trim also adds Audi’s virtual cockpit, navigation, wireless charging, and Audi Connect with WiFi.

For the real fancy features, you’ll have to go with the Prestige trim, however. That’s where you’ll find the head-up display and 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, though the upgraded stereo can be ordered with the lower trims. The same can’t be said for the 360-degree top-down camera or the adaptive cruise and lane-keeping systems.

An S Sport package will really light a fire under the S’s tail with a sport rear differential, adaptive suspension dampers, and the obligatory red brake calipers. The Warm Weather package adds ventilated seats and, confusingly, premium leather, while the Cold Weather package adds heat to the steering wheel and the backseat.

With a 13 cubic-foot trunk, the S4 is tied for smallest storage in the segment, but that’s still a healthy amount of space for a car delivering this much performance and style, not to mention seating for four. It’s not as raucous as some of the competition, but it offers a precise balance of performance and refinement that should ensure it lands on plenty of drivers' list of cars to test drive.

Updated Mar 17, 2020

A CarGurus contributor since 2008, Michael started his career writing about cars with the SCCA - winning awards during his time as editor of Top End magazine. Since then, his journalistic travels have taken him from NY to Boston to CA, completing a cross-country tour on a restored vintage Suzuki. While his preference is for fine German automobiles - and the extra leg room they so often afford - his first automobile memories center around impromptu Mustang vs. Corvette races down the local highway, in the backseat of his father's latest acquisition.

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