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2021 Audi S4 Overview
The Audi S4, the performance version of the A4 sedan, is part of a generation that dates back to 2018. Last year, the S4 received styling and tech updates, and this year, it carries over mostly unchanged. Key competitors include the premium trims of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, as well as models like the Genesis G70 and Lexus RC.
Though the S4 is a good-looking sedan, it’s not as visually distinctive as it could be. Last year’s updates to the grille, bumpers, and wheels certainly helped, but previous generations of the S4 had more performance-oriented exterior design to help set it apart from the entry-level A4. That would certainly be welcome here.
The S4 is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine rated for 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive (AWD) and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard. This setup gets EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. There isn’t much in the way of performance options, but the S Sport package adds a sport rear differential, adaptive suspension, and eye-catching red brake calipers.
The S4’s trim lineup of Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige carries over. Premium provides sport seats with 12-way power, heat, and massage functions, ambient lighting, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and an integrated toll transponder. Premium Plus adds keyless entry, push-button start, and driver seat memory functions. With Prestige, you’ll get a head-up display (HUD). Add the Warm Weather package for premium leather upholstery and ventilated seats, and the Cold Weather package for a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
A 10.1-inch touchscreen display comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Premium Plus trim includes Audi’s virtual cockpit customizable digital display, navigation, wireless device charging, and WiFi. Prestige adds a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not evaluated the 2020 or 2021 Audi S4 for crashworthiness, the 2020 Audi A4, on which the S4 is based, earned a five-star overall rating from NHTSA and top scores of Good in all six IIHS crash tests. Standard safety features include a reversing camera, low-speed forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Additional safety features include a 360-degree camera system, blind-spot monitoring, rear-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, hands-free parallel park assist, front and rear parking sensors, and traffic-sign recognition.
Though the Audi S4 doesn’t stand out as much as some of its rivals, it delivers an enticing combination of practicality and performance.
Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.
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