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Saturday 23 September 2017
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2018 Audi S4 Quattro Test Drive

2018 Audi S4 Quattro Test Drive

This week, we are taking a look at the redesigned 2018 Audi S4.  This is the hot rod version of the popular Audi A4, yet this car doesn’t lose its luxury car appeal.

This is the 6th generation of the S4. If you prefer a 2-door hardtop or convertible, you can move to the S5, which is essentially the same car.

The exterior looks are sharp, with a low, wide stance.  You recognize the Audi grill immediately, and the front LED headlights and LED taillights look great. The side view really showcases the 19” wheels that fill the entire wheel well area.   Then from behind, there is a built-in spoiler, quad exhaust, and the special S4 badge.

Pop the S4 hood and new for 2018, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 greets you.  It is rated at 354 horses, but boasts a strong 369 pound-feet of torque that will get you to 60-miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds.  The 3-liter is mated to an 8-speed automatic that replaced the 7-speed from years past.  The transmission can be shifted from steering wheel paddles.

Open the driver’s door and you’ll see plush Nappa leather seats that are quite inviting. 

All S4s come as an Audi Quattro, which means it has Audi’s terrific all-wheel drive system, which will certainly help you in bad weather, but it also helps you with stability, handling, and it distributes power to different wheels as needed for maximum power, especially upon heavy acceleration.   

Open the driver’s door and you’ll see plush Nappa leather seats that are quite inviting.  Hit the pushbutton start and the very colorful gauge cluster comes to life.  You can change it from a large digital speedometer and tachometer with info on each side, or you can switch to a virtual cockpit that will change to give you speed and RPMs in smaller circles on each side, with a map of where you are heading behind it.  Personally, I like the second setup because you have a bright head-up display to give you current speed, and it will read speed limit signs and display that info as well.

There is a nice center console with cup holders and gear shifter that takes a little getting used to.  There is a park button, reverse is forward and forward is back.  Carbon fiber trim starts on the door panels and spreads completely across the dash.

Just above the cup holders are buttons to choose the drive modes, turn off the auto start/stop system, turn off the traction control and also the parking sensors.

Below the cup holders is the heart of the whole car, the Audi MMI system, which stands for Multi-Media Interface.   MMI essentially runs everything from a large, color screen that is fixed in the center of the dash. 

The MMI operating system allows you to manage an array of systems including navigation, entertainment, interior comfort, sound system, even ride dynamics on the S4. 

You also get the 4G LTE Audi Connect system free for six months.  Audi Connect is your onboard source for information about traffic, weather, directions and more, featuring Google Earth, Google Voice search, social media integration and a secure, high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices.  Everything can be operated by the controllers in the center console or by voice command. The system is also compatible with Apple Car Play or Android Auto.

S4 models come with a huge array of notable standard equipment like leather seating, power sunroof, steering wheel controls, overhead view rear camera, navigation system, Bang and Olufsen sound system, and heated power front seats. 

My tester has close to $15,000 in options.  It has the top-of-the line Prestige package which includes dual pane front glass for enhanced quietness, the head-up display, the virtual cockpit around the gauges, and collision detection with emergency stopping.  The S Sport package comes with red brake calipers, and adaptive dampening which lets you choose from Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, or configure your own settings on the Individual mode.

The Driver Assistance package is adaptive cruise control and automatic high beam headlights. There is a slight upgrade for the leather interior, the carbon fiber inside, and these are upgraded wheels.

The vehicle is really quiet inside until you punch it and the wonderful, un-manipulated exhaust sound takes over. 

The Audi S4 handles great with the Quattro system, the acceleration is strong and builds a lot of momentum.  The interior is luxurious, and the vehicle is really quiet inside until you punch it and the wonderful, un-manipulated exhaust sound takes over.  For me, the steering could be a little more responsive, but it’s tolerable.

Fuel economy considering the horsepower is good at 21 city, 30 highway, and 24 overall.   

Sticker price on this S4 is $65,600 and that stacks up nicely with other vehicles similarly equipped like the BMW 340i.

Bottom line…the 2018 Audi S4 is a great luxury sedan when you want it to be, but turns into a fantastic Sports sedan when you want that.

Thanks for riding along with us today for another Car Pro test drive, this week featuring the 2018 Audi S4 Quattro.

2018 Audi S4 Quattro
  • What I liked most:  The performance and interior.
  • What I would change:  The gear shifter is a little wonky to me.    
  • MSRP: Base price $50,900. As equipped $65,625.
  • Fuel Economy:  21-city/30-highway, 24 combined.   
  • Odometer reading when tested: 700 miles.
  • Official Color: Ibis White.
  • Weight:  3858 Pounds.
  • Length-Width-Height:  186.8” long/79.6” wide/79.6” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.3 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: N/A.
  • Spare Tire:  Yes, but a compact one.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Ingolstadt, Germany.  
  • 2018 S4 in a few words:  A great mix of performance and luxury. 
  • Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, with first maintenance visit free, and roadside assistance.
  • Manufacturer’s website: Audi