The Audi S4 was long overdue for a proper update and come the 2020 model year, Audi has definitely given us one. The brand spanking new German sedan looks distinctly fresh with none of the body panels resembling the outgoing model and giving the S4 moniker a new lease on life. The S4 might not be to everyone’s tastes but it certainly is a very handsome, well-proportioned and understated sedan that goes plenty fast for its segment while being comfortable and not obnoxious.
For the 2020 Model Year, Audi has brought in a long list of revisions to the S4’s exterior in the form of wider fenders that pay tribute to the original Quattro and a large honeycomb grille that glistens ever so subtly when sun hits it at the right spot. The front fascia of the S4 features a complete redesign with a sharp-looking front end that features new LED headlights and aggressive crease lines that make the S4 even more purposeful. The rear resembles the newer generation of Audi products by featuring a redesigned taillight setup that comes equipped with LED all around. The deck lid also comes with a very stealthy lip spoiler that adds even more character to the rear end while the four exhaust tips, though not necessarily real still add to the aesthetic appeal.
Under the hood, the updated Audi S4 features the ever so familiar 3.0-liter V6 engine that pushes out a rather modest by modern standards 349 bhp and 369 lb-ft of torque which is channeled through an eight-speed automatic transmission that features silky smooth and quick shifts. When putting the foot down on the new S4, it sprints from 0-60 in a swift 4.2 seconds which does not feel like much but is just adequate for the audience at which the S4 is aimed at. One has to understand that the S4 is not an out and out sports sedan for the public but rather a more powerful A4 for the peeps that enjoy a little bit of extra thrust whenever they fancy being behind the wheel while simultaneously not being flashy enough to draw attention. The performance of the S4 in our books is certainly adequate but is not going to blow your socks off if you have had some experience with high-performance cars. The dynamic steering of the Audi S4 coupled with the sport adaptive damping suspension adorns the S4 with an extremely compliant ride that would wow you away. The car handles particularly well and glides over undulations like nothing else. Also, if having a loud exhaust note come out of your car’s rear is something that you fancy, then the S4 is definitely going to disappoint you with it’s understated deep burble that doesn’t get many points in the loudness department. The S4 is in no way quiet, but is still no straight piped screamer either because would you really want to go BWAAAHHA when you are trying to fly under the radar?
On the inside, The S4 comes with a whole host of luxurious material and upmarket touches that would never make you question its price tag. The upholstery features a cross between genuine leather and synthetic materials in a diamond-stitched pattern that makes the interior look uber-rich. When sitting in the driver’s seat, one may notice that the S4 has just about adequate room for a medium built driver and might prove to be a tad too cramped for a taller one. Another excellent Audi part that drivers and passengers will love is the seat covers which come in various materials such as leather, cloth, camo, and sheepskin to suit different preferences. If you are a little horizontally well-endowed, then the heavy bolstering on the sides might prove to be a source of discomfort but if not, then the level of adjustability on offer will see you find a comfortable driving position in no time. The infotainment setup on the S4 has also undergone some surgery and now features a 10.1-inch touch screen that replaces the older display that only worked via the rotary dial. The infotainment system features the very responsive Audi MMI system which although not as polished as BMW’s I-Drive, is still miles better than everything else on offer in the segment. The snappy response times, clean and intuitive user interface, haptic feedback and great resolution work in conjunction to provide a very savory system that doesn’t look out of place even though it appears tacked on. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster- Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is in our opinion the best implementation of modern digital gauges since it neatly integrates into the binnacle without any ugly bezels that make it resemble a screen. The Virtual Cockpit could arguably also be one of the most customizable digital gauge setups and certainly aesthetically looks the best. The optional Bang and Olufsen system on the S4 is also something that we highly encourage you to get if listening to audio is in your priorities. The sound stage and clarity offered by the system is commendable and would definitely immerse you into the experience. The S4 though is offered with quite a decent level of equipment such as adaptive cruise control, 360 view cameras, rear USB ports among others are only available on the higher trims.
In the rear, the space could be labeled as cramped since the legroom for adults is definitely at a premium and since there aren’t any special amenities for the folks in the back, most would prefer to ride shotgun if not in the pilot seat.
The Audi S4 therefore is a very niche product for a client that might actually be in dwindling numbers. The S4 isn’t astonishingly fast but brisk, it isn’t flashy for the public but does have that air of attention, it isn’t supremely comfortable in the back but still wafts over the asphalt. The S4 then everything that a person could want in a well-rounded sports sedan without going overboard on anything. If having a vehicle that goes fast, isn’t too loud and doesn’t gather a crowd around itself every time you park it to go for lunch is your cup of tea, then Audi just brewed you the perfect one!