The 2018 Audi S4 is built low, and built for speed. The front seat is very comfortable, even on longer rides, but the rear is a bit tighter than I’d prefer.
The exterior of the vehicle was a beautiful red color (Tango Red Metallic to be exact), and the design sleek and attractive (and a bit more understated than some luxury competitors).
The 18-inch 5-double-spoke-star wheels are a nice touch.
Typical of Audi vehicles, the Interior was high-class but not as gaudy as some other luxury vehicles. You get a racing-style steering wheel, which is fitting considering how it performs, plus well-placed controls on the steering wheel and center console. You also get diamond stitched S sport seats, which include a massage function, plus a power sunroof.
The biggest upgrade from the standard Audi A4 to the Audi S4 is a much more powerful engine under the hood. You’ll be experiencing a 3.0-liter, turbo V6 engine; paired with an 8-speed automatic tiptronic transmission.
The S4 was updated for 2018 to provide more horsepower, more torque and quicker acceleration. New numbers are 354 horsepower (up from 333) and 369 lb.-ft. of torque (up from 325). All S4 trim levels come with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system.
To the chagrin of some, no manual transmission of the S4 is offered in 2018, but you can use paddle shifters if you want to simulate the experience. The A4 does still offer a manual option if that’s something you are set on having, but the horsepower and overall driving experience won’t be the same.
The Audi S4 simply sounds great … it’s got that perfect purr of a vehicle you know is a rocket. Power is evident from the time you first start the vehicle, even before you hit the gas pedal.
There are several drive modes, and on an open road, Dynamic is the only real option to consider. Other options for more standard driving are Comfort or Auto.
To help boost both the driving experience and look of the S4, the S Sport package features red brake calipers, sport adaptive damping suspension and a sport rear differential.
When you need to go … it goes. 0 to 60 in less than five seconds to be specific.
Curves are made for a vehicle like this. I took it on a windy road in the Irish Hills of Michigan with this vehicle and it was pure driving fun. I could have stayed out there all day, as it offered tremendous handling with little driver input needed. It’s also quiet, offering limited road noise with the windows up.
If you can't enjoy driving a vehicle like the S4. I don't know what to tell you.
The 2018 Audi S4 is also no slouch in the technology department. It features a start/stop system to boost mileage, though it’s often a debate among car enthusiasts whether that type of system is preferred. You get audio streaming via Bluetooth, trizone climate controls, anti-lock brakes, Audi pre sense Basic and City for collision avoidance comes standard, and there’s an option for Audi side assist and pre sense rear.
A high-quality rearview camera is featured, along with an excellent navigation system with detailed visuals from Google Earth.
The Audi MMI infotainment system is controlled easily via a center dial, allowing you to adjust everything from entertainment options to navigation to drive modes. Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility ar also included, plus you get LED daytime running lights, and taillights with dynamic turn signals
While fuel mileage probably isn’t the first thing on the mind of people who would buy an Audi S4, it’s worth mentioning that the official mileage numbers are: 21 city/30 highway/24 combined.
I averaged 22.7 mpg during my time in the vehicle.
PRICE, BOTTOM LINE
The Audi S4 I tested was priced just over $59,000; and the base price starts about $51K. Getting a ride this enjoyable definitely doesn’t come cheap. (Note: A standard Audi A4 starts about $36K, but it’s a very different ride from the S4.)
If you do make the leap and go for the S4, you’ll be getting one of the most fun vehicles you can get anywhere that’s not a supercar.
It’s a candidate for the best luxury compact sport sedan overall, and that’s saying a lot with the still competition it’s facing from around the globe.
Matt Myftiu can be foundon Twitter @MattMyftiu.