2018 Audi S4 review with video

The basics:

Starting price: $58,000 + taxes
As tested: $65,440 + taxes
Our average fuel economy over a week: 9.8 L/100 kms
Competition: BMW 340i, Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS, Mercedes C43

The Audi S4 took a hiatus in 2017 while the company prepared to unveil its completely rethought version of this sportier A4 sedan for 2018. Everything from its engine to its transmission, its size, fuel economy, brakes, you name it – Audi reimagined the S4. And while it might not be as bonkers as a car like the Mercedes C43, the S4 offers a less in-your-face but still very satisfying driving experience. For our full review, make sure to watch the video above and then scroll through our pros and cons list below.¬†Thanks to Glenmore Audi in Calgary for supplying this week’s test vehicle

– Audi has moved away from a supercharged engine in the S4 and is now using a turbocharged 3-litre V6. The latest engine gives a 21 horsepower bump with increased torque but its fuel economy is also better than ever. We averaged an impressive 9.8 L/100 kms despite the occasional bout of spirited driving
– This car, after all, loves to corner.¬†Flip the S4 into dynamic mode and the revs climb, valves open in the exhaust to give you a throatier sound, the dynamic steering stiffens up and reduces how much you have to move the wheel when you’re in tight, fast corners, grip to the outside and inside tires helps counter any oversteer and helps bring the rear end of the car around. It’s a riot!
– Meanwhile, the car doesn’t feel like a harsh track car for daily driving. The S4 has a great balance between daily driving and performance
– The dual clutch transmission in the old S4 has been replaced by a more traditional 8 speed automatic. This might seem counter-intuitive in a sport oriented car but it still shifts quickly and smoothly
– Despite a bump in prices for 2018, the standard equipment is far better in this latest S4. The base Progressiv trim offers a 3-litre turbo V6 with drive mode select functions, Quattro all wheel drive, 18 inch wheels with performance tires, quad exhaust pipes, LED headlights and taillights, sport suspension, heated sport seats with adjustable bolster support and massage functions, an 8.3 inch display with navigation, a rear back-up camera and Apple Carplay and Android Auto
– The interior is paired-down and sleek with excellent fit and finish
– It’s also very quiet inside. We averaged 58 dB at 100 kms/hr while driving in comfort mode. Engine noise gets more intense when you bump the car into dynamic mode… but that’s a good thing!
– Audi’s virtual cockpit, which comes on the higher Technik trim, is the very best digital instrument cluster on the market
– Dimensions have increased slightly throughout the S4 but the most striking improvement is second row legroom. Tall adults, even rear facing carseats, can fit back there quite well

– The turbocharged engine helps a lot with mid-range power but you will find off-the-line performance suffers with the turbo – even in dynamic mode
– One downside to this performance package is the larger brakes. If you want winter tires, a simple set of steel wheels won’t fit so you’ll need to buy a separate set of performance-oriented alloys – which is going to get expensive
– While the seats are comfortable, if you live in a hot climate, there’s no ventilated seat option so they can get a little sticky on hot summer days
– There’s no adjustable head rest in the front seats, either. So if you’re tall like me, you won’t have the head support you’d be hoping for
– The optional Advanced Driver Assistance Package ($2100) has some great features. We did find the Lane Keep Assist System is a little pushy though and there’s no quick on/off button on the dash so you have to wade through lots of menus if you want to turn the lane keeping off for a bit of canyon carving

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 4.5/5 (58 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 4/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 4/5

Family Wheels overall score: 40.5/50= 81%

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