The 2022 Audi S4 isn’t especially exciting for a sports sedan, but its understated approach to high performance will suit those drivers looking for a stealth performance car. As the sportier version of the regular Audi A4, the S4’s turbocharged mill has six cylinders instead of four, generating a stout 349 horsepower, though its subdued soundtrack will soothe some and discourage others. While the Audi isn’t as quick as the BMW M340i or Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan, its quick-acting eight-speed automatic and standard Quattro all-wheel drive help deliver brisk acceleration. The S4 seamlessly switches from peaceful to playful, but its driving behavior is merely entertaining rather than enchanting. Despite not being particularly roomy, its interior is exquisitely appointed, and its trunk is capacious. The 2022 S4 is a low-key, discreetly sporty alternative for mature audiences.
What’s New for 2022?
For 2022, the S4 receives the smallest of updates. The sporty sedan now comes standard with carbon-fiber-esque interior accents instead of brushed aluminum trim.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While the S4 comes with a potent one-size-fits-all powertrain, we’d pay the extra coin to upgrade from the base Premium model to the Premium Plus, which has a longer roster of standard features as well as options that are otherwise unavailable. The latter includes the Black Optic package and its blacked-out exterior details and dark-colored 19-inch wheels on summer performance tires. Likewise, the S Sport package (red brake calipers, sport-tuned adaptive dampers, and torque-vectoring rear differential) is unlocked starting on the Premium Plus. We’d select both of those options packages along with the richer nappa leather upholstery to enhance both the sedan’s performance attributes and luxury quotient.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All S4s ship with a 349-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that syncs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. While the version we tested was quicker than most rivals, the engine response and exhaust sound—both hugely important characteristics of a sports sedan—were less visceral than expected. Despite its subdued engine character and lack of manual transmission, the V-6 delivered substantial thrust on demand, seamlessly transitioning between relaxed and responsive. Also impressive was its automatic gearbox, which had reactions that seemed so perceptive, we found the desire to shift for ourselves was virtually eliminated; well, almost. Looking at the numbers, the S4 ranks above most competitors in performance. Still, the experience lacks the emotion and sharp handling responses of top rivals. Its chassis is its greatest strength, with tautly controlled body motions and compliant damping that make it equal parts sports and luxury sedan. The S4 is very precise and easy to control; its accurate steering, excellent cornering stability, and tenacious grip on the tarmac boosted our confidence to torpedo on-ramps—but it also cruised calmly around town. Although the brakes were tremendously responsive, they were touchy at city speeds. The fluctuating feedback also interrupted the fun on curvier sections of road where the brake pedal could feel too soft.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The S4 sedan is expected to earn 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. Once we test it on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the S4’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Audi is a benchmark of interior quality, and the S4 is further evidence of this. Every cabin is trimmed with marvelous materials and standard features such as diamond-stitched sports seats with massage features. Along with impeccable fit and finish, the interior is racy and luxurious. The flat-bottomed steering wheel, straightforward controls, and highly adjustable seat provide an exceptional driving position. However, we found its front-seat comfort to be diminished by overly stiff cushions. The S4 had the quietest interior in our test, which also contributed to its calm demeanor—for better or worse. Despite having a 13-cubic-foot trunk—tied for smallest in its class with the C43 sedan—the S4 held an impressive number of carry-ons. While its interior storage is average, the sedan can store a variety of loose items and personal belongings provided that they’re not too big. Compared with the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400, the Audi is a much better travel companion. We only wish the S4’s back seat was bigger and passenger space up front was more generous.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi fits every S4 with a 10.1-inch center infotainment screen and ample infotainment options. Along with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, the MMI system we tested responded quickly to commands and had user-friendly controls. While it’s within the driver’s line of sight, certain areas of the display require leaning forward to reach. Unfortunately, the S4 no longer includes a rotary controller on the center console, which helped make the system easier to operate.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The sports sedan includes several standard driver-assistance features, but other options such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are only offered on the more expensive Prestige model. For more information about the S4’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Apart from its short complimentary scheduled maintenance coverage, the S4 has an ordinary warranty that aligns with most competitors.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles
More Features and Specs