The 2012 Audi S4 is Audi's performance-inspired version of the A4. The S4 is powered by Audi's supercharged V-6 engine that puts out a beefy 333 horsepower, and is a blast to drive with Audi's all-wheel-drive quattro system standard. Offering plenty of interior space and relatively good fuel economy, the S4 is a sports sedan that offers some practicality as well. And of course, you get Audi's top-notch interiors to match Audi's design language, with sensuous curves and finely styled body. The 2012 Audi S4 makes a case for consideration in a very competitive segment.
Coming off a redesign in the 2009 model year, the S4 enters 2012 with only minor changes. While there's plenty to love about the S4, it isn't without its faults. Options add up very quickly and can push the car well into Cadillac CTS-V, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and BMW M3 territory-- an impressive bunch that best the S4 in performance. That said, Audi's supercharged V-6 powertrain delivers abundant power, while delivering about 27 mpg highway, and if you can live without a couple of the options, the 2012 Audi S4 makes a strong value play for enthusiasts.
Body style: Sedan
Engine: 3.0-liter supercharged V-6
Transmissions: six-speed manual, seven-speed dual clutch automatic
Models: Premium Plus, Prestige
The 2012 Audi S4 enters the new model year with a few upgrades. HD radio is added to the optional navigation system. The prestige model gets a standard rearview backup camera, and side-assist is now a separate option.
Athletic and tasteful, the 2012 S4 offers sporty yet refined styling that communicates Audi's design language. Though similar to the A4, the performance-inspired S4 has different bumpers and a distinct grille. Sporty accents include performance tires, aluminum mirrors, S-badges on the brake calipers, LED taillights, four exhaust tail-pipes, and 18-inch wheels, with 19-inch wheels are available on the Prestige model.
The German automaker has earned a reputation for producing top-notch interiors, and the 2012 Audi S4 is certainly an example of that. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) utilizes a control knob instead of a touch screen, and shares some similarities with the BMW and Mercedes-Benz infotainment systems. Sporty power front seats different from the A4 and dual-zone automatic climate control are all standard across the range, along with a multi-function steering wheel. Wood trim, carbon fiber, or brushed aluminum are all available as standard. Keyless entry and Bluetooth connectivity are included on the S4 models, which are further distinguished by a series of S-logo badges that appear on the steering wheel, gauges, and doorsills.
Performance & Handling
The S4's supercharged V-6 engine produces a beefy 333 hp, which is routed to all four wheels through Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, and doesn't disappoint. The 2012 Audi S4 offers a fast, pleasing, and sporty drive. Handling and cornering are both excellent. The manual transmission has long, smooth shifts. The dual-clutch offers rapid-shifting and does so without making for a jerky ride. Overall the S4 is competitive and offers a fun-to-drive sports sedan that offers practicality and decent fuel economy to boot.
Antilock brakes and electronic aids such as stability and traction control are standard. Driver and passenger front airbags are standard, along with side impact thorax bags and front and rear head curtain bags. The manual transmission has a hill-hold feature standard. An optional Active Braking Guard feature alerts the driver of an imminent crash and readies the brakes for maximum braking power.
EPA Fuel Economy
S4 Sedan all-wheel drive: 18 mpg city/27-28 mpg highway
- Supercharged V-6 engine
- Great styling
- Audi's quattro all-wheel drive
- Large trunk
You Won't Like
- No Avant wagon version
- Navigation not touch screen
Great mix of sport and luxury.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Cadillac CTS-V
- BMW M3
- BMW 335i
- Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG