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The S4 comes in one model with two large option packages and separate options. All S4s get a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 333 horsepower and standard quattro all-wheel drive. A six-speed manual is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with sport shifting mode is optional. Included on the base Premium Plus model is leather upholstery, sport seats with 12-way power adjustments, 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, power sunroof, Bluetooth and Audi's MMI media interface with 10-speaker audio system and iPod interface. The Prestige adds keyless entry and start, adaptive headlamps, navigation system, Bang & Olufsen audio system and blind-spot monitoring.
See our picks for best luxury cars in the CarsDirect 2013 Luxury Car Buying Guide.
The BMW 335i has similar performance and is lighter, but is more expensive similarly equipped and all-wheel drive is an option. The Volvo S60 offers a powerful T6 version with distinctive styling for a lower price, but isn't as fast, agile or prestigious. The Mercedes-Benz C350 has a solid feel and well-finished interior but isn't as fast. The Infiniti G37 is very fast and spacious and represents good value, but the interior isn't as nicely finished and powertrain is less refined.
The S4 is one of the best compact sport sedans out there because of generations of refinement and high levels of refinement, luxury and performance. All models come well-equipped, especially considering the price. And they all have the same level of Audi brand recognition and prestige. The fact it's a great driver's car is just an added bonus. Anyone in the market for a smart sport sedan needs to drive the S4.
The most basic S4 comes incredibly well equipped. The Premium Plus includes equipment like xenon headlamps with LED running lights, headlamp washers, auto on/off lights, three-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power sunroof, sport seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara, 12-way power adjustable seats, driver's memory settings, heated front seats, split-folding rear seat, 10-speaker audio system, iPod integration, Bluetooth, HomeLink and automatic wipers. The Navigation Plus package includes a navigation system with HD radio and voice control, backup camera and Audi Connect with online services. Also available are full Nappa leather seats and keyless entry and start.
Fast, good to drive, efficient, but costs much more when similarly equipped
Comfortable, stylish and powerful, but not as fast or agile
Solidly constructed inside and out but doesn't have the same power or agility
Powerful engine and good value, but feeling dated inside and lacks overall refinement