Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The most affordable S4 looks pretty competitive price-wise next to a Mercedes-AMG C43 and, in terms of equipment, the Mercedes only beats the Audi by offering adaptive dampers as standard – you have to go for the range-topping S4 Vorsprung to get those in the Audi.
The standard S4 gets heaps of equipment, including 19in alloy wheels, a rear-view camera, LED signature headlights, plus the sports seats and infotainment system we’ve mentioned. The Black Edition looks smart with its black exterior details, as well as piano-black trim interior accents. However, as it doesn’t add any functional equipment over the ‘standard’ S4, we reckon the latter is the pick of the range.
If you really have money to burn, the top-spec Vorsprung come with pretty much every feature shown in the Audi brochure. It boasts a panoramic sunroof, heated front and rear seats, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, hands-free boot opening and the Parking Assistance Advanced Pack with 360deg parking camera and park assist. Perhaps unsurprisingly, choosing this spec adds over £10,000 to the S4’s price list.
On the other hand, stepping up from a top-spec 187bhp A4 40 TDI Vorsprung to a well-equipped standard S4 is relatively small financial leap to make; and could be worth it for the power of that big diesel engine.
You can expect the diesel S4 to be more economical than the petrol C43, although both will attract a steep level of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, so neither are a compelling choice for company car drivers. Private owners may find the S4 a tad cheaper to service compared to the Mercedes, though.
A three-year, 60,000-mile warranty is standard and Audi came a middling 20th out of 31 manufacturers assessed in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. The latest S4 is too new to feature in our individual car rankings, though.