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Audi S4 B8: Buying guide and review (2009-2016)

Audi S4 B8: Buying guide and review (2009-2016) Classic and Performance Car
Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8
The Audi S4 range has sat at the top of the A4-range tree since its inception in the early 1990s, excluding the rather more hardcore RS4 models, which made an appearance in 1999. This made the S4 the much more affordable, and somewhat more sensible performance version, but it’s unfair to dismiss it altogether. 
 
If you like your performance car understated and very subtle looking, then any S4 is difficult to beat. Combining the Quattro running gear with powerful engines makes them the ultimate unassuming all-weather sports car. With the introduction of the B8 S4 in 2009, increased focus on fuel efficiency and emissions meant that motive power for the newcomer was provided by a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 instead of the charismatic but ageing naturally aspirated V8 from the previous generation. 
 
Performance was up, emissions were down and in real world driving conditions there was not much else in the premium executive sector that could match it, especially when the roads got slippery.
 
As a second-hand purchase today the B8 S4 still presents itself as a convincing overall package, providing near Superman levels of performance while still dressed in Clark Kent’s diesel A4 clothes.
 
Which one to buy?
 
In the UK the S4 was made available with the seven-speed S-tronic gearbox as well as a six-speed manual. The S-tronic cars proved far more popular, and they do work well especially in stop start driving conditions. Not trying to be a driver’s car at the cost of all else, the manual gearbox is not essential here, and can actually be a bit baulky between changes. Body styles are a four-door saloon or estate, or Avant in Audi-speak. There is no convertible model now, as this is now being labelled S5.
 
Ride has been much improved over older S4’s, understeer through corners greatly reduced and off-the-line traction is as can be expected from a Quattro Audi. If you are looking for communicative steering or tail out antics away from roundabouts then this is not the car for you.
 
The new 3.0-litre V6 engine provides fewer aural thrills than the outgoing V8 but the supercharger gives it immediate responsiveness and despite the lower output of 334bhp it manages to outperform its older brother too.
 
Optional extras to look out for are the Bang & Olufsen sound system, keyless go and satellite navigation. The black edition optioned models came with a few unique trim items as well as a fair amount of extra standard kit such as 19-inch alloys, multi-function steering wheel and auto headlights and wipers. Well worth it when new and a desirable option in the second-hand market. Tech packs and comfort packs also offered extra spec at reduced prices, making them good value today. A sports differential was also offered as an option, although it’s quite unusual to find a car with one fitted.
 
Performance and refinement are exemplary and thanks to Audi’s evolutionary styling process the current generation will not look outdated in the years to come.
 
Performance and specs

Audi S4 Avant
Engine 2995cc 24valve DOHC V6 Supercharged
Power 328bhp @ 5500-6500rpm 
Torque 325lb.ft torque @ 2900-5300rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-62mph 5.1 seconds 
Fuel consumption 33.6mpg 
Gearbox Seven-speed S-Tronic/Six-speed manual
Insurance group 36
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2811mm
Length 4719mm
Width 1826mm
Height 1415mm
Curb weight 1825kg
 
Common problems


Being a modern Audi, reliability is expected and the S4 thankfully doesn’t disappoint. There were a few niggling issues on earlier cars, as well as a few recalls that were not only S4 specific. The most important thing to look for is evidence of a comprehensive service history, ensuring that there are no signs of abuse or badly repaired accident damage. These cars also hide their miles very well, so continuous proof of the mileage is very important.
 
• Two recalls affected the A4 range, which included some S4 cars. These issues related to an issue where engine oil could potentially enter the brake servo, causing braking issues.

• There was also an airbag recall, affecting post-2012 cars. This was to fix the issue of some airbags not deploying on impact. Check with Audi about your specific model to confirm whether it was affected, and if the work had been carried out.

• Engines are reliable with no recurring faults cropping up, some oil filler caps can develop leaks but other than that as long as the service intervals have been adhered to these cars can rack up some high mileages. 

• Carbon build-up in the intake manifold, which can cause decrease performance, appears to be an increasingly common issue affecting all FSI engines. Although not limited to the S4, a specialist can clean out the manifold for a small fee.

• There have been some complaints of coil packs failing, but this is not as prevalent in some of the other VW/Audi variants. If the car exhibits any signs of misfiring or hesitation, this is the first thing to check. 

• Some early cars could suffer from cooling system issues, caused by thermostats and water pumps prematurely failing. Most should have been replaced by now under warranty. 

• 2010 models with the navigation option can exhibit an annoying software bug where voice instructions do not match up with the route. This can be rectified by a software upgrade.
 
Model history
 
2009: B8 S4 released with 3.0-litre V6 supercharged engine, offered with seven-speed S tronic and six-speed manual transmissions in both sour-door saloon and estate body styles.
2012: Facelifted model introduced, bringing in improved buttons and simplified MMI system. Flat-bottomed steering wheel and minor chrome trim changes for interior as well as new headlights and taillights completed the package
2015: B8 generation being phased out to make way for new turbocharged B9 based cars
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.audi.co.uk
• www.audiownersclub.co.uk – Audi owners club/resource
• www.unit20.org – Audi specialists
 
Summary and prices
 
Higher-mileage 2009 S4s can be found for around £14,000. Manual cars are rare, with the practical Avant models being even rarer. Nearly new S4s are just under the £38,000 mark, and can provide a decent saving over a brand new model. With a new S4 just around the corner however, there may be further discounts to be had over the next few months. The sweet spot is to be found with the two year old cars, which at £26,000 for a low mile S-tronic saloon, seem extremely good value.
 
Words: John Tallodi
Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8 Audi S4 B8
Last updated: 11th Feb 2016
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Audi S4 cars for sale

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Audi S4
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  • Audi S4 QUATTRO S TRONIC

    £22,950 £22,950

    Body: Saloon Transmission: Automatic Mileage: 30,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2012 (12) Doors: 4 Engine Size: 3.0 Finished in: MONSOON GREY METALLIC WITH BLACK LEATHER 18" alloys

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    For sale
    Quirks Car Company
  • Audi S4

    £25,490 £25,490

    4x4, Full main dealer service history Audi S4 3.0 TFSI V6 Quattro Black Edition Saloon 333PS S Tronic Automatic registered March 2014 (14 reg) finished in Phantom Black with Black Leather and Suedecloth interior and High Gloss Black trim, Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound System, Heated Electric Front Sports Seats with Lumbar Support, Technology Package with Audi Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, DAB Radio, 19 Inch 5 Arm Rotor Design Matt Titanium Alloys, Audi Drive Select, Start/Stop, Cruise Control, Air Conditioning System Plus, Full Audi Service History on 14/04/15 at 8,543 and 03/05/16 at 17,312 - next service in 8,900 miles. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 22200 mi
    • Engine size: 2995
    For sale
  • 2015 Audi S4 Avant Avant Quattro

    POA POA

    CAT D, WAS DAMAGED NOW FULLY REPAIRED + MASSIVE SPEC + SAT NAV + DRIVE SELECT + B&O UPGRADED SOUND SYSTEM + SUPER SPORT SEATS + RED AND BLACK EXTENDED LEATHER INTERIOR + ELECTRIC HEATED SEATS + PIANO BLACK INLAYS + KEYLESS START + PANORAMIC SUNROOF + ROOF RAILS + CRUISE CONTROL + ELECTRIC FOLDING MIRRORS + REAR HEATED SEATS + PRIVACY GLASS + FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS + AUTO BOOT + HILL HOLD + BLUETOOTH + 19" ALLOYS, Audi music interface-usb-mp3, Digital radio..Bang & Olufsen sound system with digital amp & 14 speakers, Black styling pack, xenon adaptive headlights with led daytime running lights, Bluetooth phone prep, Auto dimming rear view mirrors, heated mirrors.

    For sale
  • Audi S4

    £17,990 £17,990

    ** £990 DEPOSIT £349 MONTHLY ** , ** BUY NOW START PAYING AUGUST 2017**, S4 Bodystyling, S4 18'' Alloy Wheels, S4 Sports Suspension, S4 Sports Seats, Black Milano Leather Interior, S4 Paddle Change Multi Function Steering Wheel , S4 Leather Gearshift, Audi High Technology Package, Audi MMI Navigation Plus Satellite Navigation, Audi MMI Multimedia Interface System , Audi MMI 6.5 Inch Colour Display, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Audi Acoustic Parking System, Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Brushed Aluminium Interior Trim, Aluminium Mirror caps, Xenon Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, Automatic Headlights, Automatically Dimming Mirrors, Rain Sensor, DIS Drivers Information System, Computer, Cruise Control, ISOFIX Restraint Safety System, ESP Electronic Stability Programme, Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS, Airbags, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, MP3 Player, CD Player, Full Audi Service History, Finance For Example Only - ** £990 DEPOSIT £349 MONTHLY ** This stunning Audi S4 Quattro Saloon is in an outstanding condition both inside and out and with a Full Audi Service History the car has been meticulously looked after. Finished in Gloss Brilliant Red with a contrasting Black Milano Leather Interior this car really must be the best looking S4 in it's class currently for sale in the UK. Being the top of the range S4 Model the car boasts an enviable high level of features as standard but additionally this particular car was ordered from Audi with £3105.00 of Factory Options including the High Technology Pack, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Milano Leather Sports Seats and Heated Front Seats. This S4 is a very capable sports car boasting an acceleration of 0-60 in an impressive 5.3 seconds onto a factory speed limited top speed of 155 MPH yet it is also a very comfortable family car seating up to five adults with ease. All of this performance yet the car still returns up to 40.4 miles per gallon and the Road Fund Licence costs only £3205.00 per year. ** ALL CARS NOW SUPPLIED WITH 12 MONTHS AA ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE COVER, 5 DAYS FREE INSURANCE (SUBJECT TO ACCEPTANCE & £12.50 ADMIN FEE), A NO QUIBBLE PARTS AND LABOUR WARRANTY, INCLUDING FAILURES CAUSED BY WEAR AND TEAR, 12 MONTHS MOT AND A MULTI POINT PRE-DELIVERY INSPECTION REPORT ** FINANCE FOR EXAMPLE - CONTACT FOR QUOTE **

    • Mileage: 77500 mi
    • Engine size: 2995
    For sale
  • Audi S4

    £41,995 £41,995

    Variant: 3.0 TFSI (354ps) quattro Audi S4 3.0 TFSI (354ps) quattro Saloon finished in Mythos Black, metallic. Specification includes 19" x 8.5j '5- v spoke' design alloy wheels in matt titaniu, camera-based traffic sign recognition, flat bottomed 3-spoke leather trimmed high multi-function s, privacy glass (side and rear windows) and acoustic glass (f, extended led interior lighting pack - multi-coloured, automatic headlight adjustment, LED rear lights, adaptive cruise control with stop & go and traffic jam assi, headlight washer system, Audi virtual cockpit, electrically adjustable front seats with memory function fo, driver assistance pack - tour, advanced key with electric hands-free boot opening system, deletion of model and technology badges at rear, 19" '5-v spoke' design alloy wheels in matt titanium look -, inlays - piano finish - black, Audi active lane assist, door mirrors - electrically folding - adjustable and heated, anti-theft alarm, matrix led headlights and light & vision pack.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 1707 mi
    For sale
  • Audi S4

    £10,995 £10,995

    Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Comms Pack, Dual Climate Zones, Full Leather, Xenon Headlamps, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Colour Coded Interior, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Lumbar Adjustment, Sports Seats, Rear Armrest, Rear Headrests, Adjustable Steering Column, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Brake Assist, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Spoiler, Auto-dip Rearview, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Power Hood, Bose, CD Player, Radio, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, 18'' Alloys, 4x4 A stunning and low mileage example of the rare S4 4.2 V8 Cabriolet model. Just two owners from new, the first was a celebrity! Full Audi main dealer service history from new and a huge specification including Satellite Navigation, Bose Stereo, Full Leather, Electric Heated Seats, Reversing Sensors and much more. A truly astonishing car, don't miss out!!

    • Mileage: 60371 mi
    • Engine size: 4163
    For sale
  • AUDI S4 S4 3.0 TFSI V6 QUATTRO ONLY 22K MILES 2011

    £19,990 £19,990

    An exceptional 22,000 mile S4 with perfect Audi main dealer service history. Presented in Ice Silver Metallic with Full Black Milano Leather interior, sports seats, unkerbed 19" 7 arm double spoke alloy wheels fitted with four matching nearly new Continental tyres, privacy glass, automatic Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, rear parking sensors, cruise control, electric seats, CD player with auxiliary Ipod connection, Bluetooth, air conditioning, digital climate control, traction control, leather wrapped 3 spoke sports steering wheel with multi-functional controls, electric windows/ mirrors all round etc. One previous owner and covered just 22,000 miles since new with full Audi main dealer service history. A fastidiously maintained example with ultra low mileage. Impeccable throughout

    • Mileage: 22000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.995
    For sale
  • AUDI S4 S4 QUATTRO 2006

    £10,495 £10,495

    Audi S4 4.2 Quattro 4dr;GBP 10,495 ; ;GET FINANCE AT MOSTONS.COM!;2006 (56 reg), Saloon ;68,000 miles;Automatic;4163cc;Petrol;FULL AUDI HISTORY WITH LAST SERVICE JUST 3000 MILES AGO, STUNNING RARE SPRINT BLUE PEARL, NO ADMIN FEES ON THIS CAR, FULL LEATHER INTERIOR, HEATED SEATS, SATNAV, SPEAK TO OUR FINANCE SPECIALISTS FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTE, NATIONWIDE WARRANTY INCLUDED, EXHILARATING 339BHP 4.2L V8, AMAZING DRIVE, Black Full leather interior, Four wheel-drive, Climate Control, Seats Electric (Driver/Passenger), In Car Entertainment (Radio/Cassette/CD), Alarm, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), Upholstery Cloth/Leather, Alloy Wheels (18in), Computer (Driver Information System), Electric Front Sports Seats 4-Way. 5 seats, Blue, COMPETITIVE FINANCE PACKAGES AVAILABLE, FULL DEALER FACILITIES. P/EXCHANGE, OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK, GBP 10,495

    • Mileage: 68000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.163
    For sale
  • AUDI S4 S4 QUATTRO Auto

    £6,495 £6,495

    We are delighted to offer this exception audi S4 advant for sale finished in a stunning grey with full black leather interior, leather Recaro seats finished with carbon fibre trim. This car has had only 2 owners from new and has an impressive spec with many added factory extras added bringing the total to GBP 48000 when bought brand new! ;;This car comes with; Full service history, upgraded AUDI Navigation system with up to date maps, Electrically adjustable seats with lumbar support, Heated seats, Dual zone climate control, Multi-function steering wheel with gear change paddles, BOSE sound system, 6-speed Tiptronic transmission (Avant), 6 CD autochanger and many more!;;This car is HPI clear and ready to drive away, we accept all major credit and debit card payments. Viewing by appointment only;;

    • Mileage: 152000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.163
    For sale
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