Bottom line: The 2013 Audi S4 Quattro sedan is a “buy” for anyone seeking a premium midsize sedan with enough power to remain relevant on the highway while remaining comfortable within one’s own skin. It is an attractive, well-built, well-engineered car for affluent buyers with affection for taste.
Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent marks in all three. Warning: This car is deceptively fast. Watch that speedometer!
Body style/layout: It’s a front-engine, midsize entry-level luxury car with four side doors and a traditional notch-back trunk. Body structure is mostly aluminum. It has an all-aluminum engine and is available in three different trim levels — base, Premium and Prestige.
Engine/transmissions: It comes standard with a 3-liter, 24-valve supercharged gasoline-direct-injection engine delivering a maximum 333 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard. Also available is a seven-speed automatic transmission that can be used manually. Best fuel economy is with the seven-speed automatic.
Capacities: Seats five people. But comfort diminishes for back-seat occupants, especially with three in the rear, on road trips in excess of 200 miles. Cargo capacity is 12.4 cubic feet with rear seats up and 34 cubic feet with those seats folded. The fuel tank holds 16.9 gallons of gasoline. Premium grade is required.
Real-world mileage: We experienced nearly 17 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, the latter improving significantly when I drove in compliance with posted speed limits.
Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; emergency brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; six air bags, including side and head-protection modules; tire-pressure monitoring; rigid, lightweight body construction; and high-intensity discharge headlamps.
Price: Prices for the 2013 Audi S4 Quattro Premium start at $47,600 for the model with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Dealer’s invoice price on that model is $44,268. With the optional seven-speed auto-manual gearbox, prices start at $49,000 with a dealer’s invoice piece of $45,570. Add an $895 destination fee. Note: As with most German cars, adding options here, such as onboard navigation with backup camera, can be an expensive exercise ($3,050 in the case of the S4 Quattro Premium with navigation).