Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

2014 Audi S4
2014 Audi S4. Click image to enlarge

Odometer at pick-up: 2,368 km
Odometer: 4,400 km (2,032 km by
Observed Fuel Consumption: 11.6 L/100 km
Costs: $349.88 (Gas)

The 2013 Audi S4 has quickly become the most popular long-term car we’ve ever had. Suddenly every contributor and people around the office are offering to take it for a week and give me their thoughts. Well, let’s start a bit closer to home; Wife Acceptance Factor doesn’t begin to describe my wife’s affection for this sleek Audi sedan. Simply put, “I love it!” Me too, honey.

In its first month, we’ve sent it all over the GTA, commuting to and from work, picking up press cars, living the family life on weekends and occasionally tempting us to misbehave.

The interior, as you can see from photos, is delightfully inviting, but it is also very roomy. We have no problem installing the car seats, and the Isofix anchors are some of the most easily accessed we have ever experienced. As far as space and legroom goes, the front passenger still has sufficient room even when my son is in his reverse-facing infant seat.

2014 Audi S42014 Audi S4
2014 Audi S4. Click image to enlarge

The front seats are comfortable and highly supportive, but wide enough even for those wider of, um, ‘frame’, and I’ve recently been through a couple cars where I felt like I was sitting on top of the thigh bolsters. Those high bolsters do occasionally interfere with ingress. The seats are adjustable in a multitude of positions, and the driver’s seat is capable of storing two memory settings.

The multimedia interface is fast and straightforward, although some expected touchscreen capability in addition to the centre console–mounted scroll wheel. While this might be an issue unique to journalists that switch between cars and brands on a weekly basis, but the scrolling direction seems counterintuitive – both Mercedes-Benz COMAND and BMW iDrive systems scroll down using a clockwise motion, but Audi has us fumbling with a counter-clockwise motion. Even after a few weeks, I still find myself scrolling backwards on occasion.

Thankfully, you can control many of the primary functions (phone, music) by scrolling the thumb wheels on the steering wheel, with the information displayed in the gauge cluster. Bluetooth is also easily paired, with phone and navigation functions theoretically accessible by voice command, though the system does not always automatically reconnect upon entry.

The steering wheel is also the source of universal admiration. Well, perhaps infatuation is the word I’m looking for… Editor Jacob Black had this to say: “The steering wheel is le sex. My uncle has a 1973 BMW 3.0 CS, and it has a stunning, thick wooden wheel that feels fat and weighty in your hands – I’ve had dreams about that steering wheel. I considered buying all of BMW’s stock of those wheels and making sure I put one on every car I owned. This wheel is better. The flat bottom makes you feel like a racer, the wheel is wide so it fills your hands and the leather is not only comfortable, but a right sexy colour.”

2014 Audi S42014 Audi S4
2014 Audi S4. Click image to enlarge

Yeah, it’s that nice.

Another sexy detail: the grey-faced gauges. Classic Audi S4 detail.

You may recall from our Arrival story that this car boasts a manual transmission. The shifter, too, is a fat, sensuous knob, with leather wrapped around what seems like a rod of milled aluminum. Its action is viscerally mechanical yet suitably refined for a luxury sedan. The clutch action, the more we get used to it, seems suitable light for a daily driver that may face inexorable rush-hour commuting duties.

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