This new generation of Audi S4 is among the best do-it-all sport sedans you can find. It’s fast, it’s comfortable, it’s practical, it’s capable in all types of weather and it features a slick, high-tech interior. In the $50,000-$60,000 range, it’s hard to find a more well-rounded car. But that’s not what puts it in contention for Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. In fact, it seems that the way it drives is what puts it over the edge as a COTY contender.
While Audi isn’t exactly known for sharp on-the-limit dynamics or communicative steering feel, those things are exactly what gave the Audi S4 the nod from Motor Trend staffers.
“It’s easy to adjust your steering angle via the throttle, which is always a hallmark of a good performance car,” said Motor Trend features editor Christian Seabaugh. “You can really feel that rear diff doing its thing.”
Those sentiments are typically reserved for rear-wheel drive BMWs and Alfa Romeos, not all-wheel drive, front-heavy Audis. So to hear that is genuinely encouraging and inspiring. It’s been years since we’d last driven the S4, and haven’t driven the facelifted model just yet, so we can’t comment on whether or not we agree. But it’s great to hear.
The praise doesn’t stop there, however. Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman said this about the steering: “There’s also something, well, je ne sais quoi about the steering. But in a good way. A classic Audi way. To me, it felt like the RS 4 from back in the day.”
MT’s Kim Reynolds added, saying “I like the steering but struggle to explain why. What’s nice here is the sense of tremble in the rim that gives you an illusion of road feel and a sense of where the four tires are and what they’re doing. It’s hard to explain this— I probably couldn’t measure it— but it’s an illusion that’s there for sure.”
Add its driving dynamics to its excellent cabin, technology, comfort and all-wheel drive, all-weather grip and the Audi S4 is difficult to beat in the segment. Let’s see how it fairs in the Car of the Year contest.