by Aiden Eksteen
Compact sports sedans have been popular for a really long time, with the big European automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi heading up the classification frontrunners. Having been around since 2008 and now nearing the end of its fifth generation, the 2021 Audi S4 Sedan augments its proven proficiency, dependability, and balance with a contemporary and suave design and a simple yet marvellous interior that's brimming with all the creature comforts, conveniences, and tech one would expect from a modern premium sedan. The S4 Sedan does well in the classification, but there are many alluring competitors - the BMW M340i and even the mainstream Kia Stinger offering phenomenal performance characteristics, eye-catching aesthetics, and massive value for the money. With its 349-horsepower mill, exquisite looks, and upscale interior, the 2021 Audi S4 Sedan still impresses, but is it enough?
Last year saw the 2020 Audi S4 get a new design in the USA and a new infotainment system, but the engine remains unchanged. The updates for the new version of the B8 shape are similarly restrained, with just the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay as standard, along with lane departure warning, and a new integrated toll module. The Convenience Package now adds a heated steering wheel and parking sensors, while the Premium Plus trim gains adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and a surround-view camera, while the top trim gets heated rear seats.
See trim levels and configurations:
With its dapper aesthetic, refined powertrain, and impeccable build quality, the Audi S4 Sedan is definitely equipped to impress, and it does just that. The turbo V6 provides plenty of kick for the compact 4-door, delivering precise and smooth responses throughout, along with so-so fuel economy. The S4 Sedan's suave yet modest impression fits its performance character, too. While it isn't the most proficient or engaging sports sedan to drive, it certainly has the potential to excite. But, it impresses most in the compliant and tranquil ride quality it delivers. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have subjected the 2021 Audi S4 Sedan to review for an official safety rating, but it comes standard with an extensive list of driver assists and safety features. Plus, with no or very few recalls having been issued for the latest generation of the S5, it's proven its reliability. There aren't many cars that are as luxurious as the 2021 Audi S4 Sedan, at its price of $49,900, but there are certainly more entertaining options.
As is typically the case with Audi's vehicles, the mid-spec Premium Plus is the model of choice. Above the entry-spec Premium model, the Plus boasts a 12.3-inch configurable driver TFT display, wireless phone charging, and a hands-free trunk tailgate. It also comes standard with a good selection of nifty driver-assist tech including a surround-view camera, front/rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and vehicle exit warning. We recommend a quick review of the options list, too, as the Plus gains access to a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and even a sport-tuned rear differential.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Audi S4 Sedan: