Last post on Dec 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
Oct 10, 2013 (9:47 am)
Just the facts:
2014 S4 S-tronic (by default the car is a Premium+ model)
Magma Red/Black Leather
Carbon fiber interior accents (this is the option I did not want, but took just to get it done)
B&O radio/speaker upgrade
MMI (etc etc etc)
UHP All-season tires (18" wheels, 245/40)
Apparently Audi Drive Select (light) is now included on Premium+ models; the missing feature is the adjustable shocks. Maybe that is what is worth nearly $3,000 -- having had this feature on my 2009 A4, I would say it would be worth perhaps half that amount going forward. The S4 suspension, however, seems to have struck a good balance between dynamic and comfort, so color me happy.
It currently has 46 miles on it, is parked in the garage as I am sick as a dog with a nasty cold.
Got the 6% discount by virtue of being a member of the Audi Club of North America -- and as an additional bonus, when my wife's Q5 comes in next month, she will get a $1,000 loyalty bonus in addition to the discount offered by the dealer (which on the Q5 is more than 6%, meaning the ACNA program couldn't help us there.)
QND observation: My last two Audis were a 2005 A6 followed by a 2009 A4 -- the S4 dash and controls are little changed from those two cars (which is more than fine by me). However, the S4 MMI seems to have transformed the car almost into a computer, there are so many features and functions that are controlled by the MMI.
More when I'm better.
#16786 of 16987 Re: S4's in the garage! [markcincinnati]
Oct 10, 2013 (9:44 am)
Hope you feel better quickly!
Looking forward to details ......
#16787 of 16987 Re: S4's in the garage! [markcincinnati]
Oct 10, 2013 (10:26 am)
Sounds like a great car to me.
I like the idea of adjustable shocks in theory, but I wonder if that would add additional weight to the car rather than just letting Audi Engineers pick one perfect balanced refined setting and sticking to that.
Also, paying extra on a car that's already 50K (and more) scared me.
I'd like the supercharged badges too, rather than the misnomer of V6T decals on the side, but they are about $150 extra bucks. The buck has to stop somewhere.
Like I said, if I was CEO of Audi I'd of made the differential and supercharged badges standard equipment.
I just found out my new S4 is ready for the cargo boat and being loaded. The wait is harder than I expected.
#16788 of 16987 Re: S4's in the garage! [rayainsw]
Oct 10, 2013 (11:20 am)
Man, I must be sicker that I thought, I forgot the one deal-breaker option I got on the S4: Audi Side Assist.
This is now the third car I have had with blind spot monitoring -- I can live without many of the optional extras, but this one is a "don't leave home without it," as far as I am concerned.
Good for Audi in making this a single option rather than attempting to bury it along with thousands of dollars worth of other features (like the Infiniti Q50).
#16789 of 16987 Re: S4's in the garage! [markcincinnati]
Oct 10, 2013 (11:39 am)
Agreed; Audi allows you to pick ala cart items from the "PRESTIGE" package with the "Premium Plus" package, therefore making the PRESTIGE package pointless unless you like every item it includes.
Acura lost points on this count. I absolutely adore the sound system, but $3K to even 3.5K extra didn't make sense to me. Why is the good leather combined with the sound system "tech" package anyway? Most of that cost is in the Navigation which can be had for $100 in a portable unit.
#16790 of 16987 Re: Caved in [graphicguy]
Oct 10, 2013 (9:46 pm)
I don't want to high jack a thread, but for the company I work for we have a contract with all the rental companies, and I continue to always go back to National. I like that I can go to any car under the awning's and take it without a problem. Lately there has been some interesting cars, I just had a Volvo XC60, as well as S60. I average 60-75 rentals a year and never had a problem with National, that I can not say with Hertz or Avis.
#16791 of 16987 Re: S4's in the garage! [markcincinnati]
Oct 11, 2013 (8:02 am)
Mark...major congrats. Yours is identical to mine, with the exception of the seats. I know you're going to love it.
I think you and I must have the only Ibis White S4s in the entire Cincinnati area....as I've never seen a duplicate of mine. You'll find mine cruising around the Liberty, West Chester, Fairfield, Butler County area.
CTS-V for $60K? 410 HP from a twin turbo? Hmmmmm......still, it's a Cadillac, and all the good, and the not so good, that comes with that.
I shouldn't let my prejudices clould stand in the way of a new car:D
FN....I'm not traveling until after Thanksgiving (first time for that in a loooooonng time). I'll have to make it a point to try National when I'm back on the road. Thx!
Oct 11, 2013 (10:57 am)
For $60K I would find a CPO BMW M5. Then Id go trolling for Corvettes and 911's
Seriously though, the S4 is a very sweet car. Congrats!
Oct 11, 2013 (12:11 pm)
I've now spent a bit of time "initializing" the S4's MMI system parameters -- including Audi Connect (free for 6-months). In terms of ease of use, the MMI user interface remains super easy, one could argue it is almost intuitive. What I do notice, this time, in comparison to my 2009 A4 Prestige, is that there seems to be more that can be configured via the MMI. I had to chuckle when I pressed the CAR button and was presented with the ability to set my INDIVIDUAL preferences and one of them pertained to the engine/exhaust sound: "Comfort," "Auto," or "Dynamic." This option must be there simply "because they could." I guess when your car stickers at north of $56K, you need to be able to rule your domain, so to speak.
I do appreciate the new (to me) ability to speak entire phone numbers and entire addresses without having to spell things out or use the rotary knob to dial in o-n-e l-e-t-t-e-r a-t a t-i-m-e. Big move forward in voice recognition. Pairing my iPhone 5, too, was a snap -- but, there is no easy way to use the iPhone (other than Bluetooth) since the supplied cable is only good for iPhone's up to the 4S models. That is one thing Acura did a better job of: media connectivity. I mean, you could use a USB or a mini-stereo (male) plug or Bluetooth or all three at the same time.
Audi uses its own proprietary cable and you can't have your iPhone set up for two functions: one Bluetooth and one hardwired "connection" are not supported. My primary reason for not using Bluetooth has been I wanted to keep the phone in charge mode while I was driving, and the Acura allowed just that by plugging one end of the cable into the iPhone and one end into a female USB which charged the iPhone and allowed both iPod and Phone functions to operate without first shutting one down to use the other.
It is a small thing -- but sometimes it just makes one wonder why they can produce such a technologically advanced vehicle but overlook what most of us have come to expect in a plug''n'-play world.
Another cool feature -- but one that is NOT worth $30/month after the 6 month free trial ends -- is Audi connect that will actually show google earth pictures on the nav screen -- in excellent clarity. Not sure why I'd pay for that. Now, I know the stated "value" of Audi connect is that it turns the interior of the S4 into a WiFi hotspot -- but here's the thing, the ONLY carrier offered is T-Mobile and the signal is restricted to 3G. Those of you with the outdated Apple iPhone 5 know that your phone can be made into a WiFi hot spot (and that is just a "standard" feature of the iPhone); but, the difference is, depending on your carrier, I suppose, the iPhone can be 4G LTE, which would make someone's laptop using your iPhone WiFi hotspot run faster. Yes, the Audi Connect is more than a WiFi hotspot enabler, but, really, if I needed a hotspot while driving, the iPhone works well and you can buy a hell of a lot of "band" for an extra $30 per month.
I guess I look at Audi Connect as a too expensive technology considering its data fees. If my mind changes, I'll report back to you.
OK, once you get all (or most) of the MMI options set the way YOU want them, you're ready to punch the start button and -- finally -- take this sublime machine out on the road.
I set my Audi Drive Select to dynamic and put the S-Tronic in D (which becomes "S" when set to dynamic via the MMI) and pulled out of the driveway.
The power that is available underfoot is hard to describe -- I am tempted to hyperventilate and gush "the power feels limitless," which it does, but I won't, for I know someone, somewhere will point out a quicker, stronger and even more capable vehicle. For the life of me, though, when I read (or watch on YouTube) the test reports and see 0-60 in 4.4 seconds as the tested performance, I now understand how quickly the S4 reaches speed without muss nor fuss and without my even noticing it. Its "pick up" is so quick AND so smooth, it cautions me to watch the gauges since there are few signals of how quickly speed rises (and I am cautioned by the local long arm of the law, too).
Braking, too, makes me now think I understand how landing on an aircraft carrier must feel -- the brakes shed speed with incredible -- "you've got to feel it to believe it" -- aplomb.
My 2009 A4 was a quiet car to ride in -- not compared to the 2014 S4, though. The S4 almost makes me believe there might be some actual practical purpose to the MMI setting governing engine/exhaust sound -- you might need to hear something to clue you in just how quickly you got to extra-legal speeds. Lord knows there isn't much in the way of an audible cue to give you a sense of velocity.
Speaking of sound -- the Acura TL (Advance) has, to this day, not been bettered in terms of the sound system Acura blesses it [the TL Advance] with -- the B&O sound system in the S4 is "cleaner and clearer" than my fading memory of my 2009 A4 B&O. Nothing, so far, come close to the sound of a DVD-audio recording (or a DTS disc, for that matter), but the current iteration of the B&O system is a welcome improvement. The HD radio as well as SiriusXM probably sound as good as these technologies (and transmission limitations) can deliver, so I'll simply suggest checking off the B&O option box should you choose Audi from the ELLPS list.
With such green tires it is difficult to say anything about the "handling" of the S4 -- since it will surely improve over the next few days as the "green-ness" of the tires is scrubbed away. By the way, I chose (of my own free will) to get the 18" UHP A/S tires instead of the MAX Perf Summer-only rubber. I live in Cincinnati for pity's sake -- the freeways are crowded (so what good is a 155 mph limiter?) and we do have moderate winters with a couple of days of snow cover here and there -- besides, the summer rubber Audi chooses really has a short tread life in my experience. I'll live (in shame) with a 130 mph limiter in other words.
That's it for now.
I'll close and wonder why (considering the price and the "natural comparison") the S4 was not thrown in the mix of cars that were compared to the new Lexus IS F Sport. I would think the S4 might have given the judges pause. We'll see, maybe next time.
#16794 of 16987 Re: Like coming home [markcincinnati]
Oct 12, 2013 (5:25 am)
Mark...glad you're enjoying the S4. I agree with everything you say. The Audi connect wasn't worth it to me, either. In addition, during the trial, it was painfully slow.
I leave everything in dynamic mode most of the time, except if I'm on a long interstate jaunt. I use comfort settings, then. I got the all season tires, too. I really had no use for the 155 MPH summer only tires.
I agree about the stereo, too. The B&O is good, but the TL ELS stereo is the best I've heard in any car, at any price.
As you know, it's really nice around the OH Valley right now. But, when we hit those mid 90s next summer, you'll find the A/C to be frigid.
Get out there today and hit the road...enjoy the ride. Personally, we're headed to the saurkraut festival in Waynesville today.