Reliability is always a concern where used luxury cars are involved. Because while the purchase price is low, that doesn’t mean the repair costs are, too. However, even if an earlier version of a car was plagued with problems, doesn’t mean the later ones are, too. A good example of this is this week’s Cars and Bids bargain car: a 2014 Audi S4.
The B8.5 Audi S4 has a more reliable engine and the S4’s last manual
Some Audi S4 model years are best avoided, with some owners deeming them maintenance nightmares. And many issues stem from the B6- and B7-gen S4’s 4.2-liter V8 engine. However, iSeeCars ranks the 2012 S4 as one of the best used sports cars to buy. So, what changed? Besides the model generation, the powertrain.
In 2010, Audi replaced the B7-gen S4 with the B8. And while the new model still had AWD, it didn’t have the V8 anymore, Car and Driver reports. Instead, it has a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 rated at 333 hp and 325 lb-ft, MotorTrend reports. Although it’s slightly less powerful than the V8, it’s a more reliable engine. FCP Euro also reports the B8 S4’s engine is more reliable than the contemporary A4’s engine options.
Plus, the supercharged V6 doesn’t give up any speed over the V8. The B8 S4 goes 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the B7 model, Car and Driver reports. And that’s with the standard six-speed manual; the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic lacks launch control and is therefore slower. Also, the B8-gen S4, or rather the B8.5-gen, was the last one Audi offered with a stick, Automobile reports.
What’s the difference between the B8 and B8.5?
The ‘B8.5’ denomination comes from the mid-cycle refresh Audi gave the S4 and A4 for 2013, Car and Driver reports. This refresh upgraded the interior and infotainment system, retuned the active exhaust and adaptive dampers, and swapped the steering’s hydraulic-assist for electric-assist.
Speaking of the dampers, they’re standard on the B8.5 Audi S4, along with an active rear differential, MT reports. So are heated front sport seats, leather-and-Alcantara upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, and Bluetooth, Autotrader reports.
Compared to the contemporary BMW M3, the B8.5 Audi S4 isn’t quite as sharp, Driving.ca reports. However, it’s still decently sporty when you want it to be, and comfortable when you don’t. The engine pulls strongly and smoothly in every gear, and the pedals make heel-toeing easy, Automobile reports. And with the AWD and sport differential, the S4 grips and corners well, MT reports. Plus, the interior design and material quality are excellent, Driving.ca reports.
The 2014 Audi S4 on Cars and Bids
The 2014 Audi S4 currently listed on Cars and Bids is a fairly well-equipped one. Besides the sporty suspension and differential, it comes with the optional Technology Package. That means the sedan has a Bang & Olufsen audio system, navigation, a color digital driver’s display, as well as lane-changing and parking assist.
However, this 2014 Audi S4 also isn’t mechanically stock. It has two ECS tuning skid plates, an AWE tuning exhaust kit, Rohana alloy wheels, STX coilovers, SPC upper control arms, and a P3 boost gauge. Plus, it has an 034 Motorsport transmission mount and Stage 1 tune. So, when it’s running on 93 octane, Cars and Bids notes it “may be making more power.” Rounding out the mods are some black Audi badges, Yakima roof bars, an aftermarket grille, and wheel spacers with extended lug nuts.
Cars and Bids notes that the current owner of this 2014 Audi S4 maintained the sedan himself after purchasing it from his dad. But the seller does have the OEM wheels, lug nuts, and grille, and the Stage 1 tune is removable. Plus, apart from some nicks and scratches, the S4 is in good shape. The current owner even had the dealer install a replacement for the scratched-up hood. And it only has 68,109 miles on the clock and a zero-accident history report.
It’s a sporty modified luxury bargain
As of this writing, this 2014 Audi S4 is listed on Cars and Bids at $19,250 with three days left in the auction. Given its original MSRP was about $50k, that’s a significant savings. And it’s cheaper than the similarly-equipped examples on Autotrader.
Admittedly, given this S4’s modifications and history, we—along with several Cars and Bids commenters—recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection. Which, based on the post comments, the current owner is trying to organize with a local shop. So, if you’ve been looking for a reasonably-priced sporty used luxury sedan, this one might be worth bidding on.
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