Sedans & Coupes

The 2021 Audi S4 Doesn’t Really Change Anything, but That’s OK

The SUV has captured most automakers’ imagination, but sedans and sport sedans continue to attract car buyers’ attention. Sedans such as the Audi S4, the sports car people keep the longest, refuse to pass silently into the night. Sport sedans continue to endure for their ability to raise heart rates through higher performance capabilities while maintaining practicality. Though the 2021 Audi S4 sees minimal updates, this year’s model continues to deliver the thrilling performance Audi drivers expect.

The 2021 Audi S4 offers plenty to get excited about

Audi didn’t make many major updates to the 2021 S4, but that’s OK. The 2020 upgrade provided enough to keep buyers coming back. However, MotorTrend points to some 2021 models’ features that’ll excite buyers.

The exterior’s slight tweaking is barely noticeable on the 2021 A4 and S4 (the sport version). The high-quality interior of last year’s model remains unchanged as well. Additionally, the S4’s 349-hp, all-wheel-drive power train is the same, maintaining the snappiness of its dual-clutch-to-throttle responsiveness. The 2021 edition’s handling stays as forgiving and intuitive as before. No one is complaining about these relatively unchanged features because you don’t fix what works.

However, Audi has added a 12-volt hybrid system, which adds 13 hp to its A4 model, and the TDI Hybrid option with a 48-volt battery to the S4. Infotainment brings the most noticeable changes. The screen grew from 8.3 to 10.1 inches while adding touch capability and losing the scroll wheel. Small changes to the Virtual Cockpit took what was already best in class and made it even better.

Called-for changes that weren’t included in the 2021 Audi S4

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Because the 2020 S4 represented a major upgrade for this Audi model, the pros far outweighed the cons with reviewers. However, critics pointed out some features that needed upgrades. But those features weren’t addressed in the 2021 model upgrade.

The S4 didn’t go far enough in providing sensory feedback to the driver when compared with the non-sport model A4. Wanting louder exhaust feedback and a more pronounced sporty performance response, Cars.com used the words “sleep” and “numb” to describe the driving experience. Essentially, because the Audi A4 is already capable, critics felt there wasn’t enough separation between the two models to justify the S4’s price increase. The feel of the 2021’s nonlinear braking also received criticism from MotorTrend because the automaker hasn’t yet worked out this drawback.

Though Audi didn’t address what critics felt were necessary changes in 2021, satisfaction with the quality and performance upgrades realized in 2020 carry over well with this year’s S4 buyers. Essentially, the 2021 Audi S4 keeps those things that made it a hit last year and invested in upgrading some little things that brighten already pleased drivers’ smiles.

The 2021 Audi S4 is still a good investment for sport sedan buyers

Because automakers can’t make a major investment in every model they produce every year, major upgrades to various models tend to follow in cycles. The 2020 model saw major upgrades to the Audi S4, so only minor tweaking was expected for 2021. Though Audi didn’t address all of 2020’s cons, sport sedan buyers can rest assured the 2021 Audi S4 is still a good investment in the kind of driving experience and performance that fans have come to expect from the brand.