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The Audi S4 is a more powerful, sportier alternative to the A4 and other European sedans. Moreover, the Audi model offers many generations for used car shoppers to consider. However, is the Audi model a reliable choice? Also, which Audi S4 years should you avoid altogether?

Is an Audi S4 reliable?

Unfortunately for potential owners who want one of the newest S4s, RepairPal considers them to be unreliable. A later model Audi S4 gets a 2.0 out of 5.0 in RepairPal’s reliability rating system. That’s well under the industry standard of 3.5. As a result, the site labels the S4 as “below average” in terms of reliability. If you’re going to avoid a model year based on reliability, you might want to steer clear of the newer models in favor of an older generation.

The Audi S4 from the B8 years are some of the most reliable Audi S4 models.
Odd Andersen | AFP via Getty Images

Furthermore, the Audi S4 ranks 27th out of 31 in the luxury midsize vehicles segment. According to MotorAsk, 2012 is the most reliable year for the Audi S4. That means used car hunters should opt for the early B8 generation if they want a reliable used Audi S4. 

What years did Audi make the S4?

Audi has been producing the S4 since the early 1990s in many different configurations. The marque has made it in multiple generations, and depending on what a potential owner wants, they should explore every variation. Specifically, the B5 generation spans from 2000 to 2002, the B6 from 2004 to 2005, and the B7 from 2006 to 2008. Of the most recent models, the B8 generation spanned from 2010 to 2016, and the B9 generation is ongoing. 

An Audi S4 is reliable if you pick the right years of the Audi model.
Audi S4 | Christopher Evans, MediaNews Group, Boston Herald via Getty Images

The B8 and B9 hosted midcycle facelifts, resulting in the B8.5 and B9.5 generations. However, one of the things to consider is the styling and motor you want in your S4. For instance, Audi removed the 4.2L V8 from the S4 after the B6 and B7 generations in favor of a 3.0L V6 mill. 

Is the B8 S4 reliable?

The B8-generation S4 is one of the most reliable offerings in the model’s lineup. Specifically, MotorAsk names the 2012 model year as the most reliable of the bunch. The 2012 model offered a choice of a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission along with its supercharged 3.0L V6 engine. The result is an angrier step up from the A4 to the tune of 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. 

Still, despite the power, the B8 is one of the most reliable iterations that used car shoppers can get. It certainly doesn’t have the low-reliability rating that RepairPal bestowed upon the new S4. 

How much does an Audi S4 cost?

A new 2023 Audi S4 starts at around $53,895 for the entry-level Premium. However, potential owners who want the range-topping Prestige trim will have to stretch to a starting price point of about $62,195. However, snagging a used model is a much more accessible option. For instance, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says the 2012 model from the B8 generation has a fair purchase price of around $11,727 with average mileage. 

What’s your favorite Audi generation? Tell us in the comments below!


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