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Recently, I got my hands on a 2013 Audi S4 from my friends over at CarUnder10k in Dayton, TN. The owner, Justin, loaned the car to me for a few days to do a review on. This particular example had been modified with straight pipes – no cat, no factory resonators & no mufflers. Loud is definitely an understatement. I first took the car over to the guys over at Quick Everett’s Garage for them to look it over. After they plugged into the car and found no tunes or codes, they sent me on my way & the fun began. Today, I’ll give my opinions on the car and see if it is a performance luxury car bargain at just $15k.
This S4 makes a factory rated 333HP from its supercharged V6 engine. As this car is stock without a tune, it hits 0-60MPH in just 4.4 seconds. When you drive this car, it feels faster due to the exhaust making a scene everywhere you go. It put a smile on everyone’s face that rode in it (except the wife, but she doesn’t care for cars that much). Driving the car around in “D” drive mode makes the shifts more comfortable. Rarely did the car jump past 2,500RPM in this mode. However, in “S” sport mode, the car anticipates you getting onto the throttle more. This means nearly instant response in acceleration. My favorite mode is “M” manual because in this car, the downshifts are met with pops & bangs from the exhaust.
Audi has this department nailed down. The interior features leather seats, carbon fiber trim & soft touch materials all throughout. Where most cars have plastic trim, this car will either have aluminum or carbon fiber. You have 3 zones of climate control, 2 front & one rear. Of course, it has heated seats up front with full electric adjustability. The overall design of the car is sleek & subtle to the average joe. It blends into traffic nicely, which I like. You have to be a mild enthusiast to understand what you are looking at.
I’ve driven bone stock S4’s of this generation before – they drive great. It’s only once you really give it heavy throttle that you notice any engine noise. This car, however, is a different story. You definitely hear the exhaust ALL of the time. The drone of the engine at around 70MPH is nearly deafening. If I were to own this car, the first thing I would do would be put a set of original suitcase mufflers back on. Apart from that, the suspension is stiffer than a “normal” luxury car, but still comfortable. It’s only when you encounter hard bumps in the road that you really feel anything. The suspension is a nice mix of comfort & performance. Gas mileage isn’t bad, either. I was getting an average around 23-24MPG the entire time I drove it. It’s definitely more fun city driving or around winding back roads.
There is no skating around it – this car is a good deal. 333HP, AWD, supercharged V6 with leather, carbon fiber & 3-zone climate control. Try finding another car in this price range with similar features & specs. For example, in the luxury department, a well-optioned 2017 Camry might be close, but you won’t get carbon fiber or anywhere close to 333HP. So there is a definite trade off. On the flip side of that, a similar year model Mustang GT would give you more horsepower, but they are easily more expensive to purchase, no AWD & you won’t find an interior similar to the Audi. The B8/B8.5 S4 is a MAJOR all-around bargain and a great daily driver.
In conclusion, 5 days & 150ish miles later, I turned the car back in. If I didn’t have so many projects going on right now and just wanted a good performing daily, I would snag this one right up. This generation of S4 just might be the best all-rounder you can buy. A lot of the 2013 models sell for about $20k or less used in similar condition with similar miles. This one did have some cosmetic damage on the back & it did have over 130k miles, but the car still drove like new. All in all, I’d say it’s a great purchase for someone wanting a fun, luxurious daily driver. Check out the video I made on the car with a (very) janky tripod – it’s a good one, I promise!
Thanks again to CarUnder10K for loaning me this car – which is FOR SALE right now!
Text, Photos & Video by Ben Battles