Review of my S4

April 20, 2006

J commented that I never followed up about how I was liking my S4, so here we go šŸ™‚

Well, I’ve been driving around with 340 horses on tap for about 4 months now and I have to say, I’m getting quite used to it. Now when I drive, I always know that I can pass at will and enter/exit the freeway effortlessly. The ride quality is firm, but it’s more than comfortable since I was used to driving around a Celica (where I’d describe the ride quality as almost twicthy). I like the overall presence of the car, it’s very smooth and refined; here are some words I’d use to describe it: powerful, refined, comfortable, willing, confident.

P1010039Now the bad stuff. My experience getting service at the local Audi dealer has been a little less than stellar. First, taking it in for standard service, they needed to keep my car for a couple days (there was a part that needed to be replaced under warranty) and they wouldn’t give me a loaner car. They had a courtesy shuttle, but it was only to/from the dealer – not much help when you need to get from home to work. Even Toyota picked up a rental when they had to make warranty repairs on my Celica. I can’t believe VW/Audi wouldn’t capitalize on that marketing opportunity. It seems to me that it would be a free opportunity for them to try to sell me my next car. Let me test drive a A3 or TT, give me a car with DVD Nav, maybe I’ll get one next time. At least make me want to come back to the dealer for service… isn’t that where you make your money anyways?

Then, I had to replace a button on the center console because the face had started to peel off. The button cost $30, which was a bit much, and then the dealer wanted to charge me $70 to install it. They claimed that they’d have to take out the entire center console, so a bunch of work, yada yada yada. It seemed fishy to me so I just went home and tried it myself. With a simple flathead screwdriver I was able to pop out the old button and put the new one in. Total time: 2 minutes. Carlsen Audi in Palo Alto, you’ve lost a customer here…

P1010040Aside from the dealer experience, what I’ve become aware of is how quickly I can get acclimated to nice things. When I first got my S4, driving anywhere was a treat – I will admit, I was uncommonly willing to run my errands those first few weeks. Nowadays, I’m just used to it. I’m so used to it that when I went to UNC and rented a car it was horrible (it was a Jeep Liberty, which I’m sure is a decent vehicle, but compared to my car it felt like the worst vehicle ever produced).

Lastly, as expected, my gas mileage would make a Prius owner cry – well, maybe until they realize that disposing of that huge NiMH battery pack at their car’s end of life is going to destroy the environment just as bad as marginal gas emissions on regular cars šŸ˜› I’m lucky to get 15 miles / gallon on a normal tank; on the freeway I get closer to 20 though.

I saw over on Autoblog a link to this French Audi advertisement for their new RS4. The clip makes me drool, but I wish they’d cut out the speaking parts and show me more driving parts… turn up the soundtrack on that RS4 engine note too please šŸ˜€


9 Responses to “Review of my S4”

  1. david Says:


  2. markjen Says:

    You mean: “Dang! You got shocks, pegs… lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?”

    Oh wait, that’s what I would’ve said hehe šŸ˜€

  3. Tawheed Says:

    That’s odd, I always got a loaner car when I took my ’04 A4 for servicing. As a matter of fact, I got to drive a ’06 A4 the last time I took it in…and that single experience made me decide I most definitely did not want one of the new generation A4s.

  4. markjen Says:

    Hmm… I’ll have to try another dealer next time service is due… which reminds me, I gotta schedule service soon ack!

  5. Rob Says:

    That is a beautiful machine.

  6. rose Says:

    what did you sad your car willing to do now…? :-O

    oh, and I saw the 2nd comment and thought “hmm, that’s something mark would totally say” and then I saw that it was your own comment! šŸ˜

  7. rose Says:

    err, *what did you say your car is willing to do now

  8. J Says:

    Belated. Thanks for the review. I guess the real question is now, Would you buy it again? or unlike tawheed, would you buy a newere S4?

  9. Shawn Says:

    You need to take it to Steven’s Creek Audi. They always will give you either a loaner A4 or a coupon for an Enterprise Rental. Let me guess, you’re going to Rector up in San Mateo??

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