Having driven both the Audi A4 S Line and the S4, I can tell you firsthand that if you’re looking for a luxurious car, these two should be on your list.
Both cars are based on the same platform and offer similar features, but they have some critical differences.
The main difference between the Audi A4 and A4 S Line is that the A4 S Line is equipped with Audi’s S Line package. This means the A4 S Line has a sportier exterior and interior and luxurious options like leather seats.
Keep reading to learn more!
At a glance: Which is best for you?
Choosing between the Audi A4 S Line and the S4 is a big decision.
Both cars are luxurious, perform well, and have that sleek Audi design we all love.
But when you break it down, some key differences might make one a better fit for your preferences.
- The Audi A4 S Line is best for you if:
- You’re seeking a more budget-friendly luxury car.
- You want a car with lower maintenance costs.
- You prioritize fuel efficiency.
- You desire a sporty exterior and interior without needing high-performance specs.
- The Audi S4 is best for you if:
- You’re looking for a car with more power and better road performance.
- You want a vehicle that stands out, with a deeper, throatier exhaust note.
- You don’t mind spending a bit more for a higher trim level and more features.
Let’s look at the exact differences between them now:
9 Differences between the Audi A4 S Line and S4
Here are the main differences between an Audi A4 S Line and S4:
- The Audi S4:
- Has a more powerful engine
- Generally has a higher trim level
- Is always equipped with an AWD system
- May have slightly larger wheels
- Has upgraded brakes
- Has a deeper and louder exhaust note
- The Audi A4 S Line:
- Is more fuel-efficient
- Has lower maintenance costs
- Is cheaper to purchase
Note: If you’re not sure whether you’re looking at an A4 S Line or an A4, read this article to learn how to easily identify the model of your Audi!
1. The engine
The most significant difference between the Audi A4 S Line and the S4 lies under the hood.
The Audi S4 will always be equipped with a more powerful engine than the Audi A4 S Line.
The exact difference between the engines depends on which model year you’re looking at.
However, for the Audi A4 B9 generation (2015-2022), the A4 S Line has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (which is also used by Volkswagen) that produces 150 to 252 horsepower.
Meanwhile, the S4 has a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that produces 354 horsepower.
In short, the S4 has a more powerful engine that provides better acceleration and performance!
Tip: If you’re interested in getting an Audi A4 B7, you can learn more about its best engines and ones to avoid in this article!
2. The trim level
The Audi S4 will generally be better equipped than the Audi A4 S Line.
However, this depends on which packages the buyer selects when purchasing their Audi.
So, a fully-specced Audi A4 S Line with a Prestige trim can still have more features than a base Audi S4.
Some of the differences in trim level may be caused by features like:
- Standard vs. Bang & Olufsen speaker systems.
- Leather vs. Nappa leather seats.
- Heated vs. non-heated seats.
Fun fact: Did you know there’s also a variant of the Audi A4 called ‘Allroad’? If not, you can learn everything about it in this article!
3. Front-wheel-drive vs. all-wheel-drive
Next up is the difference in the car’s powertrain.
The Audi A4 S Line is a front-wheel-drive (FWD) car as standard, with an option to upgrade to an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.
In contrast, the Audi S4 is always equipped with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Audi A4s have several pros and cons, and the possibility of getting the Quattro all-wheel-drive system is definitely a huge pro!
This system helps to improve traction in all kinds of weather conditions. That means you won’t struggle to get off the line, even in wet conditions!
As a result, the S4 is the better choice for drivers who want the best possible performance from their vehicles.
4. Wheel size
Generally, the Audi A4 S Line and S4 both come with different wheel sizes equipped from the factory.
The Audi A4 S Line usually features 17-inch wheels, whereas the S4 commonly has 18-inch wheels.
The larger wheels on the S4 provide better traction and handling, making it the better choice for those who want a more performance-oriented vehicle.
However, the smaller wheels on the Audi A4 S Line provide a smoother ride and better fuel economy, so it’s the better choice for those who prioritize comfort over performance.
As a side note, if you’re interested in the best tires for your Audi, take a look at our article here!
Hidden feature: Did you know that on the Audi A4, you can open or close all windows automatically with your key fob? You can find more tips and hidden features of the Audi A4 in this article!
5. The brakes
Next up is another vital component of the cars: the brakes.
The Audi A4 S Line has standard brakes, while the S4 has bigger, better brakes that provide more stopping power.
The difference is apparent when braking at high speeds, especially when doing so repeatedly.
The Audi A4 S Line can take slightly longer to slow down, while the S4 slows down more quickly and smoothly. The improved braking performance of the S4 is due to its larger, more powerful brakes and upgraded suspension.
6. The exhaust note
The Audi A4 S Line and the S4 have different exhaust notes, mainly caused by their engine size. As mentioned earlier, the A4 S Line has a smaller, four-cylinder engine, while the S4 has a six-cylinder engine.
As a result, the Audi S4 produces a more profound, throatier sound that many people find more attractive. Its exhaust note is more likely to turn heads when you start the car or rev the engine.
So, if you’re looking for an Audi that provides a more exciting driving experience, the S4 is a better choice.
7. The fuel economy
We will now discuss the differences that might convince you to pick the Audi A4 S Line over the S4.
First of all, the Audi A4 S Line and S4 models offer varying fuel economies due to their different engine types.
Again, the exact difference here depends on the model year you’re looking at.
Still, for the B9 generation (2015-2022), the A4 S Line gets a combined fuel economy of around 37 MPG (6.3 L/100 Km), while the S4 gets an official combined fuel economy of 31 MPG (7.5 L/100 Km).
While both models offer excellent fuel economy for their respective engine types, the A4 S Line provides better mileage. As a result, the A4 S Line is the one to go for if you’re looking for the most fuel-efficient option.
8. Maintenance costs
The Audi A4 S Line is designed for comfort and convenience, while the S4 is built for performance.
As a result, there are some significant differences in the maintenance costs of these two vehicles.
The Audi A4 S Line generally requires less frequent service, as it is not subject to the same wear and tear as the S4.
Also, when services are required, they tend to be more expensive on the Audi S4. This is due to the use of high-performance parts and the need for specialized skills to complete the work.
Therefore, if you want to save on maintenance costs, the Audi A4 S Line is the car to go for.
To learn more, we would recommend reading this article about the maintenance costs of an Audi A4!
Tip: If you’re planning to buy a new Audi A4 and are wondering if you should get the Audi Care package, check out our review of it here!
9. The price tag
The last point on our list is the price tag.
Again, we must mention that the Audi S4 is a more performance-oriented vehicle, meaning that its parts are more expensive than the A4 S Line.
Because of this, the Audi A4 S Line has a lower price tag than the Audi S4.
The difference in price tag depends on which country you live in.
However, when comparing the prices in the US for the 2022 model year, we can see that Audi Hoffman Estates sets an MSRP for the Audi A4 at $39,900, while the S4 starts at $51,900.
Either way, the Audi A4 is still one of the best Audi sedans for the money.
Keep in mind that the price of the Audi A4 is without the S Line package, which will add a few thousand on top.
Still, the Audi A4 S Line is the car you want if you’re looking for the cheaper option!
Tip: You can learn more about Audi A and S models in our article here: Audi A Vs. S Vs. RS: 7 Differences & Which Series Is Best?
FAQs about the Audi A4 S Line
Do you have any leftover questions? We hope we can answer them in the FAQ section below:
What is the Audi A4 S Line package?
The Audi A4 S Line package is an upgrade over the regular Audi A4. It results in a sportier exterior and interior, with options like larger wheels, lowered suspension, sports seats, and more.
Is an S Line the same as an S4?
An S Line is not the same as an S4. An Audi S Line offers sporty looks but not the actual performance. Meanwhile, an S4 gets sporty looks and high-performance figures.
If you doubt between an Audi A4 S Line and an Audi S4, you must consider their differences to make the right choice.
Do you want the cheapest car, with fewer maintenance costs and lower fuel consumption? Then the Audi A4 S Line is the right choice for you.
However, if you want a more sporty-looking car that offers better road and track performance, the Audi S4 is the right pick for you.
Let us know if this article helped you in the comments below!
Tip: If you did get an Audi A4 S Line or S4, you can find some amazing accessories for it here!
Have a great rest of your day!