New 2014 S4 - first impresions
I'm moving to S4 from 2002 BMW 540i M-Sport 6-speed. The BMW has been my dream car for many years and I enjoyed every minute of driving it. But the 20+ year platform was becoming outdated, so I reluctantly decided to let her go. Please welcome, 2014 Monsoon Gray S4 with manual transmission.
The transmission choice was hard. The biggest problem was lack of manual cars to drive at local dealerships. They are virtually non-existent, so I was very reluctant to order a stick before trying it. The S-Tronic is definitely the best automatic transmission I've driven, and it is very well suited to S4. The shifts are spot-on, and the rev-matching sound on downshifts is outright delightful.
However, I figured that I will have plenty of chances to drive automatics later in life, so I got stick, and I was not disappointed. The shifts are unbelievably smooth. The dreaded 1-2 shift that took quite some time to prefect in the BMW just works here in S4. At any engine speed. Just softly clicks into place.
Overall, my first impression after playing with the car for a couple of days is how much easier it is drive compared to my previous cars (GTI, 325i, A4, 540i, and others...). It is hard to describe but the tactile experience of S4 is unbelievably pleasant. Every button, every surface, every sound -- all communicate careful, thoughtful, and passionate design by Audi engineers.
The steering feel is also great. Very light and easy to maneuver at slow speeds, and rock solid and communicative and highway speeds. It is quite a change from the old-school rack-and-pinion system in my BMW.
The B&O sound system sounds very nice. There's no lack of base. In fact, the base nicely thumps and can be "felt" in the body parts connected to the car.
I'm still getting used to niceties such as voice command, navigation, iPhone integration, etc. but overall, I'm very happy with the car. I bought it at Audi Exchange in Chicago IL, working with Dan Kurko as my sales consultant. If you are in the area, the dealership definitely worth consideration. Their repair shop is as clean as a hospital.
Now, I need to figure out what to do about summer tires. I think Audi should allow customers order high performance all-seasons on 19" wheels. If anything, dealerships should be able to assist customers with that in the areas where summer tires are not practical at all times. I will also lightly tint the windows and may consider painting side sills into the silver color available with alu-optic package, which unfortunately was not included with my car.
Can anyone recommend a good tint shop in North Chicagoland?
Oh, and one more thing... I have a tradition of naming my cars. This one is Sophie. Please welcome.
Last edited by vitas; 06-25-2014 at 06:06 PM.
Reason: added photos