2010 Audi S4 Long-Term Wrap-Up: Sweet Sorrow

2010 Audi S4 long term review
The 2010 Audi S4 was an all-around blast to drive, no matter the task.

By: Natalie Neff on 8/02/2011

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Some cars are harder to part with than others. We loathed handing in the keys in for the 2000 Ford Focus ZX3, a bare-bones model boasting crank windows and more fun than any $14,000 car should offer. Then there were the Porsches, all of them--except for maybe the original Boxster, which spent 38 days in the shop. OK, strike that; the car rocked. We count the 327 days we had it a blessing.

We put the Audi S4 about to leave the fold in the same category. For the past year, the car's been an all-around blast to drive no matter the task, the destination or the route. The final odometer reading stands in testament to our fondness--it stopped just shy of 29,600 miles when the clock on our loan expired.

Typically, the vehicles that rack up the most miles are the people haulers, and to that end, the record still belongs to the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, at just less than 36,000 miles. Reaching that mark required at least two cross-country treks, a couple of vacations to Florida and a number of other lengthy road trips.

The S4, on the other hand, earned every mile the old-fashioned way: one at a time. It was reserved each day for anyone looking to log a few miles just for the heck of it. The inverse also held, that a night in the S4 served as a perfect excuse to run some errands. Only an occasional jaunt to Chicago or Michigan's Upper Peninsula was thrown in for good measure.

Along the way, the car averaged 20.2 mpg, far from a spectacular number but acceptable considering the car spent the entire year being hustled at nine-tenths. Fuel costs did put a bigger dent in our budget toward the end of the year, when a gallon of premium edged more than $4. Our final tab for fuel was $4,700.70.

The only trouble we ran into during the course of the loan occurred at the halfway point and involved a failed water pump, which was replaced under warranty. The balance of the service calls dealt with regular maintenance stops, seasonal tire swaps, a cracked windshield repair and one odd $181.50 vanity item: We had the 3.0T badges on the front fenders replaced with a bright “supercharged” emblem and some chrome sill trim pieces added.

By the last page in the logbook, our sentiments were the same from day one: To a person, we loved the Audi S4, its drive character, its power delivery, the whole package, and we never wavered in our delight for the car.


2010 Audi S4

MILES DRIVEN (QUARTER/YEAR): 6,307.5/29,598.4


FUEL COST (QUARTER/YEAR): $1,189.01/$4,700.70


MAINTENANCE: 5,000-mile scheduled service including oil change and tire rotation (warranty); 15,000-mile service including oil change and air-cleaner replacement ($309.22); install optics package including supercharged badges and lower rocker panels trim ($181.50); replace water pump (warranty); replace windshield (covered under insurance); install winter tires ($54.00); patch two summer tires ($30.00); 25,000-service including oil change, tire rotation and brake-fluid flush ($277.21); reinstall summer tires ($78.11)


TRADE-IN VALUE: $47,575 (www.kbb.com)


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