The 2012 Audi S4 don't aim to rival top-performance models like the BMW M3 or Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG; instead it takes on the likes of the BMW 335i and Benz C350 and provides a high-powered alternative for those who want a step up from the basic A4 sport sedan.
Compared to either of those models, the S4 is very competitive.
Obviously, it's quicker and sportier than the C350, as well as better-appointed inside; compared to BMW's almost lagless turbo six in the 335i, Audi's supercharged V-6 has a similar personality, with gobs of torque down low, though it isn't quite as perfectly smooth.
The Acura TL, with all-wheel drive, is a surprisingly athletic sport sedan, with a roomier interior that's a refreshing departure from the European sedans in style.
As a wild-car possibility, at a fraction of the cost of the S4, consider the Subaru Legacy GT.
Yet another alternative would be the new 2012 Buick Regal GS.
Before you laugh too hard, we know the Buick doesn't have a reputation approaching that of the S4, but the new GS is a product that stands out from the rest of the lineup and, with its strong turbocharged four, well-tuned suspension, and track-ready Brembo brakes, deserves a drive if you're not too brand-conscious.
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|18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy|
|Gas Supercharged V6||Gas V6||Turbocharged Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas Flat 4|
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|4-Door Sedan Man Premium Plus||4-Door Sedan Auto 2WD||4-Door Sedan 328i RWD||4-Door Sedan C250 Sport RWD||4-Door Sedan H4 Man 2.5i|
|All wheel drive||Front-Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan|