Much like its exterior, the changes made to the S4’s cabin are relatively modest. Where the previous model placed great focus on a more minimal, clean approach to interior design that embraced the use of tactile, visually appealing materials, so, too, does this new version.
As such, polished chrome, glossy piano black and surprisingly tasteful carbonfibre elements are used liberally and to great effect and lend the S4’s cabin a sophisticated, modern ambience that feels very much in step with its elevated price.
That Audi now offers a fully digital set of instruments and an enlarged 10.1in touchscreen infotainment system on even the most basic A4 will probably do more for sales of cars at a lower price point than that of the S4. Even on a £50,000 car, though, the new MMI Plus set-up is slick and ritzy enough to win compliments.
The touchscreen's installation allows Audi to do away with the rotary dial that controlled the previous system. In its place on the centre console, you now find an additional compact storage compartment, which complements the S4’s already abundant interior repositories well.
As a result of losing the rotary input device of the pre-facelift car, you interact with the system mostly via the touchscreen itself; and although the free-standing installation is easy to grab hold of with an outstretched arm while the car’s moving, it’s not the most solid-feeling of fittings, at least by Audi’s high standards.
Usability is marginally less good than we’ve found with Audi’s dual-screen set-up in its bigger models – although it’s far from bad and, since it diverts your gaze less far from the road, may even seem preferable to some.
The premium audio option is the same Bang & Olufsen 3D system as the pre-facelifted car had, coming as part of a £1395 upgrade pack. Our test car did without it but didn’t struggle for system power or clarity.
Leather-upholstered sports seats come as standard and provide good levels of support and adjustability. The impressive configurability of their bolsters meant that even the scrawnier members of the road test team weren’t left feeling lost in their chairs. That said, even with the seats in their lowest setting, there was a feeling among our testers that the Audi’s overall driving position isn’t quite as naturally sporting as that of the new BMW 3 Series, in that it leaves you perched fractionally higher than you might like.
With a wheelbase shorter than that of the latest 3 Series, the S4’s second row isn’t quite as spacious as that of its Munich-based rival, although it’d be a stretch to say it’s in any way uncomfortable. Our road test tape measure recorded a typical rear leg room figure of 700mm versus the BMW’s 780mm (the BMW’s advantage stemming chiefly from having the deeper front footwells) while head room stands at 900mm.
Adults of an average height should therefore find little to complain about although taller individuals may find that head and leg room are just a touch on the mean side.
The boot, meanwhile, has a seats-up capacity of 420 litres, making it smaller than that of both the BMW and the Mercedes-AMG C43 – both of which have 480-litre luggage compartments.