Audi RS4 (2012 – 2015) Review

Audi RS4 (2012 – 2015) At A Glance


+Great performance from 450PS normally aspirated V8 engine. Quattro as standard. Huge amounts of grip and traction.

-Lacks the raw edge of the previous RS4.

Insurance Group 41
On average it achieves 83% of the official MPG figure

While Audi has produced fast S4 models recently, there had not been an RS4 since the much-loved second generation model which went off sale in 2008. Audi says the new RS4 will be exclusively available as an Avant as the RS5 is effectively the replacement for the saloon model

The high performance version of the new A4 is powered by a 4.2-litre V8 engine developing 450PS. This is the same V8 engine as the RS5 and the hand built high-revving unit develops 430Nm, giving it a 0-62mph time of just 4.7 seconds. That’s slightly faster than the BMW M3 saloon which does it in 4.9 seconds. But where the RS4 really trumps the BMW is with its quattro four-wheel drive which means superior traction, particularly in the wet.

There is also an advanced centre differential which can vary the power delivery between the front and rear axles with up to 85 per cent going to the back wheels. This works with a torque vectoring system which can brake the inside wheel in a corner to stop it losing traction and to make cornering sharper. A sport differential, which actively distributes power between the rear wheels, is available as an option.

Given all that power, the RS4 isn’t as thirsty as you might expect with an average claimed economy of 25.7mpg. Like the RS5 there’s no manual gearbox, instead it comes with a seven-speed S tronic dual clutch automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifts. It also gets Launch Control which manages the clutch for optimum acceleration away from a standstill.

To mark it out from the standard A4, the RS4 gets flared wheel arches, a roof spoiler, chunkier bumpers and a honeycomb grille. At the back there are large oval dual exhaust pipes and an aluminium trimmed diffuser. Eight paint colours are available including two special crystal effect colours, Panther Black and Prism Silver.

Road Test Audi RS4 2012

Real MPG average for a Audi RS4 (2012 – 2015)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

19–28 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

What would you recommend instead of a BMW M5?
"We've had three BMW 525i automatic cars in succession over the last fifteen years, and we love the ride, the space and the performance. I'm thinking about perhaps moving up to a two-year-old BMW M5, but these are few and far between (though I'm in no hurry), and they are still pretty expensive. Can you recommend something that we'd like as much but would be cheaper and easier to find?"
An M3, or an Audi RS4. But since these are both quite high maintenance, it's better to simply settle for a BMW 335i.
Answered by Honest John
can you recommend a suitable, powerful replacement for my Octavia Estate vRS?
"I currently own a 2005 'old shape' Skoda Octavia Estate vRS. It has been a great car with plenty of performance, and is totally reliable and flexible. I fancy a change and will appreciate your advice on a suitable replacement (not new) estate car that is fun to drive and looks the part. Budget is up to £25,000. No particular preference for petrol or diesel, but good torquey performance is important. The Audi S4 Avant B8 certainly appeals. The Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class seem too large. The BMW 330D was the only car I have ever found to be un-driveable, in the snow last December, and the 5 Series may be similar? Do I save up and wait for the Jaguar XF Station Wagon? The 3.0V6 diesel is a delight to drive."
A Mondeo 2.0SCTI Ecoboost 240 Powershift is fairly special. But is not a V8 like the B7 S4 and not a supercharged V6 like the B8 S4. The forthcoming Focus ST250 Station Wagon might also do the job. BMWs are no problem in snow when fitted with cold weather tyres.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Audi RS4 (2012 – 2015) cost?