Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Audi S4 VS 2013 Lexus IS Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2013 Audi S4

Responsive image

2013 Lexus IS

Safety Comparison

The S4 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The IS F doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S4 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The IS F doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S4 Prestige’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The IS F doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Compared to metal, the S4’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lexus IS F has a metal gas tank.

Both the S4 and the IS F have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the S4 as a “Top Pick” for 2012, a rating only granted to 137 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The IS F has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The S4’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the IS F’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the S4 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Lexus doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the IS F.

There are over 33 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S4’s warranty.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The S4 stops shorter than the IS F:



80 to 0 MPH

202 feet

210 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

120 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S4 has larger standard tires than the IS F (245/40R18 vs. 225/40R19). The S4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the IS F (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The S4’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the IS F’s 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The S4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The IS F’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S4’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the IS F (110.7 inches vs. 107.5 inches).

The S4 handles at .96 G’s, while the IS F pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by AutoWeek, the interior of the S4 is quieter than the IS F:



At idle

42 dB

52 dB


69 dB

82 dB

60 MPH Cruising

66 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the S4 is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the IS F is rated a Subcompact.

The S4 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the IS F can only carry 4.

The S4 has 5.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the IS F (91 vs. 85.7).

The S4 has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 4.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS F.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S4 easier. The S4’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the IS F’s liftover is 28.4 inches.

The S4’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The IS F doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the S4 and the IS F have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the S4 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The IS F prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The IS F doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S4 Prestige has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The IS F doesn’t offer cornering lights. The S4 Prestige also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the S4 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S4 will cost $6200 less than the IS F over a five-year period.

The S4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the S4 will retain 52.96% of its original price after five years, while the IS F only retains 49.64%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S4 will be $17776 less than for the Lexus IS F.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.