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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Dodge Charger SRT doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The S4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The S4 has standard Audi Pre Sense Front, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Charger SRT doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The S4 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The S4 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The S4 Prestige’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The S4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Charger SRT only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.
Both the S4 and the Charger SRT have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The S4 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Charger SRT’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The S4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Charger SRT’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/60,000).
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the S4 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Charger SRT.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 14 places higher in reliability than Dodge.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S4 higher (5 out of 10) than the Dodge Charger SRT (1). This means the S4 produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Charger SRT every 15,000 miles.
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 Charger SRT’s 40 series tires.
The S4 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better maneuverability, the S4’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Charger SRT’s (38.1 feet vs. 39 feet).
The Audi S4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 pounds less than the Dodge Charger SRT.
The S4 is 1 foot, 2 inches shorter than the Charger SRT, making the S4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Audi S4 amounts to more than styling. The S4 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Charger SRT (.335) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S4 get better fuel mileage.
The S4 has .3 inches more front headroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the Charger SRT.
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S4 easier. The S4’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Charger SRT’s liftover is 30.1 inches.
With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S4 offers cargo security. The Charger SRT’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S4’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 90% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 30th.
The S4 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The S4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Charger SRT’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the S4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Charger SRT can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The S4’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Charger SRT’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S4 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the S4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Charger SRT doesn’t offer cornering lights.
Insurance will cost less for the S4 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S4 will cost $5970 to $10665 less than the Charger SRT over a five-year period.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi S4 will be $22655 to $42182 less than for the Dodge Charger SRT.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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