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Both the XF and S4 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XF has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The S4’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The XF Sport/S/Portfolio’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The S4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the XF and the S4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The XF comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The S4’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Jaguar pays for scheduled maintenance on the XF for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Jaguar will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the S4.
The XF S’ standard 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 31 more horsepower (380 vs. 349) than the S4’s 3.0 turbo V6.
On the EPA test cycle the XF 20d AWD gets better fuel mileage than the S4 (30 city/40 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the XF’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The S4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XF’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The S4 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The XF Diesel’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the S4 (17.4 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XF Sportbrake’s standard fuel tank has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the S4 (19.8 vs. 15.3 gallons).
For better traction, the XF’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S4 (255/35R20 vs. 245/40R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XF offers optional 20-inch wheels. The S4’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The XF has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the S4; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The XF Sportbrake has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S4 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XF’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the S4 (116.5 inches vs. 111.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XF is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S4.
The Jaguar XF may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Audi S4.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the XF Sedan a Mid-size car, while the S4 is rated a Compact.
The XF has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S4 (95 vs. 92).
The XF Sedan has .2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the S4.
The XF Sedan has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the S4 (17.8 vs. 13 cubic feet).
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the XF (except Premium) offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The S4 doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.
The XF has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The S4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the S4, the XF Portfolio/S has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The XF’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
If the windows are left open on the XF the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the S4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
The S4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The XF’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the XF (except Base/Premium/Prestige/Sportbrake) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The S4 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
When the XF is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The S4’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The XF Sport/S/Portfolio’s optional Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The S4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Jaguar XF comes in sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi S4 isn’t available as a station wagon.
The XF is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The XF was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 11 years. The S4 has never been an “All Star.”
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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