2020 Dodge Charger vs. 2020 Audi S4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Charger offers optional ParkSense that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The S4 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Charger and the S4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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Dodge’s powertrain warranty covers the Charger 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the S4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the S4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 8 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Charger’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Charger has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Charger AWD/GT/R/T and 220 Scat Pack). The S4’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Dodge vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Dodge 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Dodge vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Dodge 6 places higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The Charger R/T’s standard 5.7 V8 produces 21 more horsepower (370 vs. 349) and 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (395 vs. 369) than the S4’s 3.0 turbo V6. The Charger Scat Pack’s standard 6.4 V8 produces 136 more horsepower (485 vs. 349) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (475 vs. 369) than the S4’s 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Charger R/T’s fuel efficiency. The S4 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Charger has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the S4 (18.5 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Charger has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The S4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Charger Daytona/Widebody’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S4:

Charger Daytona/Widebody

S4

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Charger Scat Pack Widebody’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S4 (305/35R20 vs. 255/35R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Charger R/T has standard 20-inch wheels. The S4’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Charger’s wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the S4 (120.2 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Charger is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S4.

For better maneuverability, the Charger Scat Pack’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the S4’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Charger has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The S4 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Charger a Large car, while the S4 is rated a Compact.

The Charger has 12.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S4 (104.7 vs. 92).

The Charger has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 4.4 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the S4.

Cargo Capacity

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The Charger has a much larger trunk than the S4 (16.5 vs. 12 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The Charger 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, with the optional automatic climate control feature. The S4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Charger’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Charger’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The S4 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

Model Availability

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The Charger is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Dodge Charger will be $11129 to $19897 less than for the Audi S4.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends the Dodge Charger, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Charger second among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The S4 isn’t in the top three.

The Dodge Charger outsold the Audi A4/S4 by almost four to one during 2019.

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