Audi S4 Snow and Winter Driving (Solved & Explained)

The Audi S4 emerges as a sleek and modern luxury sports sedan, acclaimed for its perfect amalgamation of swift performance, comfort, and state-of-the-art technology.

For individuals contemplating one as their next vehicle, its proficiency in winter conditions is a crucial factor to weigh.

This article examines the performance of the S4 in navigating through snowy driving scenarios.

Here is a brief answer to whether the Audi S4 is suitable for snow and winter driving:

The Audi S4 excels in winter with its Quattro AWD system, ABS, traction, and stability control. Audi Drive Select adapts to various conditions. However, its moderate ground clearance might limit its deep snow performance.

Is the Audi S4 Good in the Snow?

The Audi S4 is a commendable choice for winter driving, this is based on owner feedback and its design features.

While the S4 is adept in light to moderate snow, its performance in deeper snow might be impacted by its ground clearance. The ground clearance of the Audi S4 ranges from approximately 3.5 inches to 5.0 inches across different model years which is generally sufficient for numerous winter situations. However, in heavier snowfall, vehicles with a higher ground clearance will be more advantageous.

The Audi S4 is equipped with the renowned Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which significantly improves traction and stability in snowy conditions. This system intelligently distributes power to all four wheels, adapting seamlessly to slippery or uneven terrains.

In addition, the S4 features advanced systems like the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), traction control, and electronic stability control, which are vital for maintaining control on icy or snowy roads.

With Audi Drive Select, drivers can adjust the S4’s dynamics to suit different driving conditions. In snowy settings, the ‘Comfort’ mode moderates throttle response and transmission shifts, thus lessening the likelihood of wheel spin.

Moreover, the S4’s low center of gravity contributes to reducing the risk of rollovers, enhancing safety. This lower center of gravity, typical in sports sedans like the S4, aids in maintaining stability and balance during high-speed maneuvers and in adverse driving conditions, further contributing to the vehicle’s overall safety profile.

What Do Owners Say?

Audi S4 owners praise its exceptional snow performance, with Quattro AWD being a standout feature. Proper winter tires are emphasized as key to its snow prowess. Clearance and careful driving are important considerations.

“Best car [S4] I’ve ever driven in the snow, and I live in the northeast so I get a good amount of snow driving. Unfortunately sold her this year so I’m going to be missing driving my Audi in the snow. I honestly looked forward to it.”

“Quattro is the shiz in the snow, beast true AWD hands down. You are only limited by ground clearance….. keep it out of the fields and you should be fine.”

“It all comes down to tires, clearance, and common sense. The S4 on proper winter tires with a mindful driver is nearly unstoppable, especially with the Torsen based Quattro. I recommend Nokian Hakkas for a dedicated winter set, but for me I’m going up and down mountain passes for skiing.”

“I had no problems at all last year in New Hampshire. My ’08 B7 A4 had just a bit more traction in snow (and much better seat heaters) but the S4 does just fine.”

“Due to the weight and AWD I think my S4 and My A4 handle better in the snow at higher speeds than any other vehicle I have driven. I do have a lot of experience driving in the snow since I drove a plow truck for 4 years. Even with awd you need to brake sooner and smoother than regular driving. A lot of allseasons are ok in snow and ice but nothing like actual snow tires.”

“My S4 in the snow is nothing short of amazing. It is your tires they suck. You need REAL snow tires not all seasons. Any real snow tire will make a huge difference. I have tried Perrelli SnowSports and Goodyear UltraGrips. They have both been great. I run stock size on stock wheels, never had any problems. And I live for taking this car out in the snow when no one else can go.”

Related: 11 Most Common Audi S4 Problems (Explained)

What Features Improve Winter Driving?

Quattro All-Wheel Drive (AWD) System

  • Enhanced Traction: Quattro AWD system distributes power to all four wheels, improving traction on slippery surfaces like snow.
  • Stability: It enhances vehicle stability, reducing the likelihood of skidding in snowy conditions.
  • Adaptive: Quattro adapts to changing road conditions, ensuring optimal performance in winter.
  • Improved Handling: Responsive dynamics and power distribution contribute to better handling on snowy roads.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

ESP in the S4 increases safety on snowy roads by autonomously managing braking and engine power to reduce the risk of skidding.

Heated Front Seats

Standard in the S4, these seats provide comfort during cold weather, making winter drives more pleasant.

LED Taillights with Dynamic Rear Indicators

LED taillights with dynamic rear indicators are beneficial in snow for improved visibility and safety. Their bright and responsive illumination enhances the visibility of the vehicle to other drivers, reducing the risk of accidents in snowy conditions.

Three-zone Automatic Climate Control with Digital Rear Display

The S4’s climate control system offers individual temperature settings for different areas of the car, ensuring comfort for all passengers during winter.

Audi Drive Select

This feature in the S4 allows drivers to choose various modes, including a ‘Comfort’ mode ideal for snowy conditions, adjusting vehicle settings for more stable driving.

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

The ABS in the S4 is crucial for winter driving, preventing the brakes from locking up and maintaining vehicle control on icy roads.

Full LED Headlights & Highbeam Assist

These features in the S4 enhance visibility and safety during winter, ensuring better navigation through snowy conditions.

Heat-Insulating Glass for Side and Rear Windows

The heat-insulating glass in the S4 helps maintain a comfortable interior temperature by reducing heat loss in cold weather.

Audi Pre Sense Basic

In the S4, this safety feature provides extra protection in winter, preparing the car for potential collisions by tightening safety belts and closing windows.

Power-Adjustable, Heated Exterior Side Mirrors

These mirrors in the S4 ensure clear visibility in winter conditions, an essential aspect for safe driving.

Dynamic Suspension

The dynamic suspension system in the S4 enhances stability and handling in snow, providing a balanced and secure driving experience.

40/20/40 Split Folding Rear Seatback with Folding Center Armrest

This feature in the S4 offers versatile cargo and passenger space, crucial for carrying winter gear while accommodating passengers.

High-Beam Assist

The high-beam assist in the S4 improves visibility in snow by automatically adjusting the headlights for optimal illumination in varying winter conditions.

Audi connect® CARE Assistance and Security Services

With features like roadside assistance and emergency call functions, Audi connect® CARE in the S4 enhances safety and peace of mind in challenging winter conditions.

Does The Audi S4 Have a Snow Mode?

Although the S4 lacks a dedicated snow mode, its ‘Comfort’ setting within the Audi Drive Select system functions as a practical alternative for wintry conditions.

This mode optimizes the car’s suspension, throttle response, and transmission behavior to improve stability and smoothness on slippery surfaces, essential for reducing wheel spin and enhancing control, thus facilitating safer navigation through winter terrain.

Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on The Audi S4?

The S4 accommodates various snow gear upgrades, including:

  • Snow Tires: Recommended for optimal grip and control in snowy conditions.
  • Studded Tires: Provide additional traction on ice, but usage may be regulated in certain regions.
  • Snow Socks: Lightweight and easily installable for a temporary traction boost on tires.
  • Snow Chains: Offer extra grip in deep snow or icy conditions, with usage guided by the vehicle’s manual and local regulations.
  • Winter Wiper Blades: Specially designed to prevent snow and ice buildup, ensuring clear visibility.
  • Roof Racks and Cargo Boxes: Expand storage capacity for winter sports gear or additional luggage.
  • Block Heater: Keeps the engine warm, aiding in easier starts in extremely cold temperatures.

How Much Snow Can an S4 Handle?

The Audi S4, with its ground clearance ranging from approximately 3.5 inches to 5.0 inches, can handle light to moderate snowfall. However, in heavier snow conditions, additional caution and possibly snow gear like snow tires or chains may be advisable to ensure safe and effective winter driving.

How Do S4 Handle Low Winter Temperatures?

Audi S4s, equipped with a turbocharged V6 engine, handle low winter temperatures quite effectively. The turbocharged engine provides efficient power delivery even in cold weather, ensuring that the vehicle starts up smoothly and operates efficiently in low temperatures. Additionally, the S4’s advanced heating technologies contribute to maintaining a comfortable interior environment, making it well-suited for winter driving conditions.

Can an Audi S4 Drive on Ice?

Equipped with suitable tires, the S4 effectively manages icy conditions, although it requires a cautious approach. Benefitting from features such as traction control and Quattro AWD, it enhances stability and control on icy surfaces. When driving on ice, it’s essential to:

  • Maintain a slow and smooth driving pace.
  • Avoid sudden or abrupt braking and acceleration.
  • Keep a safe following distance from other vehicles.
  • Utilize lower gears to retain traction.
  • Apply gentle steering to prevent skidding.
  • Exercise caution when crossing bridges and shaded areas.
  • Ensure visibility by keeping the headlights on.

Does the S4 Have 4WD?

The S4 primarily offers AWD, differing from traditional 4WD.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is typically an on-demand system that automatically distributes power to all four wheels as needed, providing improved traction and stability, while Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) is often manually selectable and provides equal power to all four wheels, offering enhanced off-road capability but may not be engaged all the time.

Do Audi S4s Need Snow Tires?

Equipping Audi S4 with snow tires is recommended for enhanced winter performance, benefits include:

  • Enhanced traction on snow and ice
  • Improved braking performance in winter conditions
  • Increased stability and control in cold weather
  • Reduced risk of skidding and accidents
  • Better handling and maneuverability on slippery roads

Recommended tires include:

  1. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
  2. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
  3. Pirelli Winter Sottozero Serie II
  4. Continental WinterContact SI
  5. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

Can You Mount a Snow Plow on an S4?

Fitting a snow plow to an Audi S4 is discouraged due to potential performance and warranty concerns. This modification can strain the vehicle’s design, possibly leading to damage and voided warranties. It’s advisable to use vehicles designed for snow plowing to ensure safety and reliability.



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...