Audi A3 Sportback S line driving

What is Audi S line trim and is it worth it?

You’ll see a lot of Audi cars in S line trim level – but what is an S line model? And is it worth getting one? Our guide has all the details.

Graham King Cazoo

By Graham King

Published: 23 May 2023

If you’re shopping for an Audi, you’ll have come across the popular S line trim level. In this guide we look at how the S line is different to other Audi trim levels, how you can identify one when you see it and the kind of features you can expect to get with it. We’ll also list which Audi cars are available with the S line package and all the important information you need to decide whether it’s a good option for you.

What does Audi S line mean?

In the early 1990s, Audi started producing high-performance versions of some of its cars and gave them  names that started with the letter S – so the high-performance version of the A4 was the S4, the high-performance version of the A6 was the S6 and so on. These cars proved to be a big success and Audi discovered that there were potential buyers who liked the sportier look of the S models, but could live without the power and associated higher costs of running one. This demand led Audi to create the S line trim level, which combines the sportier look and feel of the S models with ‘regular’ petrol and diesel engines that cost less to run.

The S line package was introduced in 2005 on the A4 and A6 and within a few years it was available across much of the Audi range. It became such a hit with buyers that it became the most popular Audi trim level.

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Audi S line exterior styling

S line models have a sportier look than other Audi trim levels. At the front, the bumper has a prominent spoiler at the lower edge and bigger air intakes at the side, while the grille has a mesh pattern. At the sides, there are S line badges near the front wheels and deeper ‘skirts’ below the doors. At the back, there’s a diffuser in the bumper and a larger rear spoiler. Finishing off the sporty profile are larger alloy wheels and lowered suspension.

There are some variations in S line styling details between the various Audis – for instance they all have different wheel designs. Note that Black Edition models also have the S line exterior design features but instead of chrome highlights they have gloss-black exterior trim and different wheels.

Audi S line interior styling

The sporty vibe continues inside S line models. You get comfortable sports seats upholstered in soft leather and plush cloth, with the S line logo embossed on them. There are stainless steel pedals and a three-spoke steering wheel that’s trimmed in leather with an S badge at its bottom. Metal-effect trim runs across the dashboard and doors, and there’s an aluminium S line plaque on the door sills.

Again, there are variations across the different cars available in S line form. For instance, the top-of-the-range A8 has different seat fabrics and dashboard trim to the compact A2 hatchback.

Audi S line driving experience

Thanks to their bigger wheels and lower suspension, Audi’s S line models feel a bit different on the road compared with the rest of the range. The latest A4 S line, for example, has 19-inch wheels and suspension lowered by 23mm, compared with the 17-inch wheels and regular suspension of  the A4 Technik. With less tyre rubber and slightly less cushioning from the suspension you get a firmer ride but with a more controlled feel through corners. 

All the engines across the Audi range are available with the S line package. At the top end of the scale, there are engines that provide very rapid acceleration if not quite as rapid as the high-performance S models, while engines at the lower end of the scale prioritise fuel efficiency.

Audi S line equipment

Since the mid-2010s, the Audi trim levels have started at SE or Technik, rising to Sport, then S line. The S line models give you the same features as Sport trim, plus more.

The features fitted to S line models vary across the Audi range. Luxury cars like the Q8 SUV, for example, come with more features as standard than you’ll find in compact models such as the Q2.

Which Audi cars are available in S line trim?

The majority of Audi cars sold new in recent years are available with the S line package. Those are the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, TT, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, Q7 and Q8. That’s an awful lot of choice for customers, covering everything from a small hatchback to a sporty coupe and from an executive estate to a seven-seat SUV.

Cars not available in S line form include the R8 supercar and electric e-tron GT saloon.

Is Audi S line trim worth it?

If you want an Audi and you value a sporty look and lots of standard equipment, S line trim is likely to tick a lot of boxes for you.

When it comes to value for money, the S line stacks up well. It comes with virtually every standard feature available on a given Audi and the step up in price over one of the lower-spec models isn’t that significant, especially if you consider that the popularity of S line trim should make your car more desirable and easier to sell when it’s time to trade it in.

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