Interior might just be the best in class
Drives well for such a big car
Really high running costs - fuel economy is average at best
Some luxurious features are overkill for the average person
An incredible luxury car, the Audi A8 is the perfect companion for a successful CEO. There's no sporty styling decals, ultra-practical features, and no gimmicky tech. With this full-sized sedan, Audi has taken on the likes of the Mercedes Benz S Class and the BMW 7 Series.
While the BMW offers a more sporty drive, and the Mercedes S Class a more 'flashy' cabin, the new Audi A8 offers a perfect balance between refined comfort and fun.
There's only a couple of trims, so it should be easy to make your mind up on what one you fancy. A more significant decision is whether you opt for the longer variant, the A8L. If you regularly carry tall passengers in the back, this might be worth it.
In terms of engine options, there's one diesel and one petrol engine that feature mild-hybrid tech as standard, as well as a plug-in hybrid option available. Simply put, the A8 drives well. All engines have an eight-speed automatic transmission and crazy-fast 0-62mph times.
The new A8 handles surprisingly well considering its length and weight, thanks to the quattro four-wheel-drive system. The dynamic air suspension is excellent, and you won't have a hard time falling asleep in the back. Combine this with the legroom and the cars long-wheelbase, and the backseat feels like you're travelling first class wherever you go.
Undoubtedly the star of the show, the A8 saloon's interior is awe-inspiring. Every material feels incredibly expensive and well-built. The dash is well designed, and the MMI touchscreen infotainment system is well-implemented. In the back, the reclining chairs with a massage function are incredible, so you won't be annoyed at getting stuck in a traffic jam.
Practicality isn't the focus in a luxury saloon. Still, the A8 has got enough space for day-to-day life and can handle a good few suitcases.
Of course, being so long, heavy, and powerful, the running costs on the Audi A8 are high. However, if you're about to pay around £80k for a car, this likely isn't an issue!
The entry-level trim, the A8 Sport is pretty kitted out. This trim level comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Valcona leather interior, four-zone climate control, and adaptive air suspension.
A step above the Sport, the S Line comes with 22-inch alloy wheels, front S Line sports seats, Audi's Virtual Cockpit, and matrix LED headlights. Of course, plus everything from the Sport!
The Black Edition isn't really an upgrade on the S Line, but adopts a different design. With smaller 20-inch alloy wheels, and black detailing on the grille and bumpers. The Black Edition is priced closely to the S Line, so you're really paying for the looks.
The Audi A8 is a charming looking full-size luxury sedan that oozes class and luxury. The exterior of the A8 limo is all business and looks like what you'd expect from an Audi executive car. There's no slick angles or sporty adornments - it's simple and effective.
For the benefit of passengers in the backseat, the A8 is available as an A8L, which is just a longer A8. If you regularly have people in the back or let's face it, are routinely driven in the back (check you), then the 'L' variant is an excellent option. The standard A8 is more than spacious enough for most people, though.
All Audi A8 variants come with quattro as standard, Audi's all-wheel-drive system. This is particularly useful in dodgy weather, as it adds an extra layer of traction.
The entry-level A8 is the 3.0-litre 50 TDi quattro diesel, which does 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds. Not bad for the cheapest option! With a BHP of 286 and a respectable 40.9 mpg, the 50 TDI is a pretty good option for those wanting the best bang for their buck.
A popular mid-range option, the 60 TFSI quattro tiptronic (catchy, right?), is available as a plug-in hybrid, which has a BHP of 449 and an MPG of 35.8.
If you want the most performance, check out the S8 quattro 4dr tiptronic. With 571bhp (!) and a 0-62mph of 3.8 seconds, the S8 is an absolute monster. Of course, the fuel economy suffers so you can expect around 25 mpg.
The A8 is all about comfort, and of course, the rear-seats are the priority. That being said, the front seats are incredibly luxurious. With a considerable amount of seat and steering wheel adjustability, you'll have no problem finding a good driving position. The cabin is well designed with no annoying blind spots, so visibility is excellent.
Far from a sporty driving experience, the A8 offers a refined and relaxing driving experience. The A8 handles well, but you won't be whipping around corners due to the A8's long body. With the A8's dynamic all-wheel steering system though, it definitely feels like a smaller car, particularly in small towns or busy city streets. The A8, of course, belongs on the motorway, and it really excels there. Long business drives no longer need to be boring - you might even look forward to them in the A8.
The A8 comes with an adaptive air suspension as standard, and it's pretty amazing. However, we'd highly recommend an upgrade to the Predictive Active Suspension. This works by using cameras to scan the road and then tell your suspension what to do. By using this system, even the roughest of roads feels smooth as butter and makes for a tranquil driving experience.