Audi A8 Review

Overall Rating:

Audi A8 Saloon
From £70,145.00 or £548.40 on LeaseFetcher.

Pros

  • Interior might just be the best in class

  • Drives well for such a big car

Cons

  • Really high running costs - fuel economy is average at best

  • Some luxurious features are overkill for the average person

Exterior

4/5

Driving Experience

4/5

Interior

5/5

Practicality

4/5

Running Costs

2/5

Our Rating:


Overall Verdict

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 S Class Saloon 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! 


Available Trims

Sport

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.

From £72,410.00 or £634.56 per month on LeaseFetcher

S Line

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!

From £75,180.00 or £548.40 per month on LeaseFetcher

Black Edition

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.

From £79,705.00 or £715.34 per month on LeaseFetcher

Looking for the latest trim pricing? Why not check out or Audi A8 lease deals pages to see just how much you could save on one?


Exterior

Our Rating:

The Audi A8 is a charming looking full-size luxury saloon 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. 


Driving Experience

Our Rating:

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. 


Driving Position

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.


Handling

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.


Suspension

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.

Audi A8 Saloon Interior

Our Rating:

Arguably the main selling point of the Audi A8, the interior is truly something to behold.

Styling

The A8 manages to combine the futuristic appeal of a sci-fi car, while still managing to look classic and refined. With real wood and metal trims, every inch of the A8's interior is of the highest quality. 

If you opt for 2 seats in the back, the middle seat is replaced with an incredible centre-console, with a tablet to control aspects of the car, like the blinds, massage functions, and more. If you go for the 3 seats in the back, you'll still have much of the same features, but the middle-seat is pretty grim for a taller adult. 

Tech

Audi's MMI infotainment is excellent, but it's not the easiest to use. With two screens stacked vertically, the resolution and clarity of each are excellent. The top is used for picking your music, changing the radio - general things. The bottom one controls things like air-conditioning and climate control.

If you opt for the Virtual Cockpit, you'll basically have 3 screens, with the third being displayed where your speedometer would be. This is a worthwhile feature, especially for sat-nav use. Being able to see exactly where you're going without having to look away is really handy.

As mentioned, using the touch screen when driving is a bit annoying, so we'll have to knock a point off of Audi here. BMW's dial definitely beats the MMI here in terms of actual usability, and it would've been nice to see Audi introduce a similar feature. 

Tech for the lucky passengers in the back is particularly useful, with an optional tablet on each of the front seats - meaning that those in the back can stick something on Netflix. With a wi-fi hotspot, massaging seats, and full control over the car's environment, sitting in the back of the A8 is more comfortable than the living room in my flat. 

Practicality

Our Rating:

Luxury cars are hardly worried about being super-practical. Thankfully though, the Audi A8 does a good job of being easy to live with, and the passenger room is unbeatable. We docked a point here, as BMW and Mercedes rivals have a bigger boot. 


Dimensions

5,172-5,302 mm L x 1,945 mm W x 1,473-1,486 mm H

The A8 is a long car, particularly if you opt for the 'L' variant, with its long wheel-base. It's designed for rear passenger comfort, and it does so successfully. The headroom and legroom in the A8 are outrageous, and you can electronically recline while in the back for total comfort. 


Boot Size

Boot space in the Audi A8 is decent. It offers 490 litres, which is around 20 litres smaller than the Mercedes S Class and the BMW 7 Series. You can lower the A8 to help with loading, but there's a pretty large boot lip which can make putting heavy items in a chore. To be fair, the A8 isn't designed with maximum practicality in mind - it's the furthest thing from a family hatchback. The boot space is enough for a few suitcases, so it's not hard to live with.

Extra storage is dotted around the car, with large door bins on each of the doors. There's also lots of room under the centre consoles, and you can slip your Financial Times paper into the mesh-lined storage in the back seats. 


Passenger Room

There's plenty of headroom and legroom in both the front and the back. Drivers of 6ft and over won't have any issues in the front, and the back has plenty of space to straighten your legs. For particularly large passengers though, the A8L might be worth the extra cash, as it adds even more passenger room.


Safety Features

The A8 hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP yet. Still, more or less every modern Audi saloon and SUV has achieved 5 stars, so you should feel pretty confident in the A8's safety. 

There's plenty of additional safety features on board, with plenty of autonomous systems in places, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Park Assist, and Emergency Braking.

Running Costs

Our Rating:

Unfortunately, the A8 Saloon is a really expensive car to run, even if you opt for the PHEV option. That being said, this really isn’t surprising. The MPG isn’t terrible, but it’s bang average. Insurance groups are as high as you can get, and repair costs will be painful.


MPG

The A8 is a big car, so it's not surprising that the fuel economy isn't the best. You can expect an MPG of around 40 for the most efficient models, and as low as 25 for the high-performing models. The eight-speed automatic transmission works well, and it's pretty smooth between gear changes, which helps with the running costs.

Calculate Your Commute Cost

Work out how much it would cost you to run this car by putting the average amount of commutes you make, and their rough distance, into our tool. (Note: This is based on average UK fuel prices and might be influenced by your personal driving style)

Mile Trip(s)

Cost Per Trip

Total Cost

This is based on a combined mpg of 36.2 and a petrol cost of 131.6p per litre


CO2 Emissions

Audi A8s CO2 emissions are lowest on the 50 TDI quattro, at 145g/km, and highest on the A8 L 55 TFSI quattro, at 171g/km. While the A8 is hardly eco-friendly, the CO2 emissions aren't terrible for a car this bulky.


Insurance Group

Insurance premiums for the Audi A8 are incredibly high. The entry-level options start at group 44, with the highest performing models coming in at an insane group 50! The A8 is not a cheap car (as if you didn't already know that!).

Cheapest Trim Lowest Insurance Group RRP
Audi A8 S Line 45E £76,900
Audi A8 Sport 41E £49,427
Audi A8 Black Edition 50E £70,720
Audi A8 S8 48E £70,575

Reliability

The A8 has a pretty poor reliability index score, with average repair costs coming in at a whopping £552.61. In general, Audi reliability isn't the best. That being said, many issues can be prevented with regular servicing, and the Audi warranty is reasonable as well, should things go wrong.


Warranty

Audi offers a 3yr/60,000 mile warranty. With brands like Kia offering huge 7 year warranties, this is nothing special. Audi's fellow German rivals BMW also provide a better warranty - offering 3 years with no mileage limit, as does Mercedes, with their UK warranty of 4 years, 50,000 miles. 


Servicing

For those who drive short distances and in town a lot, Audi recommends a fixed service schedule - every 9,000 miles or 1 year. 

If you're typically driving long distances on the motorway, they recommend flexible - up to 19,000 miles or every 2 years.

Audi A8 Lease

From £548.40 Per Month

Initial Rental: £6,580.80 inc VAT
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