Audi A8

The Essentials

  • Price from £56,610
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 44.1mpg
  • What is it? A fabulous way to travel, whether you’re relaxing in the back or at the wheel on the chauffeur's day off.


  • Smooth, powerful engines make the A8 a joy to drive
  • Advanced safety kit will do its best to keep you in one piece
  • Houses more technology than a geeky teenager


  • Seriously long legs? Other executive saloons offer more space inside
  • Slightly numb steering and bumpy ride
  • ...Just prepare to take some time off to master how it all works
  • Drive

    A refined engine to suit every driving style and a largely controlled, comfortable ride. Big bumps will rattle your fillings, however

  • Inside

    You can fine-tune your driving position using the electric adjustment for seat and wheel. The MMI system controlling the sat-nav, heating, stereo etc is efficient but takes time to get to grips with

  • Safety

    Awesome safety kit will anticipate an accident and take extra precautions

  • Reliability

    There's no questioning the interior quality but Audi has work to do on improving customer satisfaction judging by recent survey results

  • Space

    No match inside for a BMW 7 Series, but its comfortable and the boot will hold some serious shopping

  • Standard and extras

    Leather, sat-nav, parking sensors and climate control are standard; SE Executive adds bigger alloys, a reversing camera, keyless entry and start and a powered boot lid

  • What's it like to drive?

    The A8's engines are powerful enough to catapult you into the next county and the four-wheel drive keeps you glued to the road as you go. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel with a stop-start system is the economical choice, and its no slouch either. If austerity measures are biting, you might wish to consider the forthcoming front-wheel-drive version, or even the hybrid petrol-electric model. So refined is the interior you'll be able to hear yourself plan mergers and acquisitions as you drive; the only distraction will be the occasional judder as sharp bumps unsettle the suspension.

  • What's it like inside?

    Getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy; navigating the extensive menus via Audi's MMI control system will take a little longer. Writing letters on a keypad with your fingertip is a snazzy way to operate the sat-nav but we'd still suggest doing it before you set off. If you're planning on taking a lot of long journeys in the back seats with a friend, the long-wheelbase model offers useful extra legroom over the standard car, which isn't especially large. There's plenty of room in the boot.

  • How reliable is it?

    There's no questioning the interior quality but Audi has work to do on improving customer satisfaction judging by recent survey results.
    As well as eight airbags and stability control the A8 has a pre-sense system to detect if a collision is imminent and will put on the hazard warning lights and tighten the seatbelts. Optional extras include automatic braking before a crash and a night vision system to spot pedestrians.

  • Should I buy one?

    It may be cheaper than a BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class but the Audi A8 is hardly a bargain buy. Stick with the V6 diesel for the lowest fuel and tax bills, or hold out for a front-wheel-drive or hybrid version. Masses comes as standard but there are still plenty of temptations available on the options list.