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2020 Audi A8

Starting at $86,195

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  • Highs Isolates you from the chaos of the world but still engaging to drive, user-friendly touchscreen controls, exquisite interior materials.
  • Lows Business-formal styling, V-6 lacks personality, skimpy warranty coverage.
  • Verdict Packed with innovation, the Audi A8 is easy to drive and unexpectedly athletic.
By Drew Dorian


Anyone seeking an executive sedan that offers convenience and technological innovation in large quantities should take a hard look at the 2020 Audi A8. Although some of its leading-edge tech features haven't yet made it to the United States, this is a very advanced car that simplifies the act of driving, while its lavish cabin shields you from the chaos of your commute. It's also pretty entertaining for an extra-large sedan (Audi sells only the long-wheelbase A8 version on our shores), thanks to exceptionally precise steering and impressive grip through corners. If there's anything not to like, it might be the car's all-business aesthetics. Rivals have more character—in some cases, a lot more. If you're okay with that, the Audi A8 is a fine choice for an elite luxury sedan.

What's New for 2020?

Audi expands the 2020 A8 lineup with a plug-in hybrid model: The A8 60 TFSI e sedan combines the 3.0-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the trunk. Combined output is 443 horsepower.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Although the value of the 2020 A8 55 TFSI is undeniable compared with six-cylinder German rivals, we'd go for the standard gas-powered 60 TFSI model to get Audi's potent, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine. Standard content is basically identical between the two, but the 60 TFSI has a slightly longer options sheet. We'd select the Executive package, which upgrades the front seats with ventilation and massage features, while adding a heated steering wheel and a very useful camera system with 3D imaging, as well as the Driver Assistance package, which provides adaptive cruise control with Level 2 self-driving capability. We'd be tempted to get the Lighting package as well, because the included Matrix-design LED headlights are magnificently bright (even though Audi disables their ability to alter their beam patterns around oncoming traffic on U.S. models). Finally, we'd check off the Dynamic all-wheel-steering system as a stand-alone option, as it makes this full-size luxury sedan easier to gather up in tight parking lots. Pricing for the plug-in hybrid A8 has not been announced.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The base 55 TFSI comes with a turbocharged V-6 rated at 335 horsepower, while the 60 TFSI has a 453-hp twin-turbo V-8 engine. Both versions use a light-hybrid system in which the alternator doubles as a starter (belt-alternator-starter, or BAS, in Audi lingo). An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The plug-in hybrid 60 TFSI e combines the V-6 with an electric motor built into the torque converter of a modified version of this transmission and a rear-mounted 14.1-kWh battery pack. The 2020 Audi A8 TFSI e is rated at 443 hp. So far, we've only tested the V-6 version, which sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds at our test track. Among six-cylinder executive sedans, that's on par with the Mercedes-Benz S450 but a few tenths off the rapid pace of the BMW 740i. This engine is smooth, but there's no fanfare to its power delivery, and sound-deadening measures are so extensive that it's practically inaudible with the windows up. The A8 offers a very Audi-like blend of athleticism and ride comfort. An adjustable air suspension and driver-adjustable adaptive dampers are standard. Optional with the V-8 is a more advanced active suspension that scans the road ahead for bumps and takes measures to compensate. With the base suspension, the Audi A8 isolates you from road irregularities but can still hammer down a back road when the mood strikes. The steering is striking in its precision, though there's not much feedback. Braking is a strong suit, as our 55 TFSI test car stopped from 70 mph in just 149 feet.

2020 audi a8 rearView Photos

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates the six-cylinder A8 will earn 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. While we haven't tested a 2020 model with that engine, but the last one we evaluated on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route earned 30 mpg. We haven't tested the V-8 model, which has a 15 mpg city and 23 highway rating. The plug-in hybrid is rated at 21 mpg city and 27 highway, with a combined gas-electric rating of 54 MPGe. Its 14.1-kWh battery pack also allows an EPA-rated 17 miles of all-electric driving range.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Impressive passenger space is an A8 hallmark, and its long wheelbase ensures that rear-seat passengers are well accommodated. Five-passenger seating is standard, but an optional four-passenger seating package deletes the rear center seat and provides a pair of power-adjustable rear seats with heating, ventilation, and massage as well as a heated foot-massage function and a pair of individual entertainment tablets (while reducing power adjustments for the front passenger seat to make room for all that). Fine materials are in abundance, and you can order up extended leather and a small forest's worth of wood inlays. But much like the A8's exterior, the interior ambience is sober and not as lavish as that of the Mercedes-Benz S-class. Trunk capacity is modest for a big luxury sedan at just 13 cubic feet.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Audi's excellent 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is standard as are the 10.3-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower haptic center screens with the MMI Touch Response system. There's a lone volume knob for the audio system, since most functions are controlled through the touchscreens. It can be overwhelming initially, but the system is quick to respond and highly configurable, allowing owners to choose their own dedicated buttons on the lower screen while offering permanent buttons for navigation, weather, telephone functions, and radio on the left side of the upper screen. Just know that you'll wear out the included microfiber wipe trying to remove fingerprints. Up front, there are two USB ports with combined data and charging capability, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone integration is standard along with Amazon Alexa compatibility. Wi-Fi via Audi Connect Plus is available for an additional subscription fee.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The 2020 Audi A8 has much the same driver-assistance technologies as other high-end sedans. When equipped with Traffic Jam Assist (Driver Assistance package), the A8 will help you out with acceleration and braking in heavy traffic, but your hands can't leave the wheel for more than a few seconds. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash-tested the Audi A8. Key safety features include:

  • Standard lane-departure warning system
  • Available lane-keeping assist
  • Available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control with Level 2 semi-autonomous driving mode
  • Available night-vision system

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Warranty coverage on the 2020 Audi A8 is nothing special in the realm of luxury cars. The first scheduled maintenance service is at 10,000 miles, so the complimentary maintenance plan only covers one oil change.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance


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