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- Highs Hushed interior, plenty of high-tech features, handling is more playful than expected.
- Lows Doesn’t look as grandiose as some rivals, V-6 engine provides only adequate power, the S8 is more entertaining.
- Verdict The A8 doesn’t have the flash of most other high-dollar luxury cars, but for those who value subtlety it offers a lot of appeal.
While some large luxury sedans are designed to turn heads with their flamboyant styling, the 2023 Audi A8 wears a more tailored, professional appearance that has a unique appeal. The big Audi is just as roomy and comfortable as rivals such as the BMW 7-series and the Mercedes-Benz S-class inside, and a host of high-tech features makes staying connected during travel easy. Extensive sound deadening measures ensure the A8’s cabin is whisper-quiet, drowning out even the sound of the turbocharged V-6 engine. This makes the A8 a relaxing place to reflect as your driver shuttles you to your next board meeting. But the A8 isn’t only pleasing to those chauffeured in the back. Its driver will be pleasantly surprised at how nicely this large car can handle. While it’s not as athletic as the sportier S8 (reviewed separately), the A8 can hold its own if you come across a particularly curvy stretch of tarmac.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
Following a styling refresh for last year’s A8, Audi has made just two enhancements for the 2023. A new remote parking feature is now included in the optional Executive package and the Comfort Plus package now includes fancier LED headlights.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
If you're going with Audi's flagship luxury sedan, do it right and order it with the Luxury package, which includes heated rear seats with power adjustments and massage, leather-wrapped dashboard, all-wheel steering, and more. We'd also suggest the Executive package, which adds massaging front seats, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist, a remote parking feature, and interior ambient lighting.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The A8 comes with a turbocharged V-6 rated at 335 horsepower which is augmented by a 48-volt hybrid system. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The A8 we tested sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. Among six-cylinder executive sedans, that puts the A8 a few tenths off the rapid pace the Mercedes-Benz S500. The Audi's 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. With this setup, the Audi A8 isolates you from road irregularities but can still hammer down a back road when the mood strikes.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the A8 will earn 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. We can't evaluate the real-world mpg for the A8 until we take it on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. For more information about the A8's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
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 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 10.1-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 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. For more information about the A8's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Warranty coverage on the 2023 A8 is nothing special in the realm of luxury cars. Buyers looking for more value in this category should check out the Genesis G90, which comes standard with up to 10 years or 100,000 miles of warranty coverage and three years of free maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2019 Audi A8L
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$123,045 (base price: $84,795)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve Miller-capable V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
183 in3, 2995 cm3
335 hp @ 6400 rpm
369 lb-ft @ 1370 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 14.8-in vented disc/13.8-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3, F: 265/40R-20 104Y AO Extra Load R: 265/40R-20 104Y AO Extra Load
Wheelbase: 123.1 in
Length: 208.7 in
Width: 76.6 in
Height: 58.5 in
Passenger volume: 111 ft3
Trunk volume: 13 ft3
Curb weight: 4995 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.3 sec
100 mph: 13.6 sec
120 mph: 20.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.8 sec
¼-mile: 13.9 sec @ 101 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 128 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 149 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.93 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22/19/27 mpg