Audi A8 Review
The 2014 Audi A8 ranks 5 out of 12 Super Luxury Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Audi A8, as well as reliability and safety data.
Critics say the 2014 Audi A8 offers a combination of luxury and performance that few cars can match, while a new turbodiesel model provides truly impressive fuel economy for the class.
The Audi A8 comes standard with a supercharged V6 engine that reviewers say is powerful and refined. A more powerful twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a W12 engine are available in higher trims, and the high-performance Audi S8 offers even more power. For 2014, a new turbodiesel V6 engine comes in the long-wheelbase A8L TDI, and test drivers are particularly impressed with the power and fuel economy that the diesel-powered A8L provides. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes with all A8 models, and critics agree that it shifts quickly and smoothly. The base A8 gets an EPA-estimated 17/28 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. Meanwhile, the A8L TDI earns outstanding fuel economy for a super luxury car, at 24/36 mpg. An adaptive air suspension comes standard in the A8, and critics note that it gives the A8 surprisingly nimble handling, as well as a ride that’s comfortable and composed. Some reviewers also note that the A8’s driving dynamics are further bolstered by precise steering and the excellent traction provided by the standard all-wheel drive system.
While every super luxury car offers an opulent, high-quality interior, auto writers note that the A8’s cabin is one of the nicest in the class. They report that the exceptional build quality and first-rate materials make the interior almost as nice as the pricier Mercedes-Benz S-Class’ interior, and some report that only exotic cars built by Bentley or Rolls-Royce offer accommodations that are more luxurious. Critics write that the Audi A8 has comfortable and supportive front seats, as well as a spacious back seat. The A8L has even more space, with an additional 4 inches of back-seat legroom. While many auto writers note that the A8 has less trunk space than most super luxury cars, others are amazed by the A8’s standard high-tech interior features, which include a navigation system that can display Google Earth views and a Bose stereo system with HD and satellite radio, as well as Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Options and features available on higher trims include four-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.
- "With a gorgeous cabin and handling that's distinctly and gloriously German, the A8 is, from roof to rubber, a class act that succeeds at elevating the driving experience in the large luxury sedan class." -- Edmunds
- "When it comes to feature content, performance and prestige, the A8 holds its own against long-refined rivals like the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Fire up the A8 L and it performs just like an Audi. It's a cocoon of comfort with lots of power. It is so quiet that the thrill of the power from the supercharged V6 was the only thing keeping me awake one morning." -- AutoWeek (2013)
- "Compared with the big S-Classes and 7 Series of the world, the A8 feels lithe and more responsive -- less of a limousine and more of a sport sedan. That's to say nothing of the long-wheelbase Audi's huge amount of rear legroom." -- Motor Trend (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
Reviewers say the BMW 740i is fun to drive thanks to balanced handling and a responsive turbocharged six-cylinder engine. While the BMW 740i doesn’t come standard with all-wheel drive, it gets slightly better fuel economy than the base A8 and it’s available in regular and long-wheelbase body styles.
The Porsche Panamera starts at about the same price as the A8, and it offers great fuel economy and cargo space for the class. Additionally, critics note that the Panamera delivers outstanding performance and a roomy, elegant interior.
Details: 2014 Audi A8
The 2014 Audi A8 seats five and has standard all-wheel drive. A 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard. The A8 comes in regular and extended-wheelbase (A8L) body styles, and is available in a total of seven trim levels: 3.0T, L 3.0T, L 3.0 TDI, 4.0T, L 4.0T, L W12 and S8. For 2014, the A8 gets new standard features, including push-button start, a power trunk lid, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The turbodiesel A8L 3.0 TDI also debuts and the high-performance Audi S8 gains blind spot monitoring as standard equipment. Aside from these additions, the Audi A8 is basically unchanged since it was last fully redesigned for the 2011 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2014 model years.