Audi A8

#4 in Super Luxury Cars Overall Score: 8.6 / 10
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2016 Audi A8 Overview

The 2016 Audi A8 ranks 4 out of 6 Super Luxury Cars.

The A8 is Audi’s flagship model and competes in the exclusive super luxury class. The Audi A8 excels in nearly every category, based on the data and reviews that constitute our rankings. It delivers ...

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SEATING


5

MPG


14-24

  CITY


22-36

  HWY

DRIVETRAIN


AWD

HP


240-605
See full 2016 Audi A8 specs ยป

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent balance of ride comfort and handling
  • Powerful engine choices
  • Opulent cabin
  • Available high-performance model
  • Limited trunk space
  • Infotainment system less modern than some rivals'

Notable for 2016

  • Long-wheelbase (L) body style becomes base model

Audi A8 Rankings and Research

The 2016 Audi A8 ranking is based on its score within the Super Luxury Cars category. Currently the Audi A8 has a score of 8.6 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 46 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Scorecard

Overall: 8.6
Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 9.0
Safety: N/A
Reliability: 3_5

Rankings

2016 Audi A8 Pictures

2016 Audi A8 Review

By Bryan Siwik July 20, 2016

The A8 is Audi’s flagship model and competes in the exclusive super luxury class. The Audi A8 excels in nearly every category, based on the data and reviews that constitute our rankings. It delivers robust power from a formidable list of engines and, despite its size, offers an exhilarating driving experience.

Step inside and you’ll see that the interior is top flight, replete with premium leathers and other upscale materials. The 2016 Audi A8’s infotainment system isn’t cutting edge, however, unlike those offered by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. It’s plenty responsive, but the control knob is located awkwardly on the center console. Still, the A8 is a solid complete package. 

A8 Interior

Impressive Interior

Though super luxury cars are expected to feature premium materials in their interiors, the A8 still impresses with plush leather surfaces all around and tasteful wood accents. The overall cabin design shows great attention to detail. Heated front seats are standard, and options like ventilated and massaging seats, as well as rear seats that recline, provide a top-notch experience. Matched against its German rivals, reviewers find that the A8’s interior bests the BMW 7-Series, based on general material and build quality, but trails the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which sets the benchmark for the class.

Room for passengers is expansive all around, as well. For 2016, all A8 models are built on an extended long wheelbase platform. That results in plenty of legroom whether you’re sitting in the front or back.  

Low Cargo Capacity

There are sacrifices for all that legroom in the rear – the A8 has the lowest amount of cargo room in the class at 14.2 cubic feet. That is much less than the BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS, which both have around 18 cubic feet. You may have to get creative fitting your foursome’s golf bags in the trunk of the A8, but for a long business trip, you’ll find plenty of space for luggage.

Outdated Technology

The A8’s infotainment system is a mix of good and bad. The navigation system responds quickly to inputs and has a cool feature that lets you draw numbers and letters with your finger to search for destinations or other information.

Overall though, the system isn’t as up to date as those offered by BMW or Mercedes. The A8 lacks the newest smartphone integrations that are becoming commonplace, and features such as swiping or pinch-to-zoom are absent as well.

Read more about interior »

A8 Performance

Powerful Engine Lineup

You may be tempted to have someone else drive you around in the A8 so you can enjoy the interior opulence without distraction. However, getting behind the wheel is an equally exhilarating experience. Acceleration is easy and power is abundant with any of the A8’s engines, from the base supercharged V6 to a turbocharged V8 or the mammoth W12. The V8 remains a favorite of those who have driven the car, though. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models, and the smooth shifts it provides are a perfect complement to the effortless acceleration.

The A8 leads the super luxury class in fuel economy, with the standard V6 engine getting 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The V8 gets 18 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, while the thirsty W12 only manages 14/city and 22/highway.

Riding on Air

Ride quality in the A8 is superb, as you would expect from a full-size luxury sedan. An adaptive air suspension automatically adjusts to road conditions and creates a quiet, smooth ride over rough and uneven surfaces. At highway speeds the cabin remains quiet and serene so you can enjoy the plush interior.

Though the A8 now comes standard in long wheelbase form, it retains the sporty handling that smaller Audi models are revered for. Turns are tight and composed, and you might find yourself seeking out twisty roads to put the A8 to the test. All-wheel drive comes standard as well, so you will feel confident in snow or other slippery conditions.

S8 Highlights

The S8 is the performance version of the A8 and boasts a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine that puts out a blistering 605 horsepower. Steering and handling are adjusted for a more enjoyable and confident driving experience. Though more formidable under the hood, the S8 doesn’t sacrifice any of the cabin luxury that defines Audi’s flagship sedan.

Read more about performance »

A8 Pricing, Options, and Trims

The 2016 A8 comes in four primary configurations: The base A8 L model comes with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, and a 4.0-liter V8 turbocharged engine is optional. The A8 W12 features a 12-cylinder engine. The S8 is the high-performance version and also comes with the 4.0-liter engine. An automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard in all models.

The A8 L 3.0 starts at $81,500 and includes a long list of standard features: four-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, power rear sunshades, leather seats, 18-way power front seats, heated seats, an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, navigation with voice control, a 14-speaker Bose sound system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, keyless ignition, an in-dash DVD player, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors. There are a number of available option packages as well. The Premium package, for $3,950, includes ventilated front seats with massage function, a head-up display, a top-view camera system, and Audi Pre Sense Rear. The Cold Weather package includes a rear-seat pass-through, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel, for $750. A panoramic sunroof is available for $1,000. The Luxury package costs $2,800 and includes sport diamond-stitched seats, Alcantara headliner, and Valcona leather seating. The Rear Seat Comfort package, for $2,500, includes power and ventilated rear seats with massage function and additional power adjustments to all seats. The Driver Assistance package costs $2,250 and includes high-beam assist, Audi Pre Sense Plus, active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control, which adjusts your set speed to slow down with cars in front of you. For $2,500, the dynamic package includes a sport differential and dynamic steering, which helps with steering precision and response. Lastly, the Sport Style package costs $3,200 and features 20-inch sport wheels and S line bumpers.

The A8 L 4.0 starts at $90,500 and includes the panoramic sunroof, an Alcantara headliner, 22-way power front seats with massage function, a top-view camera system, Audi Pre Sense Rear, and a head-up display. Most of the 3.0 packages are also available on the 4.0. An advanced sound system from Bang & Olufsen is available for $6,300. For $2,300, you can add night vision assistant, which uses an infrared camera to identify hazards that are out of the headlight’s range. Available for $3,000 is a rear-seat entertainment system with two 10-inch screens and a DVD player.

The A8 W12 starts at $137,900 and adds standard features like Valcona leather; power-adjustable, heated and ventilated rear seats with massage function; and the rear-seat entertainment system. The advanced sound system package and night vision assistant are available for the same prices as on the A8 4.0. The Driver Assistance package costs $2,100, and a modified Sport package costs $1,000 and includes a sport differential and 20-inch sport wheels. A Full Leather package is also available for $5,500.

The S8 is a high-performance model and starts at $114,900. It has the same standard features as the A8 4.0, and there are a handful of options and packages as well: Cold Weather package, $750; Driver Assistance package, $2,100; rear-seat entertainment system, $3,000; night vision assistant, $2,300; Full Leather package, $5,500; and Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system, $6,300. The black optic exterior package costs $5,500 and includes black high-gloss styling and carbon side mirror housings. The Dynamic package costs $11,000 and features an increased top speed limiter (to 190 mph), a carbon fiber rear spoiler, ceramic brakes, and sport exhaust.

See 2016 Audi A8 specs and trims »

A8 Safety and Reliability

The 2016 Audi A8 has not been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, there are many advanced safety features available to help protect the A8’s occupants. A forward collision system detects impending crashes ahead and audibly warns the driver to apply the brakes. If the driver doesn’t react, the car automatically brakes. There are also rear sensors to alert the driver of a possible rear-end collision. In these situations, and under sudden heavy braking, the seatbelts automatically tighten and seat bolsters adjust to better protect passengers. The A8 also features a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and lane departure warning and assist, which senses when the car drifts out of a lane, alerts the driver, then steers the car back into its lane.

The A8 falls somewhere between average and above average for predicted reliability, according to J.D. Power and Associates. However, in a class with prices in excess of six figures, it should be no surprise that several competitors earn the highest marks for predicted reliability. The Lexus LS scores a five out of five from J.D. Power, indicating that its reliability is among the best, while the Porsche Panamera sits slightly below that. Don’t let this shake your confidence in the A8 though; your time with a mechanic should still be minimal. Audi covers the 2016 A8 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about safety »

Read more about reliability »

Other Cars to Consider

The Porsche Panamera strikingly blends classic Porsche performance with an elegant interior. Its lineup of V6 and V8 engines provide plenty of power, and its handling rivals that of most sports cars. Though cargo space is low for the class, it still beats the A8, and the rear seats can fold down for extra utility or hauling larger items.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class features one of the most luxurious and stylish interiors on the market. Comfort is abundant for all occupants, with premium materials and lots of space to stretch out. The infotainment system is high-tech and packed with features. It’s also user friendly and displays everything on two 12.3-inch touch screens.

Compare the A8, Panamera, and S-Class in more detail »

Details: 2016 Audi A8

The 2016 Audi A8 is a four- or five-seat sedan. There are four primary models: the A8 L 3.0T, 4.0T, and W12 and Audi S8 Premium. The 3.0T model has a supercharged 3.0-liter V6, the 4.0T and S8 both have a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, and the W12 has a 6.3-liter 12-cylinder engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. For 2016, Audi made the long-wheelbase body style the base model, keeping the standard-wheelbase for only the performance-oriented S8. Aside from that change, there are few significant updates to the A8 for 2016. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2016 model years.

The base A8 trim, the A8 L, comes standard with four-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, Audi's MMI infotainment system with navigation and a touchpad controller, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, iPod integration, Bluetooth, proximity key, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors.

Depending on which trim you get, optional features include a top-view camera system, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, night vision, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual 10-inch screens. The A8 L W12 model is also available with a 10.4-liter rear-seat refrigerator box.

See 2016 Audi A8 specs and trims »

  • "The Audi A8 delivers the stretch-out-space, high-tech gadgetry and pampering extras one would expect of a full-size luxury sedan, but it drives much smaller than its generous dimensions would suggest. These virtues, along with standard quattro all-wheel-drive and a wide range of powerful yet efficient motors, make the A8 a highly tempting option for executive sedan shoppers." -- Left Lane News
  • "It's no longer the freshest face among the luxury flagships, but the 2016 Audi A8 remains competitive on the basis of its fantastic interior, strong engines and athletic character. Key rivals offers more advanced technology features, though." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2016 Audi A8 full-size luxury sedan is as comfortable showing off its handling prowess as it is its abundant luxury credentials." -- Kelley Blue Book
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