Audi A8 Interior
All Super Luxury Car interiors are extraordinary. That’s why it’s so exceptional to see reviewers praise one above its competitors. Several reviewers have said the passenger cabin of the A8 is the best in its class. It combines opulent materials and a thoughtful, ergonomic design. In particular, the Valcona leather that comes standard in the A8 is softer than what most manufacturers build into their top-of-the-line cars -- Lexus buyers must upgrade to an optional softer grade of leather to find its equal.
Its adjustable seats are supremely comfortable. Still, those concerned with seat comfort should test the optional Multi-Contour seats of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class before making a purchase.
Many reviewers complain that the A8’s MMI electronics interface means that drivers face a heavy learning curve to make simple adjustments to climate and entertainment functions -- but some say MMI is better than competing systems from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
- "The cabin in the A8 boasts top-notch materials and sophisticated design that stand out even in the high-buck segment." -- Consumer Guide
- "The cabin is elegant and comfortable, and tops the class in finish quality." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The interior of the A8 provides first-class comfort, especially in the L version, which boasts a limolike 42 inches of rear legroom. In typical Audi fashion, the fit and finish is superb, with generous amounts of wood, Alcantara and aluminum accents lending a luxurious ambience." -- Edmunds
The standard-wheelbase A8 seats five adults in comfort. Reviewers are impressed with the 16-way power-adjustable front seats, but note that heating and ventilation are added-cost options, while they are standard on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Adaptive seats, like the Multi-Contour seats offered on the S-Class, are not available.
Reviewers have little to say about the rear seats of the A8. Those who will routinely drive with adults in the rear seats, however, might want to note that the A8 lacks a power-adjustable, reclining rear seat -- something the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS all offer. Four-zone climate control and heated rear seats are available as an option.
- “Ample room on firm, wide seats with excellent support. Split center console customizes armrest heights for driver and passenger.” In the rear, “A8 L offers limousine-like legroom. The contoured ceiling provides good six-footer headroom. Large, wide door openings make for easy entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide
- "With a 16-way power-adjustable driver seat (including upper seatback angle) and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, finding a comfortable driving position is easy for folks of all body types." -- Edmunds
- "The A8 seats are supportive and comfortable and adjust 16 ways. A memory feature keeps all the settings for four different drivers (or moods), including climate controls. Front and rear seats can be heated and ventilated." -- New Car Test Drive
- "I absolutely understand that most people would not use this car as their main family-mobile, so Audi wasn't really thinking about ease of car-seat installation in this vehicle. But, Audi, rich women have kids, too. Even they need to install rear-facing infant seats in the back of their cars, and they might just choose to do so using the Latch system. Despite the fact that Audi's Latch system rocks in many of its other vehicles - like the Q7 - it happens to suck in the A8." -- Mother Proof
The interior materials used in the 2010 A8 are exemplary -- some reviewers call them a grade above those found in similarly-priced cars from other luxury automakers. Exceptionally soft leather, an Alcantara headliner, and decorative trim inlays available in a variety of woods give the A8’s cabin a sumptuous look and feel. Audi’s flagship boasts some exemplary cabin electronics, including an extraordinary Bang & Olufsen sound system, with 14-speaker surround sound that automatically adjusts the stereo’s volume to compensate for background noise inside and outside the car. Audi’s voice-controlled navigation system earns a lot of reviewer praise as well.
Reviewers note, however, that most of these electronics are controlled through a single knob and a series of menus on the navigation screen -- Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) controller. Most cars at this price point use a similar system, and reviewers often say Audi’s is one of the easiest to use -- but it still means that drivers will have to invest some time in learning to operate a new A8. Those who prefer separate controls for each system should note that, in this class, only the Lexus LS can be purchased without an interface device.
- A8's large gauges are clearly marked. Conventional switches handle basic audio and all climate functions. Other adjustments require the use of Audi's MMI (Multi Media Interface) with center-console knob, four flanking buttons, and dashboard screen. This system requires study, complicating what should be simple controls for the audio and navigation system. It's no worse than similar systems offered by Audi's rivals, however. The navigation system screen retracts into the dashboard when not in use." -- Consumer Guide
- "The dash is uncluttered by buttons thanks to Audi's MMI, which handles everything from the navigation and audio systems to the adjustment of the driver-selectable air suspension." -- Edmunds
- "The fact that I used wet wipes on the bottoms of my kids' shoes before they entered the vehicle may have been slightly over-the-top - by a smidgen - but I just couldn't stand the thought of any grimy nastiness infecting this car's plush, beautiful carpet. I also loved the power rear and manual side sunshades to keep the sun - and nosy paparazzi - from intruding in the backseat. A power trunk open/close feature, Audi's parking sensors, and front seat ventilation and massage round out the price tag." -- Mother Proof
The A8 offers 14.6 cubic feet of trunk space -- giving it one of the smallest trunks in the Super Luxury Car class. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class, for instance, offers 16.4 cubic feet, while the Lexus LS offers 18. Reviewers say the trunk is a useful shape, however. With German luxury sedans, it is common for reviewers to complain of little interior storage space. Test drivers, however, don’t seem to have that complaint about the A8.
- “A8's spacious flat-floor trunk has a high-rise power lid, large opening, and low liftover. Interior storage is enhanced by pull-open portfolio-sized pockets on all doors.” -- Consumer Guide