Auto Express reviews the 2018 Audi A8

When the brand-new Audi A8 hit the market, it had to hit the ground running. That’s because its current crop of competition is fiercer than ever before. Cars like the newly refreshed Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and new Lexus LS are all very, very good cars. The king is the S-Class, whose remarkable luxury has been the high-water mark for the segment since its release. So Audi really had to turn things up to eleven if it wanted a shot at taking on those luxury giants, most notably the one from Stuttgart. Thankfully for Audi, the new A8 is brilliant. But is it brilliant enough to take down the mighty S-Class?

According to Auto Express, the new Audi A8 is fantastic. Just not quite fantastic enough to beat the Benz in the UK. However, that mostly has to do with the UK and not so much the A8.

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Audi’s newest A8 is a thoroughly impressive car. Inside, the cabin is swathed in rich leather, impressive luxury and next-gen technology. In fact, this is where the Audi A8 seems to gain some ground on the S-Class. Whereas the Mercedes S-Class is fabulous on the inside, with a stunning design and gorgeous materials, the one area it lacks in is technology. Mercedes’ COMAND system isn’t bad but it’s just not stellar. Audi’s newest MMI system is, though, with an upgraded version of the already brilliant Virtual Cockpit and a dual-touchscreen infotainment system that seems to work really quite well.

In terms of actually driving the A8, things are also quite good. While most customers will never dream of hustling their Audi A8 down a twisty back road, that doesn’t mean it can’t. In fact, it’s even rather enthusiastic about driving quickly. Obviously it’s not a sports car and doesn’t handle like one. But it handles with surprising agility. Thank the four-wheel steering and its adjustable air suspension for that.

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However, it’s one knock is that it’s just not quite as soft and supple as the S-Class on UK roads. It’s true that UK roads are some of the roughest and least comfortable in the world, so they really test the merits of a car’s suspension. The S-Class is probably the only car in the world, outside of Bentley and Rolls Royce of course, to be comfortable on UK roads. The Audi A8 does come close, though. It just lacks a tiny bit of the suppleness of the big Benz.

So according to Auto Express, the Audi A8 is a great car. It’s good looking, incredibly luxurious, has great tech and it’s even fun to drive. It just needs to be a touch softer to be the S-Class in the UK. We’re curious to test it ‘Stateside.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.