I genuinely feel bad for any automaker that needs to create a car to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Not only is it a superb car to actually drive and be in but its presence is so desirable that it’s just the go-to car for anyone shopping in that segment. So the teams at Audi and BMW that needed to create S-Class competitors did not have enviable jobs. Having said that, the products they came up with — the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, respectively — are genuinely world-class luxury cars. In this new video from Carwow, we take a look at which of the trio is actually best.
It really all starts with the Mercedes S-Class, though, doesn’t it? Its slick but sophisticated looks, stunning interior and incredible ride quality just make it the benchmark of the segment. It also gets a new engine, a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six diesel, which is as silky smooth as it is powerful. So do the other two have what it takes to beat the S-Class?
Well, unfortunately for the BMW, the 7 Series does not. It’s not a bad car by any means, as anyone would be happy to live with a 7er everyday. It’s just not up to par with its Stuttgart rival. The 7 Series is sporty looking but it lacks the elegance and class of the S-Class. Also, its interior, while even slightly better built that the Benz’s and featuring better technology, just isn’t as interesting, luxurious or exciting. So while the 7 Series is a great luxury car, it’s just not S-Class great.
That leaves the new Audi A8. The A8 is the newest car in the test by far, having just come out this year, and it shows. While the outside is slick and modern looking, it’s a bit bland from some angles and can just look like a big barge. Inside, though, it’s on a different level than the other two. With build quality that surpasses both cars, technology that impresses more than both cars’ (like the Matrix LED map lights in the rear with fully-adjustable zones) and quietness that is best in class, the Audi A8 sports the best cabin of the three. The A8 also gets top marks for its ride comfort, than bests even the Mercedes S-Class.
In the end, Carwow’s Mat Watson claims that the Audi A8 is the winner of the test. Its combination of interior technology, comfort, style and interior design make it better than even the legendary S-Class. That makes it the new luxury benchmark.