The current generation Audi A8 is getting a bit long in the tooth. With its first year on the market being 2011, it’s almost ancient by modern luxury car standards. That fact is exacerbated by the Audi A8’s newest competitors recently being released. Both the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 series are far more advanced and more impressive than the current A8. But that doesn’t mean that the big Audi is without charm.
So Mat Watson of Carwow decided to give it a go and see if the Audi A8 can still compete with the latest big German bruisers.
In terms of looks, the Audi A8 still nails its understated elegance look. While at some angles it can, admittedly, look a bit like a four-cylinder Audi A6, which is not flattering. However, from the front and front three-quarters, the current A8 still passes the eye test. It’s a handsome looking car.
But you don’t buy a premium luxury sedan for the way its exterior looks, if you did, Mercedes wouldn’t be selling so many of its S-Classes. You buy a car like this for its interior. Unfortunately for Audi, the A8’s cabin hasn’t aged quite as well as its body. While build quality and materials are still top notch, the design, layout, ergonomics, luxury and technology are all lacking compared to its more modern rivals. The previous-gen MMI system looks and feels dated while the user controls just feel awkward now.
In the back seat, things get a bit better. Though, not by much. The back seat of the long wheelbase version in the video offers plenty of leg, knee and headroom, making it comfortable even for tall passengers. It does boast some nice luxury features, such as the power sun visors and a reclining rear seat. But it just doesn’t have the opulence of the S-Class nor the impressive technology of the 7 Series. When you could spend the same money and get one of those, the Audi A8 seems outmatched.
The A8 still handles well, though. It’s in a sort of middle ground between the Benz and the Bimmer. It’s sharper and more dynamics than the Mercedes, yet not quite as comfortable or as smooth. It’s also slightly softer than the more stiffly sprung BMW, but lacks the sharpness of that car. Overall, though, it’s a great car to drive both around town or hustling a twisty back road.
Fortunately, a new Audi A8 is on its way. We’ve heard rumors that the new A8 will make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, but we can’t be certain. That car is said to be the most technologically advanced car on the road when it comes out, according to Audi. We’ll see for sure in time but, for now, the current A8 seems in dire need of its replacement.