2017 Audi A8 Overview
Pros & Cons
- Extremely spacious rear seats
- Powerful engine lineup
- Great gas mileage
- Premium-quality interior
- Undersized trunk
- Infotainment system less modern than rivals'
Notable for 2017
- 12-Cylinder W12 model no longer offered
- TDI diesel model suspended
Audi A8 Rankings and Research
The 2017 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 48 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
- #3 in Super Luxury Cars
2017 Audi A8 Pictures
2017 Audi A8 Review
The 2017 Audi A8 has one of the nicest cabins in a class known for luxurious interiors. It also has a lineup of powerful engines, better fuel economy than rivals, and expansive rear seats. However, its trunk is smaller than competitors' and its infotainment system is a little dated.
Is the Audi A8 a Good Car?
Do chickens wish they could fly? Yes, they do. And yes, the Audi A8 is a good car. No matter which engine you go with, you'll find it moves the A8 briskly, and the base engine is more fuel-efficient than most rivals’ base engines. Every luxury car aims to provide a comfortable ride, but the A8 is one of the few that also delivers capable handling and solid road grip to go along with that comfort. Any seat in the A8 is a good seat, but the rear seats stand out for their abundant legroom. Both rows of seats have plenty of comfort-oriented upgrades. Though the infotainment system isn't as modern as rival systems, it's still user-friendly and intuitive, and the navigation system is top-notch. The only real drawback to the A8 is its undersized trunk, though it still provides a decent amount of room at more than 14 cubic feet.
Should I Buy the Audi A8?
You certainly aren't making a bad choice if your heart is set on Audi's flagship car. However, we are talking about the super luxury car class here, so there are other vehicles worth a look. The Porsche Panamera delivers thrilling performance and still manages to provide a plush cabin, and for not that much more than the A8's price. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has the highest base price in the class by a fair bit, but it also has perhaps the nicest interior of any vehicle and several powerful engine options. When it comes to picking your favorite super luxury car, a fair amount of hair-splitting is involved; but if you look around, you'll find that the A8 isn't the only vehicle worth considering.
We Did the Research for You: 48 Pieces of Data Analyzed
Here at U.S. News & World Report, we do your car-shopping research for you. We look to provide you with an expert evaluation of every car on our site so that you can make the best possible decision when you head to the dealer. For our comprehensive review of the 2017 Audi A8, we analyzed 48 pieces of data, including fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, and other professional reviews.
The Audi A8's last significant redesign was for the 2011 model year, and there have been few changes since. The 2017 model sees the removal of the W12 and TDI models from the lineup. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2017 model years.
Why You Can Trust Us
Our team has a combined 75 years of experience, and U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars for almost a decade. We use our experience to provide you with the best analysis of every car that we rank. You can trust us to deliver you with an unbiased appraisal of every vehicle on our site because our editorial staff does not accept expensive gifts or trips from any automakers, and all advertising on our site is handled through a third party.
How Much Does the Audi A8 Cost?
The 2017 Audi A8 has a base price of $82,500. That's not the lowest price in the class, but it's on par with the BMW 7 Series, slightly lower than the Panamera, and about $14,000 lower than the S-Class. The base A8 comes with a V6 engine, but you can get an A8 with a V8 engine starting at $91,500. You can also get the performance-oriented S8 starting at $115,900. Regardless of which A8 trim you go with, there are a variety of option packages that cost as little as $750 or as much as $11,000. A fully loaded A8 has a price tag a bit below $120,000, and a fully loaded S8 costs around $152,000.
Audi A8 Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Audi A8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class?
The A8 markets itself as an excellent blend of performance and comfort, but the Mercedes-Benz S-Class may actually be better than the A8 in both areas. The S-Class' cabin is everything you look for in a luxury car, and it has a real claim to being the nicest interior of any vehicle. There are posh materials throughout, and the seats are extremely luxurious and comfortable, even by the lofty standards of a super luxury car. The S-Class offers many features you can't get in the A8, like two infotainment screens, a driver drowsiness monitoring system, and forward collision warning with automatic braking. The S-Class also has a larger trunk and higher reliability ratings. The S-Class has several engines ranging from 455 to 621 horsepower, and it delivers an amazingly cushioned ride. It does cost about $14,000 more than the A8, but when you consider that gas mileage is the A8's only real advantage over the S-Class, the price difference seems justified.
Which Is Better: Audi A8 or Porsche Panamera?
When it comes to performance, the Porsche Panamera is the alpha dog among super luxury cars. It has a series of powerful engines ranging from the 310-horsepower base engine to a 570-horsepower twin-turbo V8. The high-end Panamera is even faster than the Audi S8. There's also a hybrid powertrain for environmentally conscious buyers. The cabin is well-built and features top-notch materials. Though it only seats four, the Panamera provides all occupants with plenty of room. There are lots of tech features, and the dash is well-organized. The Panamera also has the highest maximum cargo capacity in the class, and its predicted reliability rating is higher than the A8's. The A8 is a fine car, but the Panamera offers several upgrades over it for not much more money, making it a better choice for most buyers.
How Many People Does the A8 Seat?
The A8 seats five people, and all of them will be comfortable. Both rows of seats are spacious, and the rear seats have an excellent amount of legroom. What's more, there are many seating upgrades that will make your A8 experience even better, such as heated and ventilated seats, massaging seats, and premium leather upholstery.
A8 and Car Seats
You can take your kids to soccer practice in style thanks to the A8's two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors. Almost any type of car seat will fit with ease thanks to the huge rear seats, but you might have trouble connecting the seat because the lower anchors are hard to access.
A8 Interior Quality
The 2017 A8 has one of the nicest cabins of any car on the market. The design is eye-catching and handsome, and the interior is filled with premium materials. The leather and real wood across most surfaces provide an air of elegance befitting a premium luxury sedan.
A8 Cargo Space
The Audi A8 has just over 14 cubic feet of trunk space, which is smaller than virtually every other trunk in the class. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has nearly 19 cubic feet of trunk space, and the Porsche Panamera has nearly 16 cubic feet with the rear seats up (the Panamera is a hatchback with a maximum cargo capacity of 44.6 cubic feet with the seats down). Still, the A8 has enough space for a weekly trip to the grocery store or a cooler and a couple of chairs if you're heading out on a picnic.
A8 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
The 2017 A8 is getting a little up there in years (it hasn't been redesigned since 2011), and that shows up in the MMI infotainment system. It doesn't have the level of smartphone integration that some rival systems do (the A8 isn't available with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), and its touch-screen display doesn't respond to pinch or swipe movements. However, if you don't mind that it's a little stale, the MMI system is still intuitive, and the A8 has some other excellent technology, including a navigation system that's among the best.
A8 Engine: If Some Horsepower Is Good, More Is Better
The 2017 A8 comes standard with a 333-horsepower supercharged V6 engine. A 450-horsepower V8 engine is available. The V6 has enough juice to handle any typical driving situation, but the V8 really stands out for its overall power and acceleration.
If neither of those engines is enough for you, check out the performance-oriented S8 model, which features a turbocharged V8 that produces an otherworldly 605 horsepower. The S8 moves so fast that you'll think it runs on cheetah blood; it goes from zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, and its top speed is 190 mph.
A8 Gas Mileage: It Won't Kill You at the Pump
The Audi A8 gets outstanding fuel economy for a super luxury car. The base engine is the most efficient, earning 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Some rivals get gas mileage that's almost as good as the A8's, like the Porsche Panamera (18 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway). Others are noticeably worse, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (18/26 mpg city/highway).
A8 Ride and Handling: Cushioned and Poised
The A8 has excellent road grip thanks to its standard all-wheel drive. It also handles well for a car that's primarily a comfortable cruiser. Though it can't match the athleticism of the Porsche Panamera, it's more nimble than competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Despite that agility, the A8 still delivers the supple ride you expect from a super luxury vehicle.
Is the Audi A8 Reliable?
The 2017 Audi A8 gets a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates. Though that is an above-average rating overall (a rating of three out of five is considered average), it is actually a bit low for a vehicle in this class. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a rating of four, and the Porsche Panamera has a rating of 4.5.
Audi A8 Warranty
Audi backs the 2017 A8 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. Those are the same warranty terms you'll get on many other cars in the class, including the S-Class and the Panamera.
A8 Crash Test Results
Most super luxury cars, including the Audi A8, have not been put through crash tests.
A8 Safety Features
Though you might expect a car like the A8 to be swimming in driver assistance features, it actually only comes standard with a rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors. Many class competitors come with one or both of those, but some rivals come with more features. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic braking, and driver drowsiness monitoring.
The A8 does have several more active safety features available, including a 360-degree camera system, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, a night vision assistant, and Audi pre sense. This system prepares the vehicle for impact by shutting windows and tightening seat belts if it detects that a crash is imminent.
Which Audi A8 Model Is Right for Me?
The 2017 Audi A8 has three main trim options, and the base trim has a starting price of $82,500. That's more expensive than class rivals like the Lexus LS and Jaguar XF, but it's similar to the BMW 7 Series’ starting price. The Porsche Panamera’s starting price is about $2,500 more, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class far outpaces the rest of the class with a starting price of $96,600.
Of the A8's trims, the A8 4.0 is the best value. Starting at $91,500, it gives you a powerful V8 engine with 117 horsepower more than the base V6 and sacrifices very little in the way of fuel efficiency. The 4.0 is available with pretty much every feature offered in the A8; getting it fully loaded carries a price tag shy of $120,000. In other words, you get everything offered in the S8 except the engine, and you get it for about the S8's base price.
The Audi A8 has a base price of $82,500, which is moderate for a vehicle in this class. There are several option packages to choose from. The Executive package has a net cost of $1,500 (it costs more than that, but it comes with a credit) and includes blind spot monitoring, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated rear seats, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, and pre sense rear. The Luxury package ($2,800) includes premium leather and improved cabin materials. The Rear Seat Comfort package ($2,500) includes ventilated and massaging rear seats. The Driver Assistance package ($2,250) adds adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and pre sense plus.
The base A8 features a V6 engine, but you can get an A8 with a V8 engine starting at $91,500. The A8 4.0 offers many of the same packages as the base model, but there are a couple of others as well. There are two design packages that each cost $5,900 and add upgraded interior materials. You can add a Bang & Olufsen audio system for $6,300, a night vision assistant for $2,300, and a rear-seat entertainment system for $3,000.
The S8 has a starting price of $115,900. It offers some of the same options as the A8 4.0, including the Bang & Olufsen audio system, rear-seat entertainment system, and night vision assistant. There are also a few packages that you can't get in the A8. The S8 Cold Weather package ($750) adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. There are three separate design packages and the Full Leather package for $5,500 each. The S8 also offers the Dynamic package for $11,000, which includes ceramic brakes and a sport exhaust and increases the top speed to 190 mph (up from an electronically limited 155 mph).
The Final Call
There are plenty of reasons to buy the 2017 Audi A8. It does a great job of combining performance and luxury, and it gets good gas mileage despite having a powerful engine lineup. There's also a performance-oriented model, the S8, for the true speed freaks out there. The A8's cabin is among the best in the class as well. There are quality materials throughout, and the rear seats have a lot of legroom. Even the drawbacks are minimal; the infotainment system is older than some rival systems, and the trunk is smaller than most competitors' trunks.
Still, if you're looking at spending this much money on a car, you don't want to make a bad decision. With that in mind, it's worth your time to consider your alternatives. The Porsche Panamera offers interior luxury and the best performance in the class, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class provides arguably the most opulent interior of any vehicle on the market. Every car in this class is excellent, so the right one for you is largely a matter of personal preference. Either way, the A8 is a fine choice.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "For the ultimate in executive luxury, Audi's A8 and S8 sedans for 2017 are the pinnacle of reserved elegance. The A8 doesn't stand out like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series do, and that's just how owners like it. With its standard all-wheel drive and choice of supercharged and turbocharged engines, the 2017 Audi A8's performance credentials are never in doubt. The A8 may be aging, but it's doing so well with a stunningly gorgeous interior filled with the most ostentatious features money can buy. And while we lament the loss of the TDI and W12 engines this year, there is still the superb S8 that combines all the luxury and elegance of the A8 Sport with 605 unruly horses under the hood." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "From its exquisitely detailed interior to its choice of powerful yet well-mannered engines, this A8 continues to hold its own among the world's best. Throw in unusually responsive handling and you've got an enduringly appealing automobile, regardless of the gee-whiz advancements that next year will surely bring." -- Edmunds
- "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
Research Prices: 2017 Audi A8
Over 75,000 car shoppers have purchased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,279 off MSRP across vehicles. See what others paid for the Audi A8 and get upfront pricing to make sure you don't overpay. Learn More »