2017 Audi A8


$35,414 - $60,951

2017 Audi A8 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Audi A8 was new.


Performance: 9.0

The A8 provides an excellent blend of performance and comfort on the road. Every engine is energetic, though the performance-oriented S8 takes things to a whole new level. All-wheel drive is standard, giving the A8 excellent road grip, and it remains poised around turns. Through it all, the A8 delivers the supple ride you want from a luxury car.

  • "The big Audi's suspension smooths out the roughest of pavement, and the cabin remains as quiet as a crypt over a variety of surfaces and at highway speeds. This desirable combination of world-class comfort and athletic handling sets the 2016 Audi A8 apart in this class." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The A8's 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 provides seemingly unending bursts of power, and all of its functions, even the fuel-saving engine stop/start feature, work seamlessly." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Its aluminum-intensive construction allows the big Audi to waft along the road feeling much lighter, smaller, and more tossable than any full-size luxury sedan has a right to." -- Motor Trend (2013)

Acceleration and Power

There are a few engines to choose from when selecting an A8, all of which are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 333 horsepower. It provides plenty of power for any driving situation, but there is an optional 4.0-liter V8 that produces 450 horsepower if you really want to put other cars to shame.

You also have one more choice: you can opt for the performance-oriented S8, which features a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that puts out an obscene 605 horsepower. The S8 may just embarrass a few sports cars, too; it has a top speed of 190 mph and goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

When it comes to fuel economy, the base engine is the best of the bunch. It gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. However, the 450-horsepower V8 is only marginally worse; it gets 18 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, which is just one more reason to consider the upgrade. The S8 trails the others by a fair bit. It gets just 15/24 mpg city/highway. All A8 models require premium gasoline, which is commonly the case for luxury vehicles.

  • "With its seemingly endless power and surprisingly good fuel economy, the V8-equipped 4.0T Sport is our favorite in the 2017 Audi A8 lineup. Of course, the supercharged V6 in the A8 3.0T provides brisk response in pretty much any driving situation, but the V8 model gets up to speed with such grace and confidence that we're pretty sure you'll be smitten with it. Indeed, it's thrilling enough to stand in for the pricier S8 performance model, unless you simply must have the fastest A8 variant." -- Edmunds
  • "The Sport trim's 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 is the best engine choice for this big sedan, delivering effortless acceleration and enviable passing power without too much of a penalty at the pump." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The A8 is available with a choice of two forced induction engines. There's also the … S8 for those in search of rocketship acceleration." -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

All-wheel drive is standard in the A8, as is an adaptive suspension that adjusts to road conditions to deliver a smoother ride. Though it's first and foremost a luxury cruiser, the A8 has a sporty side to it. It handles corners well, and there isn't a lot of body roll. These things are especially true of the high-performance S8 model. All in all, the A8 handles like a smaller vehicle and still provides the superbly cushioned ride you expect from a high-end luxury car.

  • "Calling Audi's full-size 2017 A8 a luxury sedan may be a bit deceptive, as this big cruiser is also quite the performer. Standard quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) coupled with a sophisticated 5-link front suspension helps the A8 round curves with utter confidence, and when the road gets rough the A8's adaptive air suspension has your backside. The air suspension can be set to the self-explanatory Comfort mode, or moved to the Dynamic setting for a firmer, more sporting ride. The system can also be switched to Automatic mode, which lets a clever and very quick-reacting computer pick the perfect setting." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Standard all-wheel drive provides sure-footed roadholding all year round, while the well-tuned suspension and intuitive steering response allow this big sedan to go around tight turns like a smaller car. Drivers with high expectations for performance and handling should be quite happy with the Audi A8. What's more, the A8 still delivers the superb ride comfort expected of an elite luxury sedan. The standard air suspension smooths out rough pavement with ease, and the cabin remains quiet as a crypt." -- Edmunds
  • "The A8 is fitted as standard with a full air suspension that contributes to the expected pillowy ride but also provides unusually deft handling. Dynamics can be further tightened up with the optional Sport Plus Package, which brings adaptive dampers, dynamic steering a rear sport differential that sends torque to the outside rear wheel in turns to quell understeer." -- Left Lane News

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