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2018 Audi A8 Review

A lackluster infotainment system is one of the few strikes against the 2018 Audi A8, which is otherwise opulent and athletic. Audi’s flagship sedan places in the middle of our super luxury car rankings.

7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Overall: 7.4
Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.6
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Sumptuous, spacious seats
  • Powerful engines
  • Balanced handling
  • Small trunk
  • Mediocre infotainment system

Is the 2018 Audi A8 a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Audi A8 sedan is a fabulous used car. Its relatively low average price, along with its first-class interior and appealing array of standard features, make this a good value for the super luxury car segment.

The 2018 Audi A8 has many strengths:

  • List prices are often lower than competitors’
  • Supremely comfortable seats with lots of adjustments
  • Capacious back seat with generous amount of legroom
  • Luxurious interior
  • Meaty engines
  • Agile handling and balanced suspension system make this car feel smaller than it is

It has only a couple shortcomings:

  • Tiny trunk for a car this size
  • Infotainment system has dated appearance
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Audi A8 review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Audi A8?

Based on listings for the 2018 Audi A8 on our site, the average price is $64,700. Prices range from $56,700 to $68,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Audi A8 Cost to Own?

The 2018 A8’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $35,030, or $7,006 per year. That’s less than our five-year estimates for the 2018 BMW 7 Series and 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New A8?

The new Audi A8 has been fully redesigned for 2019, with fresh styling inside and out. One of its newest available features is a state-of-the-art predictive active suspension system that enhances the car's ride and adjusts the chassis to better protect occupants in a collision. Also, the infotainment system in the new A8 gets a much-needed update, with Audi replacing the outdated tech with a stunning new interface. The price of a 2019 Audi A8 starts at around $84,000, which is significantly higher than the $64,700 average list price for a used 2018 A8. You can potentially save thousands of dollars by picking a used A8, but you'll be missing out on some significant enhancements.

Read about the new Audi A8 »

The 2018 A8 belongs to a generation that was launched for 2011. Updates in recent model years include the elimination of the short-wheelbase body style for 2016, with the long-wheelbase model (designated "L") becoming standard. Audi discontinued the W12 12-cylinder engine and TDI diesel engine for 2017 and made no major changes for 2018. For the most part, you can comfortably shop the later years of this generation and get a nearly identical vehicle.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 A8 »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Audi A8?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 A8 a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about A8 reliability »

2018 Audi A8 Recalls

At the time of writing, there was one recall for the 2018 Audi A8:

  • A fuel rail that may be improperly welded may result in a fuel leak

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Audi A8 safety recalls »

Which Used Audi A8 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Audi A8 sedan comes in three trims: A8 L 3.0, the A8 L 4.0, and S8 Plus. The L stands for long-wheelbase body, and the number denotes which engine is under the hood. The Audi S8 Plus is the range-topping trim, both in terms of horsepower and price, and it has a shorter wheelbase than the A8 L. Each of the three trim levels uses a different engine, and each comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

For the best blend of performance and refinement, we recommend the A8 L 4.0. This model is superb at pampering driver and passengers alike, with massaging seats and a panoramic sunroof among its standard indulgences. Additionally, its 450-horsepower V8 engine launches this luxury sedan with gusto.

  • Audi A8 L 3.0: The A8 L 3.0 is the base trim, but there's nothing entry-level about it. It comes outfitted with leather upholstery, heated 18-way power-adjustable front seats, quad-zone automatic climate control, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, a sunroof, a navigation system, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors. It's powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. When new, several packages were available, including the Executive, which boasts niceties such as massaging front seats, heated rear seats, and a panoramic sunroof. It also includes numerous safety features like a top-view camera system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, and Pre Sense Plus, which activates braking and seat-belt tensioners if it senses an impending collision.
  • Audi A8 L 4.0: The A8 L 4.0 features a 4.0-liter V8 engine, a panoramic sunroof, an Alcantara headliner, upgraded leather upholstery, and front seats that include ventilation, massage, and 22-way power adjustments. Available packages include the Executive Plus, which adds ventilated and massaging rear seats along with safety features such as active lane assist and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.
  • Audi S8 Plus: The S8 Plus is the top-of-the-line model. Putting out 605 horsepower, its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine is more powerful than the A8 L 4.0 version, and it also has a sport exhaust system. Otherwise, its standard features list closely mirrors that of the A8 3.0. However, many more packages and options were available for the S8 Plus when it was new, including several design selections, a suite of advanced safety features, night vision assistant, and an upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system. The S8 Plus is the only model in the lineup to feature the shorter, standard wheelbase configuration.

See 2018 Audi A8 trims and specs »

What Does Audi’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Audi’s certified pre-owned vehicles are five years old or less and have fewer than 60,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale’s date. Qualifying vehicles bought under the new car warranty have coverage until five years from the vehicle’s original in-service date with no mileage limitation. Certified pre-owned Audis bought after the new car warranty has ended enjoy an additional one-year/unlimited mileage comprehensive warranty. The two warranties differ in important ways, and there may be additional services like roadside assistance, so read Audi’s warranty page carefully. Audi CPO models must pass an inspection covering 300-plus points.

This is a typical level of coverage for a luxury sedan. Brands with more robust CPO programs include Lexus and Porsche.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Audi certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the A8?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put the 2018 Audi A8 through crash tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • front and rear parking sensors

Available advanced safety features:

  • bird's-eye view camera system
  • adaptive cruise control
  • blind spot monitoring
  • lane keep assist
  • head-up display
  • Audi Pre Sense (forward collision warning)
  • night vision assistant

See A8 safety scores »

2018 Audi A8 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Audi A8 or 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

Mercedes-Benz's reputation for tendering some of the finest interiors in the industry is owed, in part, to the opulent S-Class. In addition to cabin indulgences, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes with lots of advanced safety features, and it has a lineup of robust engines. You'll pay dearly for these advancements though, as the S-Class' average list price is almost $32,000 more than the A8's. If you can't afford the higher price tag of the Mercedes, the Audi is an excellent runner-up.

Which Is Better: 2018 Audi A8 or 2018 BMW 7 Series?

The 2018 BMW 7 Series is one of the few entries in the super luxury car segment that has similar used car prices to the Audi. Much like the A8, the 7 Series features lively, meaty performance. However, this BMW has a leg up on the Audi when it comes to high-tech infotainment offerings, trunk space, and predicted reliability. Of the two, the 7 Series is the better buy.

Compare the A8, S-Class, and 7 Series »

2018 A8 Performance

How Does the 2018 Audi A8 Drive?

This may be a large car, but nothing weighs down the A8 when you press the gas pedal. Its powertrains deliver brisk acceleration and feel refined as you put them through their paces. The base V6 engine holds its own, but if you want something more aggressive, the midlevel A8 4.0 is a satisfying stand-in for the pricey S8 Plus.

The A8's nimble handling also makes this car feel small and easy to drive. It's more athletic than most, yet its ride is silky smooth, thanks in part to its standard air suspension system.

  • Base engine: 333-horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 (A8 L 3.0)
  • Available engines:
    • 450-horsepower turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (A8 L 4.0)
    • 605-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (S8 Plus)
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Audi A8 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The fuel economy rating for the base supercharged A8 engine is typical for a super luxury car. Gas mileage drops and annual fuel expenses increase as you move up the trim levels. Compared to the base powertrain, the A8 4.0 costs the average driver an extra $350 at the gas pump each year, while the S8 adds another $550 to your yearly fuel expenses.

  • A8 L 3.0: 19/29 mpg city/highway
  • A8 L 4.0: 16/26 mpg
  • S8 Plus: 14/24 mpg

Read more about A8 performance »

2018 A8 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 A8 Seat?

The 2018 A8 seats five people. The front seats are superb and boast 18 power adjustments (22 in the upgraded seats). The long-wheelbase A8 L has scads of legroom for the rear seats, and even short-wheelbase S8s have enough room in the back to please most adults.

This cabin is definitely fitting for a super luxury car. Examples of top-shelf materials include supple leather seats, genuine wood inlays, and aluminum trim.

Standard seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated 18-way power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • premium leather upholstery
  • heated steering wheel
  • upgraded front seats with ventilation, massage, and 22-way power adjustments
  • executive-style rear seats with heat, ventilation, massage, and power adjustments
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Audi A8?

The 2018 A8 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats. The lower anchors are deeply recessed in the cushions, and the plastic covers on the tether anchors are flimsy.

2018 Audi A8 Features

The Audi A8 sedan's infotainment system is user-friendly, but it doesn't feel very high-tech, especially compared to the system that comes in the 2019 model. Though it lacks favorites such as Apple CarPlay, the interface itself is straightforward. The standard navigation system has stunning graphics, and the touchpad recognizes handwriting, allowing you to quickly input address information.

  • Standard infotainment features: Audi's MMI infotainment interface, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, an in-dash DVD player, navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and iPod integration
  • Available infotainment features: a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual 10-inch screens
  • Additional standard features: quad-zone automatic climate control and a sunroof
  • Other available features: a panoramic sunroof

See 2018 Audi A8 specs »

Read more about A8 interior »

2018 Audi A8 Dimensions

Audi A8 Cargo Space

The A8's 14.2-cubic-foot trunk provides enough space for about three or four medium-to-large pieces of luggage, and its standard hands-free trunk lid is a godsend when both hands are full. Compared with other super luxury cars, however, this is a small trunk. For example, the 2018 Lexus LS has 17 cubic feet of trunk space.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Audi A8 Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 10.6 inches to 17 feet, 3.4 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,464 to 4,685 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Audi A8 Built?

Audi built the 2018 A8 in Germany.

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