Audi's flagship sedan, the A8 continues to impress us with its museum-quality interior and array of powerful engines. You also get indulgent passenger room and standard all-wheel drive, which makes the A8 something of bargain among top-tier luxury sedans.
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2017 Audi A8 Overview
What's New for 2017
Models equipped with the gasoline V6 now come standard with 20-inch wheels and sporty S-line exterior trim.
Choosing Your Audi A8
Audi discontinued the regular-length A8 last year, so every example now rides on a 122.9-inch wheelbase for outstanding rear-seat comfort. While all Audi products boast highly refined interiors, none is as opulent or serene as the A8's. Once you settle behind the wheel, there's no doubt you're driving the flagship of a luxury brand.
- The engine roster starts with a supercharged 3-liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower.
- Next up is a 3-liter turbodiesel V6 (TDI) with 240 horsepower, but significantly more torque. It's the efficiency champ of the line, achieving 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
- Also on tap is a turbocharged 4-liter V8 that lays down 435 horsepower.
- The top choice is a 500-horsepower 6.3-liter V12, the only non-turbo engine in the line.
All four engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Trim levels correspond to engine choice:
Individual options for all models include night vision, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and your choice of interior trim finishes.
All four of the A8's available engine are impressive in their own way. If you value efficiency over performance, the TDI is your ticket to happiness in a large luxury sedan. Otherwise, the powerful and well-mannered 4.0T feels about right for a car of this caliber.
2017 Audi A8 Review
Flagship luxury sedans sell in small numbers and are easily outpaced by mainstay midsize sedans and crossovers. Yet, these opulent models remain important to each manufacturer as they set the tone for the remainder of the product line.
The Audi A8 is one such full-size luxury sedan, battling with Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, BMW, and Lexus to serve a very discriminating market. Audi offers only the long-wheelbase version in the US market, thus this model is officially known as the Audi A8 L. Although available as an all-wheel drive model only, Audi’s largest sedan weighs less than the competition thanks to an all-aluminum body and frame.
Pricing and Equipment
Two trims are available in the 2017 Audi A8 L: 3.0 TFSI and 4.0 TFSI Sport. A high-performance variant, dubbed S8 plus, is marketed separately.
The standard model is powered by a 3-liter supercharged V6 engine making 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. This model has a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds and gets an estimated 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
The upper trim is powered by a 4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine making 450 horsepower and 444 pound-feet of torque. This model has a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and gets an estimated 18 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The two 2017 Audi A8 L trims are priced as follows: 3.0 TFSI ($82,500) and 4.0 TFSI Sport ($91,500).
Various packages and options are available, depending on the trim. For instance, the standard model offers an Executive package ($6,900) featuring a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats with massage function, heated rear seats, a head-up display, and multiple driver assist safety upgrades.
A Luxury package ($2,800) brings in upgraded leather seating and an Alcantara headliner. Other packages include Rear Seat Comfort ($2,500), Driver Assistance ($2,250), and Dynamic ($2,500), the latter bringing in a sport differential and dynamic steering. Black Optic and 21-inch wheel packages add $1,000 and $1,200, respectively.
The top trim level has its own packages, including Balao Brown and Vermont Brown interior design collections, $5,900 each. The Rear Seat Comfort ($2,500), Driver Assistance ($2,250), Dynamic ($2,500), and wheel packages ($1,000-$1,200) remain available.
Individual options include a Bang & Olufsen sound system ($6,300), night vision ($2,300), and a rear-seat entertainment system ($3,000).
Package prices may vary according to trim and are subject to change. Vehicle prices do not reflect a $950 destination charge.
- The supercharged V6 may be the only engine you need. It offers sufficient kick when you need it and does so without the added cost of the twin-turbo V8.
- For customers wanting optimum performance, it's hard to overlook the beefy V8. The sedan’s performance rivals that of sport coupes, and yet it achieves above average-highway fuel economy.
- Due to emissions concerns, the efficient turbodiesel engine is no longer offered. No fix has been devised yet, so the two gasoline engines as your only choices this year.
- The front seats are nothing short of magnificent, offering outstanding comfort supplemented by up to 22 ways to adjust the seats.
- Opt for the available Bang & Olufsen audio package and enjoy symphony hall-like quality. It also does an admirable job of offsetting tire noise.
- The available two-panel panoramic sunroof brightens the interior and makes it seem even larger than it already is. Importantly, the sunroof has no adverse effect on headroom.
- The Audi’s trunk measures 13.2 cubic feet, and that’s smaller than the midsize A6's. On the plus side, its long lid provides a wide opening for ease of access.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The rear seat compartment offers excellent room thanks to the extended wheelbase. The prize, however, is found in the adjustable seats, including the right-side position with a foot rest. Sit on the left side and you’ll enjoy both recline and massage functions.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The standard or short wheelbase version of the Audi A8 is no longer available. Audi’s chief competitors offer standard and extended choices, but Audi customers are now limited to the longer offering only.
The Bottom Line
As flagships go, the Audi A8 L holds the brand banner high. If you opt for the top trim as well as each of the many package choices offered, your final price will top $115,000. While price isn't a major concern for buyers shopping in this league, significant savings can be achieved by sticking with the standard supercharged V6 engine and completing your sedan from there.
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