Audi debuted the 2019 A8 in July, showing off its upcoming Level 3 automated driving technology and 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain. Despite all these technological upgrades, Audi is still Audi, and it kept the stylistic changes in this new-generation mild. Can the A8’s tech upgrades push buyers to look beyond the mild styling changes in the new generation? Continue reading to find out.

Best Value

The 2019 Audi A8 won't feature traditional trim levels like many vehicles. Instead, it will come as a single trim with an array of packages and standalone options to spruce things up. The base Audi A8 L 3.0 TSFI will come loaded with tons of luxury and tech items, including heated 18-way power front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a Valetta leather interior with Fine Nappa extended leather, gloss-black touch-sensitive buttons with haptic feedback, dual display screens, myAudi app, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 19-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, and LED headlights and taillights.

The big news on the 2019 A8 is the new Level 3 automated driving, so you’ll want to maximize this new tech with the $2,750 Driver Assistance Package, which also requires the $4,150 Executive Package.

  • Model: 2019 Audi A8 L 3.0 TSFI
  • Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6
  • Output: 335 hp / 369 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: Not yet available
  • Options: Driver Assistance Package ($2,750, adaptive cruise control, predictive efficiency assist, intersection assist, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping assist), Executive Package ($4,150, Audi side assist with exit warning and rear cross-traffic alert, collision warning, automatic emergency braking, Audi phone box, topview camera, park assist with surround-view camera, a head-up display, 22-way front seat adjustment, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated steering wheel)
  • Base Price: $84,795 (including a $995 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$91,695

Performance

Audi A8

The 2019 Audi A8’s Level 3 autonomous driving system allows the driver to let the car drive itself at speeds of up to 37 mph, leading to less stressful commutes. When you're in control, the A8’s 335-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 delivers enough power to launch this big sedan to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds and up to a 130 mph top speed.

Comfort and handling are also front and center on the 2019 A8 – its standard adaptive air suspension system that adjusts to road conditions every 18 seconds is evidence of this focus.

On the downside, though, local laws limit where you can legally use the Level 3 automated driving features. Plus, the optional V8 engine won’t be available until later in production, and there are no plans for a W12 engine.

Style

Audi did a great job reworking the interior, eliminating virtually all the buttons that cluttered things up and replacing them with touch-sensitive buttons. There are also premium materials slathered all over the 2019 A8’s cabin, enveloping you and your passengers in luxury. While those touch-sensitive buttons clean up the clutter, some vehicles have failed in making them easy to use, making them more of a distraction than anything. The jury is still out on Audi’s execution of these buttons.

Thanks to its long wheelbase, leg room is plentiful at 41.5 inches up front and a whopping 44.3 inches in the rear. For such a large sedan, trunk space is limited at just 12.5 cubic feet, and you cannot lower the rear seats for additional room. Also, while most Audi buyers are used to the lack of stylistic changes, new buyers to the brand may not appreciate the mild styling evolution the 2019 A8 went through.

The Best and Worst Things

The upcoming Level 3 autonomous driving functions are huge and can revolutionize the industry and the daily commute.

The 12.5-cubic-foot trunk is a head-scratcher as there are compact sedans with significantly more luggage capacity.

Right For? Wrong For?

Audi A8

The 2019 Audi A8 is perfect for the professional who often shuttles around business associates. With its large rear seats, it's also great for those who frequently use a professional driver and spend most of their time in the rear seats.

Despite its size, Audi didn’t tune the 2018 A8 for families due to its tight trunk that'll struggle to hold sports equipment or the entire family's luggage for a weekend trip.

The Bottom Line

Audi isn't one for significant visual changes, but for what the 2019 Audi A8 lacks in visual upgrades, it gains in tech updates. This modern technical marvel is a glimpse into the future of driving and will serve as a great real-life tester for future automated driving advancements in the mass market. The problem is the A8 is a huge, expensive luxury car with limited family-friendly capabilities, so its target market will be limited to just businesspeople looking for a posh sedan.