Glow Up For 2022. Now that automakers make luxury SUVs in all shapes and sizes, the large luxury sedan class is more cutthroat than ever. To stay competitive in the class, the 2022 Audi A8 and S8 arrive with some noteworthy updates.

Unlike last year, the A8 is only available in one trim level and with one powertrain for a more streamlined lineup. Both the A8 and S8 receive updated designs for a more aggressive look thanks to a reshaped grille that takes up more real estate on the front end, updated exterior lighting, and more angular front and rear fascias. You’ll continue to find four exhaust outlets on the S8, which act as the main differentiator between the two vehicles as both now wear similar body kits.

It's nice to see the A8 arrive with an updated design, but the sedan still looks too similar to the brand’s more affordable offerings like the A4 and A6. In a segment that includes the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Genesis G90, and Lexus LS, the A8’s safe design feels like a letdown.

Interior Fit For Royalty. While the A8 and S8’s exterior designs aren’t for everyone, their interiors are lavish enough to feel fit for kings and queens. Audi only brings the long-wheelbase models to the U.S. and we aren’t complaining about that. Both sedans offer an incredibly generous amount of interior space with 44.3 inches of rear legroom.

For an even more lavish feel, the sedans are available with seating for up to four with rear seats that feel like thrones. With this option ticked, the rear seats can be equipped with a massaging function, heating and ventilation, power-reclining footrests, a heated foot massage function, and individual entertainment tablets. With high-quality materials and a hushed interior, you’ll never want to leave.

Bursting With Tech. As Audi’s flagship sedan, the A8 and S8 come packed with all of the latest tech features you could ever expect to see in a car. For some, it might be too much technology. Learning how to use all of the car’s tech features can be daunting, as there’s a steep learning curve.

The A8 comes standard with a 10.1-inch upper touchscreen, an 8.6-inch lower touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Together, these screens give the sedan a modern design, especially with the limited number of physical controls. The only analog control is a volume knob on the center console, requiring owners to go through the infotainment system for the majority of the vehicle’s controls.

You’ll also find that the A8 comes with a lengthy list of standard safety features, with things like night vision assist, traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert. Intersection assist is optional. The A8 and S8 are also available with Audi’s Traffic Jam Assist system that can help handle a lot of driving tasks on the highway.

Weak Base Engine, Strong Optional Powertrain. When it comes to powertrains, the A8 can’t match its rivals. The base powertrain includes a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that makes 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. These figures are low for the class and result in slower acceleration than rivals.

The S8 provides much stronger performance thanks to its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that’s rated at 563 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. While the base A8 can get to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, the S8 takes 3.8 seconds to complete the same sprint. With the 7-Series offering up to 601 hp and the previous-gen AMG S63 having up to 603 hp, the S8 is also behind its rivals, but the gap isn’t that large in the real world.

Final Thoughts. The 2022 Audi A8 and S8 aren’t nearly as striking as their rivals and don’t offer nearly the same performance, but spoil occupants with similar levels of luxury, technology, and comfort. For people that like to fly under the radar and have high-tech vehicles with spacious cabins, the A8 and S8 are among the best.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to be the best choice in the segment. Nearly as opulent as far more expensive machines, bursting with tech features, far easier to drive than most rivals, the S-Class does things others in the segment can’t.

The Genesis G90 isn’t the most conventional choice, but it’s a value-priced option with a stunning design and smooth powertrains. Isn’t quite as luxurious as its competitors and isn’t available with the same tech, but is more than enough for most people.

Check prices for the 2022 Audi A8 »