2019 Audi A8 Expert Review

Editor's Overview

Audi’s commitment to cutting-edge technology has resulted in advances in safety, connectivity and driving dynamics. Now, the all-new 2019 Audi A8 goes a step further by using tech to create serene luxury -- a calm, welcoming environment for driver and passengers alike. The Audi A8, an attractively styled, roomy luxury sedan, artfully balances comfort and performance. It competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS.

You'll Like The 2019 Audi A8 If...

Crisp, clean styling, a modern, intuitive interior, and some of the most cutting-edge yet easy-to-use technology await in the 2019 Audi A8. This sedan is fun to drive and smooth, with a comfortable, quiet cabin that will please even the grouchiest executive.

You May Not Like The 2019 Audi A8 If...

Not everyone who buys a luxury car wants a tech-heavy interior. The Audi’s controls are easy to use, but there’s still a learning curve. If you want stare-inducing styling, you may want to consider another brand. The base engine has plenty of oomph, but power-hungry types may want to wait for the V8 variant to arrive.

What's New

Everything about the 2019 Audi A8 is new, including engine choices that include mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, as well as new interior, technology and safety systems. The new A8 has sharper styling, too -- even though it strongly resembles that of the previous A8, it takes cues from Audi’s forward-looking Prologue concept.

Interior Features

With the all-new A8, Audi’s goal was to create serene luxury, and you can experience that from every seat in this 4- or 5-passenger sedan. Colors, materials and design are elegant and high-quality, and exude a clean, modern look. All A8s sold in America will be long-wheelbase models, and the biggest beneficiaries of that are rear-seat passengers, who get to stretch their legs, settle into the elegant leather seats, and relax.

You can choose your preferred level of opulent relaxation, which reaches its pinnacle with the Executive Rear Seat Comfort Package. That includes power heated seats with lumbar support, footrests, and folding tables that stow away in a long leather center console. The right-rear passenger can recline even more than the left-rear passenger, and benefits from an available footrest with heat and massage functions. Rear-seat passengers can choose their ideal type of back massage through a smartphone-sized touch-screen, and front passengers can benefit from 22-way power-adjustable seats.

Exterior Features

The Audi A8’s design has typically been elegant and low-key. It’s finely tailored, like a classic tux, not a brazen in-your-face statement. The 2019 model continues that tradition, but adds flair inspired by the company’s Prologue concept. In front, there’s a wide, flat grille flanked by LED matrix headlights. Every A8 sold in America has an A8 L badge, because all of them will be long-wheelbase models -- only global markets receive the standard-length wheelbase. The 2019 Audi A8’s bodylines are sharper than in previous models, and the fenders and low stance make the Audi look more muscular. You can get 19- or 20-inch wheels. In back, sharpened lines are enhanced by LED taillights, with available animated OLED taillights.

Driving Impressions

With the 2019 A8, Audi’s goal is to provide an experience that provides serene luxury, and from the powertrain to the interior layout and amenities, the automaker has succeeded. Initially, the sole engine available is a new 335-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that serves as an additional power source for some of the car’s systems and accessories, smooths out power with initial acceleration, and adds torque assist when necessary. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, and the engine comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Everything about the A8 is smooth and accommodating, and power delivery is no exception. The V6 has plenty of power for this 4,700-pound car, but it isn’t the quickest engine/transmission combination in the large luxury sedan segment – and won’t be the most powerful in the 2019 Audi A8 when a V8 and a plug-in hybrid go on sale. The mild-hybrid system worked flawlessly and wasn’t noticeable as it performed in the background. Available all-wheel steering makes the A8’s turning radius like that of a much smaller car. Ride quality is pleasant, and miles easily tick by.

The seats, door panels, and dash use gorgeous, well-crafted materials in beautiful color combinations, and the cabin is wonderfully quiet. The interior is clean and uncluttered, yet filled with useful technology that’s there when you want to use it. Audi’s virtual cockpit, a configurable digital gauge cluster set within a high-resolution 12.3-inch display, had gauges on each side and a clear, easy-to-see layout of the Google Earth map. The new MMI Touch Response system uses dual stacked screens (instead of a knob), which when you make a selection, offers a noticeable click-feel as if you’re pushing a button.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Audi A8 L has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $84,795, including destination charges. There are no trim levels -- you add on packages and standalone options to create your ideal Audi A8. In comparison, the all-wheel-drive BMW 740i xDrive starts at $87,645, the AWD Lexus LS starts at $79,445, and the Mercedes-Benz S450 4Matic starts at $95,245. You can easily add $20,000 worth of options to the A8 if you so desire, and Audi hasn’t announced pricing when the Audi A8 comes equipped with the V8 or plug-in hybrid, either of which will raise the MSRP.

Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new A8. As far as resale value is concerned, the breadth of powertrain, technology, and safety changes, plus the newness of this sedan, make it too early to determine how its resale value will compare to that of its competitive set. However, historically, the Lexus LS tends to offer the best resale value in the segment.

Notable Equipment

The standard equipment list on the 2019 Audi A8 is extensive. In addition to the V6 mild-hybrid engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, and Quattro all-wheel drive, all sedans come with 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, headlight washers, adaptive air suspension, a hands-free power trunk lid, and auto-dimming and power-folding heated side mirrors. Leather, 18-way power adjustable heated front seats, 4-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and power rear and rear side-window sunshades greet Audi A8 passengers. Bang & Olufsen audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, navigation, the Audi virtual cockpit, and a 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, plus a power-adjustable tilt/telescoping steering column, are also standard.

Notable Options

The 2019 Audi A8 offers option packages that let you choose the type and level of luxury you want. An executive package adds 22-way power front seats, wireless smartphone charging, a head-up display, an expanded roster of safety features, ventilated, massaging front seats, a 360-degree top-view camera system, and a heated steering wheel. A cold-weather package adds adaptive windshield wipers and heated seats. Adaptive cruise control, turn assist and active lane assist are offered.

You can get front and rear ventilated, heated massaging seats and keep 5-passenger seating. Going with a 4-passenger layout places a leather center console in the rear with a SmartRemote control, plus folding tables and a right-passenger relaxation seat with a heated, massaging footrest. A connectivity package adds two 10.1-inch removable tablets for rear-seat passengers. Stand-alone options include all-wheel steering, night-vision assistant, 20-inch wheels with summer tires, and a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Favorite Features

CURRENT AND FUTURE SAFETY TECH

Currently available: an extensive slate of features, including Adaptive Cruise Assist (which keeps the A8 a safe distance from the car ahead and centered in the lane), front cross-traffic detection, exit assist that can keep you from opening the car door if another vehicle is approaching, and emergency assist, which will bring the car to a stop if the driver is unresponsive. On the horizon: Audi’s Pre Sense Side system. In low-speed situations (up to about 20 mph), it senses when an object is coming toward the car from the right of left side, and in milliseconds, raises the suspension on that side by 3.1 inches, which aligns the body’s strongest structure with the approaching object.

INTERIOR RELAXATION

Massagers and heaters for the front and rear seats are a mere starting-off point. You can get an ionizer to keep the cabin air fresh, a choice of fragrances, and heated rear-door armrests. There’s a 23-speaker, 1,920-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system. In back, you can opt for folding tables in the rear center console and wedge-shaped footrests. And with the rear-passenger relaxation seat, one lucky Audi A8 passenger gets a footrest with heated foot massage.

Under the Hood

Initially, all 2019 Audi A8s will come with a 335-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that uses a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The hybrid system performs multiple tasks, smoothing out power with initial acceleration, adding torque assist when necessary, and serving as an additional power source for some of the car’s systems and accessories. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, and the engine comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. A V8 engine and a plug-in hybrid will join the lineup in the future. For 2019, the Audi A8 has gained some weight and considerably more torque (up 44 lb-ft, to 369), but thanks to the addition of the mild hybrid system, combined fuel economy remains the same as it was in 2018 (with a different V6 that was supercharged), at 22 mpg.

3.0-liter turbocharged V6

335 horsepower @ 5,000-6,400 rpm

369 lb-ft of torque @ 1,370-4,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg

Editors' Notes

The all-new 2019 Audi A8, Audi’s flagship luxury sedan, artfully balances comfort and performance in an attractively styled, roomy layout. The A8 has long benefited from Audi’s commitment to cutting-edge technology, with advanced safety features, connectivity and driving dynamics that differentiate this executive hauler from competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS. For 2019, Audi takes its tech even further by using it to create serene luxury -- a calm, welcoming environment for driver and passengers alike. In addition, the new A8 offers finely tailored style, new engines, more innovative safety features, and a gorgeous cabin complemented by vivid displays and new levels of relaxation.

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2019 Audi A8 Owner Reviews

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2019 Audi A8

My vehicle helps me get from place to place. I love how safe I can drive knowing that I have great insurance on my side.

- Lucas W

Best car that I've ever bought in my entire life. Handling is amazing and the performance of its engine is second to none.

2019 Audi A8

The quality and performance of this vehicle can not be compared to any others.

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I love the modern look and the features it has. For example

2019 Audi A8

The new Audi A8 is oriented towards the wealthy high-middle to upper class.

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