Audi’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz S-class is the 2022 A8 sedan, which is also an Editors’ Choice winner. It offers a spacious interior and every conceivable luxury and convenience feature, which helps justify its nearly six-figure starting price. The A8’s styling is expertly rendered to look ritzy but restrained, and fans of the smaller A4 and A6 sedans will find the A8 handsome. Its cabin, however, is far more comfortable than those four doors and offers similar space and features as the S-class and the BMW 7-series, the Audi’s other natural rival. Massaging seats for both front and rear passengers are available and Audi also includes a host of driver-assists as standard. Drivers looking for more oomph should consider the performance-oriented S8 model, which we review separately.
What’s New for 2022?
Audi’s flagship sedan receives a styling makeover for 2022 which includes a new grille, re-worked front and rear bumpers, revised exterior lighting elements, and updated wheel designs. An S line exterior appearance package is now available, too, which makes the A8 look a little bit more like the performance-oriented S8 model. Inside, new rear entertainment displays are now optional and Audi has added some new interior trim options to the spec sheet.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The base 55 TFSI comes with a turbocharged V-6 rated at 335 horsepower, and the 60 TFSI has a 453-hp twin-turbo V-8 engine. Both versions use a 48-volt hybrid system. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. The plug-in hybrid 60 TFSI e combines the V-6 with an electric motor and a rear-mounted 14.1-kWh battery pack. The 2021 Audi A8 TFSI e is rated at 443 hp. So far, we’ve only tested the V-6 55 TFSI version, which sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds at our test track. Among six-cylinder executive sedans, that’s on par with the Mercedes-Benz S450 but a few tenths off the rapid pace of the BMW 740i. The Audi’s engine is smooth, but there’s no fanfare to its power delivery, and sound-deadening measures are so extensive that it’s practically inaudible with the windows up. The A8 offers a very Audi-like blend of athleticism and ride comfort. An adjustable air suspension and driver-adjustable adaptive dampers are standard. Optional with the V-8 is a more advanced active suspension that scans the road ahead for bumps and takes measures to compensate. With the base suspension, the Audi A8 isolates you from road irregularities but can still hammer down a back road when the mood strikes.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the 2022 A8 sedan with the standard six-cylinder powertrain will earn 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The V-8 version has not yet been rated. We also can’t evaluate the real-world mpg for any of these A8 models until we run them on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. For more information about the A8’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Impressive passenger space is an A8 hallmark, and its long wheelbase ensures that rear-seat passengers are well accommodated. Five-passenger seating is standard, but an optional four-passenger seating package deletes the rear center seat and provides a pair of power-adjustable rear seats with heating, ventilation, and massage as well as a heated foot-massage function and a pair of individual entertainment tablets (while reducing power adjustments for the front passenger seat to make room for all that). Fine materials are in abundance, and you can order up extended leather and a small forest’s worth of wood inlays. But much like the A8’s exterior, the interior ambience is sober and not as lavish as that of the Mercedes S-class. Trunk capacity is modest for a big luxury sedan at just 13 cubic feet.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi’s excellent 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster is standard as are the 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower haptic center screens with the MMI Touch Response system. There’s a lone volume knob for the audio system, since most functions are controlled through the touchscreens. It can be overwhelming initially, but the system is quick to respond and highly configurable, allowing owners to choose their own dedicated buttons on the lower screen while offering permanent buttons for navigation, weather, telephone functions, and radio on the left side of the upper screen. Just know that you’ll wear out the included microfiber wipe trying to remove fingerprints. Up front, there are two USB ports with combined data and charging capability, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone integration is standard along with Amazon Alexa compatibility. Wi-Fi via Audi Connect Plus is available for an additional subscription fee.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The A8 has much the same driver-assistance technologies as other high-end sedans. When equipped with Traffic Jam Assist (Driver Assistance package), the A8 will help you out with acceleration and braking in heavy traffic, but your hands can’t leave the wheel for more than a few seconds. For more information about the A8’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control