Audi A8 saloon (2010-2017) - Interior & comfort
The A8 is one of the most comfortable cars on the road
The Audi A8 is the brand's flagship saloon and features plenty of luxurious touches as a result, including some very high-quality materials. Audi’s Drive Select system allows you to tweak the car’s setup to make it either more comfortable or sportier when required. Although the A8 isn’t quite as smooth as a Mercedes S-Class, it deals with rough roads well and everyone inside is likely to be very comfortable. Standard kit is generous across the range.
Audi A8 dashboard
Inside, the A8 is plush and opulent. It manages to look both classy and modern, as well as feeling very solidly built. Audi has a reputation for making some of the best interiors on the market and it’s easy to see why when you’re in an A8, although it's starting to feel its age compared to some competitors.
Lots of luxurious materials are used throughout the cabin, such as leather, veneers and brushed metal. The dashboard is logically laid-out and the large infotainment screen and standard touchpad with handwriting recognition are classy and useful touches.
The Audi A8 comes reasonably well equipped, although newer rivals such as the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series have more advanced technology. The entry-level SE model has LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, Valcona leather, heated and power-adjustable front seats with position memory, sat nav, digital radio and cruise control. It also boasts rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, a power-operated bootlid and tinted rear windows.
Moving up to Sport trim gets you 19-inch alloy wheels, extra functions for the front seats, a BOSE surround-sound stereo, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, matrix LED headlights and a sports styling pack.
Black Edition makes mostly aesthetic additions. You get 21-inch alloy wheels, firmer air suspension, piano-black trim inlays and a gloss-black exterior styling package.
The long-wheelbase A8 has been designed with the rear-seat passengers especially in mind, so here SE specification includes electric sun blinds for the rear windows, four-zone climate control, heated rear seats and a tilt-and-slide sunroof.
The W12 engine gets its own trim level, which includes 19-inch alloy wheels, a BOSE stereo, matrix LED headlights, an integrated phone in the central armrest, a special W12 grille and door sills, plus power-closing doors.
The S8 is the range-topping, sporty version of the short-wheelbase A8 and comes with more aggressive exterior styling, 20-inch alloys, sports suspension, a surround-sound stereo and an extended leather package for the interior.
Above the S8 sits the S8 Plus, which gets a sports exhaust, LED headlamps, darkened tail-lights, 21-inch alloy wheels, black Alcantara headlining, electric sunblinds for the (double-glazed) rear windows, some carbon-fibre exterior trim and Napa leather. It also features adaptive cruise control, which maintains a safe distance from the car in front and can even bring the A8 to a complete stop on its own if you arrive at a traffic jam.
There’s a truly staggering number of ways to alter an A8, from the wheels to the leather upholstery and individual pieces of trim inside the cabin. If you want to go faster than 155mph (presumably because you live in Germany near a derestricted Autobahn), you can spend £9,250 to reset the speed limiter to 189mph and add ceramic brakes to the S8 Plus.
A panoramic sunroof is offered on the long-wheelbase A8, while Audi’s active lane-keeping assistance is available for just over £500 on all models. Adaptive cruise control costs £1,330 and a parking assistance system is just over £400. The matrix LED headlights are an £840 option if not fitted as standard. A night-vision camera is also available for just over £1,500, while a head-up display is a £1,340 option.
There are plenty of other luxuries on offer, such as a cool box, upgraded rear reading lights and folding tables to turn the back seats into a mini office.