2019 Audi A8 Specs, Value, MPG & Evaluations

The decision: The A8 L is a giant, luxurious sedan — however at this worth, it must be extra than simply snug, and the automobile lacks the “wow issue” its rivals have.

Versus the competitors: Different automobiles on this class supply extra pizazz and higher powertrains, however the A8 L stays a snug, sure-footed cruiser — and it gives some worth, as effectively.

The redesigned 2019 Audi A8 L is the fourth era of Audi’s largest and most luxurious sedan. It’s stuffed filled with luxurious options and know-how, however because it involves American shores it feels a bit incomplete. Our jealousy of the European auto market normally has to do with the abundance of enjoyable hatchbacks and wagons they get that we by no means do. Within the case of the A8 L, we get the automobile — however not all the options.

Due to an array of 24 sonic, digital camera and radar sensors, the A8 L in Europe will be outfitted with Degree 3 autonomous functionality. However because of regulatory points and a scarcity of uniformity amongst U.S. roads, the system received’t be coming right here — and when you purchase a 2019 A8 L right here, Audi says it could’t be up to date to make use of the system as a result of the U.S.-spec automobile received’t include all the mandatory {hardware}. Darn.

Even with out this method, there are nonetheless loads of adjustments for the brand new A8 L: Its engine choices have been condensed and exterior styling has been tweaked, however most notable is a brand new management scheme within the middle console that largely eliminates standard mechanical controls. Examine the 2019 A8 L with final yr’s mannequin.

Competitors for the A8 L is stiff, together with the BMW 7 Collection, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS 500. Examine all of those vehicles.

How It Drives

Final yr’s mannequin provided each a V-6 and V-8 engine choice, however there’s solely a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that’s new for the 2019 sedan, making 335 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque. It additionally includes a mild-hybrid system that each helps the engine and doubles as the principle electrical system for the automobile, powering the infotainment, luxurious and driver help options. An eight-speed computerized transmission and all-wheel drive are customary.

These specs set the Audi aside from its rivals, which provide variations of their flagship sedans with gigantic V-8s (and even V-12s) making gobs of energy. The turbo V-6 is it for the A8 L (although an S8 L that’s rumored to point out up in 2020 is certain to have extra energy).

The powertrain is as much as the duty of shifting the A8 L’s important 4,751 kilos of bulk round, but it surely does so with much less impetus than I’d like. Like most luxurious automobiles, the A8 L gives a couple of drive modes: Consolation, Auto, Dynamic and Particular person. In Consolation and Auto, I observed an issue within the A8 L that’s widespread among the many Audis we’ve examined of late: lackadaisical accelerator response. I a lot most well-liked the sensation of the steering in Dynamic mode, which provides enough weight to the wheel and makes it simpler to maintain the automobile centered.

The totally different drive modes additionally change the suspension really feel. In Consolation mode, the trip has an agreeable plushness, with spectacular isolation and true luxurious composure. There’s a noticeable quantity of physique roll on this mode, however not a lot that it threw me or the automobile off steadiness. Dynamic mode tightens up the suspension noticeably; it was my most well-liked setting on winding roads, however apart from that, it was just about Consolation on a regular basis.

I used to be grateful for the A8 L’s Particular person mode, which allowed me to place the automobile in my most well-liked setup (suspension in Consolation, steering and powertrain in Dynamic). Ideally that’s what Auto mode would be capable to determine by itself, but it surely’s a maddening center floor as a substitute.

The A8 L gives a couple of different suspension upgrades, together with all-wheel steering and a predictive energetic suspension. The predictive energetic suspension scans the highway forward and might regulate the suspension for upcoming bumps or imperfections within the highway, in addition to increase or decrease the peak of every wheel to make the trip much more snug.

Up Entrance

The A8 L options Audi’s new middle console design that forgoes many bodily controls in favor of a pair of touchscreens. There are a couple of touch-sensitive buttons beneath the decrease display screen — coated in black plastic that makes them look like a part of the display screen — however the overwhelming majority of the automobile’s capabilities are managed inside the two screens. Even the automobile’s vents have touch-sensitive controls to show them on and off.

This echoes a change that’s made its approach throughout the Jaguar Land Rover lineup, beginning with the Vary Rover Velar. There are some key variations between the 2 techniques, nevertheless, that work in Audi’s favor. The primary is that the decrease display screen doesn’t have a collection of menus to swipe by means of; it’s largely static. The shortcuts up high will be personalized, however the local weather controls are locked into place.

The second is that it’s simpler to inform while you’ve activated one thing as a result of the system comes with haptic suggestions response. Button presses are met with a satisfying bump sensation you’re feeling and a click on you hear. The system works on each the decrease and higher screens (although when you activate smartphone mirroring with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, the clicking goes away).

I might nonetheless want bodily controls for issues like local weather management, drive mode and a tuning knob, however there’s a case to be made for Audi’s course when it comes to future-proofing and getting shoppers used to those bigger, touch-based interfaces. However it additionally means there’s a little bit of a studying curve to the system, even when it’s not as massive an impediment as I first thought it will be. The display screen’s suggestions while you do activate one thing is useful, and the screens are positioned effectively — straightforward to achieve from both of the entrance seats with out leaning ahead too far. If I’ve to make use of a touchscreen, it is a setup I ended up liking. One factor to be careful for: The screens are fingerprint magnets, so hold a microfiber fabric helpful — in daylight it’s onerous to see and simply appears soiled.

The cabin does have some drawbacks. It’s missing in entrance storage, and there are solely two USB ports all through the entire automobile (the backseat is very egregious, with solely a pair of 12-volt retailers). The wi-fi charging pad is within the middle storage bin, which makes it tremendous shallow — you may match possibly your cellphone and a pack of gum in there. There’s additionally no storage compartment for sun shades, the door pockets aren’t particularly massive, and the middle of the dashboard is taken up by the screens, which means there’s no good place to retailer any of the miscellaneous objects folks prefer to hold of their automobiles.

The backseat space is very large, with what appears like an acre of area between the rear seats and the entrance ones. Audi gives the A8 L in each four- and five-seat configurations relying on the variety of rear seats you want. My check automobile got here with the Rear Consolation Package deal and 5 seats, so it didn’t have the last word consolation of a padded, massaging footrest on the passenger facet, however there was nonetheless loads to love in again. The outboard seats are heated and ventilated, and can even provide you with a light-weight therapeutic massage. There’s a small pill that pops out of the fold-down armrest that may management the seats and the automobile’s numerous leisure capabilities.

Nonetheless Loads of Security Options …

I might spend extra time lamenting what the A8 L doesn’t have, however what it does have works fairly effectively. Its checklist of security know-how is lengthy and formidable, although little of it’s customary — unusual for a automobile that prices this a lot (the A8 L begins at $84,795 together with vacation spot expenses). Ahead computerized emergency braking, entrance and rear parking sensors, and a backup digital camera are just about all you get with out paying further. I do know it’s unfair to harp solely on Audi for this when rivals do it, too, so I’m going to harp on all the luxurious vehicles on this worth vary: Add extra customary security options!

My automobile additionally got here with Audi’s Driver Help Package deal ($2,750), which provides adaptive cruise management with site visitors jam help, lane hold help and a characteristic Audi calls Flip Help, which displays oncoming site visitors while you’re making unprotected left turns (turns with out an arrow, the place oncoming site visitors has the proper of approach). The package deal additionally provides exit help, which detects oncoming bike riders or automobiles as you try and open the door from inside and locks it to forestall a collision. The Govt Package deal ($4,150) added loads of luxurious options, together with lane change help, a rear pre-collision detection system, and a 360-degree digital camera system with many customizable views.

The techniques work as marketed. Audi’s site visitors jam help is a low-speed system that permits the automobile to return to an entire cease in site visitors and helps with steering (however you need to hold a hand on the wheel for the system to stay energetic). The lane centering is fairly good; the automobile doesn’t bounce noticeably backward and forward within the lane, and the system appears to work effectively in a wide range of lighting situations. There’s one system, nevertheless, that I would go away off: Predictive Management, which ties the cruise management pace to the automobile’s site visitors signal recognition system. It will get confused by numerous indicators, such because the decrease pace limits for off ramps or the indicators for vans or trailers, very like I discovered in a 2018 Audi A5 I examined in 2017.

… However It Wants the Lacking One

I hold coming again to the A8 L’s lacking autonomous performance as a result of I believe the automobile actually wants one thing like that to spice it up. As is, the A8 L is a giant, snug cruiser with above-average trip high quality and many luxurious supplies and know-how on the within, but it surely’s lacking a sure “wow” issue you get in rivals — whether or not it’s the S-Class’ stellar supplies, the 7 Collection’ massive engine choices or the LS 500’s … effectively, possibly the Lexus has some work to do, as effectively.

My check automobile checked in at $101,095 after including its numerous choices. This isn’t practically the highest of the pricing heights to which the A8 L can climb; you may choice one as much as over $120,000 with relative ease, particularly when you go for the $7,550 two-passenger Govt Rear Seat Consolation Package deal (the three-passenger Rear Seat Consolation Package deal in my check automobile has fewer additions and price solely an additional $3,500). However at my check automobile’s cheaper price, I discovered myself wanting extra.

Although the A8 L is an efficient automobile by any goal measure, a lot of it feels too peculiar to present it lasting attraction over rivals. At this worth, and in opposition to this set of rivals, good isn’t ok.

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