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Audi A8

(2018 – present)

Expert Rating

New car score:

60
%
C

Used car score:

53
%
D

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

76
%
B

Safety Rating:

-

Eco Rating:

61
%
B

Reliability Rating:

51
%
D

Running Costs:

28
%
E

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

New car score:

60
%
C

Used car score:

53
%
D

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

76
%
B

Safety Rating:

-

Eco Rating:

61
%
B

Reliability Rating:

51
%
D

Running Costs:

28
%
E

Summary


The Audi A8 is a large luxury saloon, sitting above the smaller A6, A4 and A3 saloon models in the Audi range. The current model is the fifth-generation Audi flagship saloon, and the fourth to carry the A8 name.

The latest Audi A8 arrived in the UK in early 2018, initially with a choice of petrol or diesel engines and more recently with a plug-in hybrid option. It was facelifted in 2021 with a relatively subtle update, bringing more chrome, more LED lights and more technology to the existing car.

There also is a high-performance model called the S8, which joined the range several months after the lower-level models were launched.

The A8 has received high praise from the UK media for its overall comfort and technology, even by the lofty standards of the luxury saloon market, as well as its driving dynamics. However, several reports have suggested that it’s not as comfortable in the back seats – which is where many owners will likely be sitting – as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

As of March 2024, the Audi A8 holds a New Car Expert Rating score of C (60%) and a Used Car Expert Rating score of D (just 53%). Its driving and comfort qualities are countered by poor reliability and high running costs, which affect its used car score more than the new car score.

Audi A8 highlights

  • Super comfortable and refined
  • Standard mild hybrid engines
  • Chock-full of advanced technology
  • Choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid

Audi A8 lowlights

  • Driving dynamics not as good as a BMW 7 Series
  • Plug-in hybrid batteries compromise boot space
  • Rear seats not as comfy as a Mercedes S-Class
  • All-new S-Class has moved the goalposts

Key specifications


Body style: Large saloon
Engines: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid
Price: From £80,820 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2017
Last updated: Spring 2020
Last updated: Spring 2022


Media reviews


Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

+

Auto Trader

+

Autocar

+

Business Car

+

Car

+

Car Keys

+

Carbuyer

+

Carwow

+

Company Car Today

+

Daily Mail

+

Eurekar

+

Evo

+

Fleetworld

+

Heycar

+

Honest John

+

Motoring Research

+

Parkers

+

The Sunday Times

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

No safety rating

As of March 2024, the Audi A8 has not been crash tested by Euro NCAP.

Previous generations of the A8 have never been crash-tested, and we’re not expecting this one to be tested, either, due to its high price. If it does happen, we’ll update this section accordingly.

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

As of March 2024, the Audi A8 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

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Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

The Audi A8 has a perfectly average reliability rating of 50%, according to workshop data provided exclusively to The Car Expert by our partner, MotorEasy. This score applies to both the current model (2018 onwards) and previous generations.

For such a complex and expensive vehicle, the average repair bill of just over £700 is quite competitive. However, gearbox problems – although fairly rare to date – are expensive with an average repair cost of £2,400. Suspension problems are also relatively common, with an average bill of £1,000.

If you own an Audi A8 or are looking at purchasing a used model, a used car warranty is certainly worth considering. Make sure it covers all of the problem areas shown above.

Running cost rating

Clear Vehicle Data logo close crop

Monthly cost of ownership data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by Clear Vehicle Data

Fuel consumptionAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models29 mpgE24 – 31 mpgE – E
Diesel models39 mpgD38 – 41 mpgD – D
Plug-in hybrid models151 mpgA109 – 157 mpgA – A
CO₂ outputAverageScoreVariationScore
Petrol models225 g/kmD206 – 265 g/kmD – D
Diesel models190 g/kmC180 – 197 g/kmC – D
Plug-in hybrid models43 g/kmA40 – 60 g/kmA – A
Battery rangeAverageScoreVariationScore
Plug-in hybrid models37 milesD29 – 38 milesD – E
Insurance groupAverageScoreVariationScore
All models49E44 – 50D – F
Service and maintenanceCostScore
Year 1£396C
Year 2£963C
Year 3£1,555D
Year 4£1,818D
Year 5£2,387C
Overall£7,119D

Running costs for the Audi A8 range are quite expensive, according to data provided exclusively to The Car Expert by our commercial partner, Clear Vehicle Data.

Fuel economy is disappointing for petrol models and not much better for diesel-engined versions. The plug-in hybrid models look amazing on paper, but this is largely thanks to ridiculous EU/UK government lab tests that are completely inadequate for plug-in hybrids. There is no way you will ever travel for 151 miles on a single gallon (4.5 litres) of fuel and some electricity…

The battery range of the plug-in hybrid model is rather poor when compared to most rivals, with about 37 miles in real-world electric-only driving.

Compared to the rest of the large saloon sector, the car’s service and maintenance costs are pretty average. Insurance costs likely to be high, though, based on data from the UK’s insurance group assessor, Thatcham Research.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Audi A8 has received

2021

  • What Car? Awards – Best Luxury Car for Performance (S8)

2020

  • Fleet World Awards – Best Fleet Luxury Car

2019

  • What Car? Awards – Best Luxury Car over £60K
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Luxury Car

2018

  • World Car of the Year Awards – World Luxury Car
  • What Car? Awards – Best Luxury Car, £50K – £100K

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Audi A8, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Bentley Flying Spur | BMW 7 Series | Lexus LS | Maserati Quattroporte | Mercedes-Benz S-Class | Rolls-Royce Ghost

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The Audi A8 saloon has received many positive media reviews, but its overall rating is dragged down by high running costs and questionable reliability.Audi A8