2017 Audi A8
- Luxurious and handsome cabin with all the trimmings
- Top-notch engines, including a powerful and refined turbocharged V8
- Responsive steering and cornering for a flagship sedan
- Standard all-wheel drive provides all-season peace of mind
- No USB ports
- Missing a few key electronic driver aids
- MMI interface isn't as up-to-date as some rival systems
- Relatively small trunk
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2017 Audi A8 is something of a "lame duck" candidate among full-size luxury sedans, what with a full redesign waiting in the wings for 2018. But cars in this class are engineered to an incredibly exacting standard, and our analogy can only be applied so far. From its exquisitely detailed interior to its choice of powerful yet well-mannered engines, this A8 continues to hold its own among the world's best. Throw in unusually responsive handling and you've got an enduringly appealing automobile, regardless of the gee-whiz advancements that next year will surely bring.
The A8 switched to a standard long-wheelbase layout last year, matching its rivals from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, so the most significant change for 2017 is the deletion of two engines: the diesel-fueled V6 TDI (a casualty of the as-yet-unsettled VW/Audi diesel controversy) and the exotic W12. The 12-cylinder beast was certainly something to brag about on Twitter, but with low sales numbers and the impending arrival of a new model, Audi elected to remove it from this year's mix. Happily, the "3.0T" V6 (333 horsepower) and "4.0T" V8 (450 hp) models provide ample performance in conjunction with the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
Despite the A8's consistent excellence over the years, the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class remain the favorites in this segment. Although the A8 feels more nimble from behind the wheel, the BMW and Mercedes offer a wider range of features (including standard USB connectivity) and arguably a stronger statement at the valet stand. If the A8's sportiness intrigues you, we'd also recommend the Porsche Panamera, which is the top athlete in the class. And if you want a little more character, the Jaguar XJ offers distinctive styling and available supercharged V8 power. But the 2017 Audi A8 is still a notable contender if you're looking for an executive sedan that can do it all.
Standard safety features for all 2017 Audi A8 models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and Audi's Pre Sense system that pretensions seatbelts and closes the sunroof and windows if it detects heavy braking.
Models equipped with the adaptive cruise control option also come with Pre Sense Plus, which alerts the driver to imminent frontal collisions and, in certain situations, intervenes with maximum braking. Also included is Pre Sense Rear, which reacts to imminent rear-end collisions by tensioning seatbelts, closing windows and adjusting the seats for optimal protection. Other available features include a side- and top-view camera system, a night vision system (with pedestrian and animal detection), a lane keeping assist system and a blind-spot monitoring system.
In Edmunds brake testing, A8 models equipped with summer tires have routinely come to a stop from 60 mph in less than 110 feet, which is exceptional for a large, heavy sedan. An A8 4.0T with all-season tires recorded a 114-foot stopping distance, which is still laudable.
2017 Audi A8 configurations
The 2017 Audi A8 is a large luxury sedan offered in a single, long-wheelbase "L" body style. The lineup consists of the six-cylinder 3.0T and the eight-cylinder 4.0T Sport.
The 3.0T is equipped with 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, sport-style bumpers and side sills, a sunroof, dual-pane acoustic glass, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, power door closers, a power trunklid (with a foot sensor for keyless access), an adaptive air suspension, keyless entry and ignition, four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery (with extended leather on the doors, dash and console), 14-way power-adjustable and heated front seats (with four-way power lumbar), front seat memory functions, a power-adjustable steering wheel, wood interior trim and power sunshades for both the rear glass and rear side windows.
Standard electronic features on the 3.0T include in-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi, an 8-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Audi's MMI infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls, a rearview camera and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD/DVD player, Audi's proprietary digital music port with a Lightning cable (but no USB ports) and satellite radio.
The 4.0T Sport adds 20-inch wheels, additional sport-themed styling tweaks, a panoramic sunroof, diamond-stitched leather upholstery with a simulated suede headliner, 18-way multicontour front seats (with four-way lumbar, ventilation and massage), a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a rear cargo pass-through, side- and top-view cameras, a blind-spot monitoring system, a head-up display and interior active noise cancellation.
The Executive package for the 3.0T bundles most of the upgraded amenities from the 4.0T Sport, and it continues to be offered as a credit option for the 2017 model year. The Rear Seat Comfort package provides front-passenger seat adjustment from the rear compartment and power rear outboard seats with power lumbar and ventilation. The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision warning system (Audi Pre Sense Plus), lane keeping assist and automatic high-beam control.
Numerous wheel designs are also available. Furthermore, you can order up a sport rear differential that improves handling (it's part of the Dynamic package that includes variable-ratio steering). Other notable add-ons include a Black Optic appearance package and, on the 4.0T Sport only, a night vision system, a rear-seat entertainment system (with dual 10-inch screens) and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.
All A8 models come with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 A8 3.0T is motivated by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds testing, this model reached 60 mph in an impressive 5.3 seconds.
As capable as the base V6 engine is, we're suckers for the seemingly endless power and torque of the 4.0T Sport's V8.
The 2017 Audi A8 4.0T Sport receives a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that makes 450 hp and 444 lb-ft of torque. In our testing, an earlier 2013 A8 4.0T with 30 fewer horsepower sprinted to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.
With its seemingly endless power and surprisingly good fuel economy, the V8-equipped 4.0T Sport is our favorite in the 2017 Audi A8 lineup. Of course, the supercharged V6 in the A8 3.0T provides brisk response in pretty much any driving situation, but the V8 model gets up to speed with such grace and confidence that we're pretty sure you'll be smitten with it. Indeed, it's thrilling enough to stand in for the pricier S8 performance model, unless you simply must have the fastest A8 variant.
Although a standard-length wheelbase is no longer offered, the stretched 2017 A8 remains athletic and composed on winding roads.
Standard all-wheel drive provides sure-footed roadholding all year round, while the well-tuned suspension and intuitive steering response allow this big sedan to go around tight turns like a smaller car. Drivers with high expectations for performance and handling should be quite happy with the Audi A8. What's more, the A8 still delivers the superb ride comfort expected of an elite luxury sedan. The standard air suspension smooths out rough pavement with ease, and the cabin remains quiet as a crypt.
For shoppers in this exclusive segment, cabin design and quality can certainly be a deciding factor. The 2017 Audi A8 rises to the occasion with excellent materials, smart styling and an abundance of high-tech features. Many Audis are notable for their businesslike, austere interiors, but the A8 is decidedly opulent in its execution, with an abundance of rich wood inlays and supple leather surfaces.
There's no shortage of comfort inside the A8, even with the standard 14-way adjustable front seats. Upgrading to the optional 18-way adjustable ventilated seats only enhances passenger satisfaction, and the massage functions are more pampering still (although most competitors also offer them). That same level of decadence can also be enjoyed in the rear seats by upgrading to the Rear Seat Comfort package. Even without that option, rear passengers enjoy a wealth of space and amenities.
Audi's MMI infotainment interface features an 8-inch central screen and a dial-type controller on the console surrounded by useful shortcut buttons. There's also a small touchpad on which you can trace letters and numbers with your fingertip to enter addresses or search for phone numbers and music. Although MMI responds quickly to inputs, we've found that it generally isn't as easy to operate as rival systems. It's also starting to feel a bit dated from the standpoint of overall functionality, as BMW and Mercedes have rolled out next-generation interfaces with pinch-and-swipe capability that supports deeper integration for smartphone users.
Cargo capacity is a weak spot for the A8, as its trunk measures a humble 14.2 cubic feet. Some compact economy sedans can match that.
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Audi interiors are often industry benchmarks, so as you might imagine, the cabin of the flagship 2017 Audi A8L sedan is a very pleasant place to be. From the supportive, massage-capable front seats to the roomy rear seats, this big Audi's accommodations are top-notch. Notably, Audi dropped the regular-length A8 last year, making the previously optional A8L — as in "longer" — the standard model. Much of the L's extra length is in the rear compartment, and it's like a limousine back there; in fact, quite a few Audi A8Ls are used for executive transport. Don't let that fool you into thinking the A8 is slow or disconnected-feeling, however, as Audi's largest sedan offers plenty of refined power and a rewarding driving experience.
Under the hood, the 2017 Audi A8L has two fewer engine choices than last year — the 12-cylinder engine is gone, as is the V6 diesel. That leaves the potent 3.0-liter supercharged V6 (333 horsepower) as the base engine, and if that doesn't impress you, there's also a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (450 hp) that'll really get you moving. Want the fastest A8 variant in the stable? That would be the 2017 Audi S8 Plus, which cranks up the turbo V8's boost to a dizzying 605 horses. Just keep in mind that the S8 Plus comes only in standard-wheelbase specification, so you have to choose between maximum legroom and maximum performance.
With all models, the transmission is an eight-speed Tiptronic, coupled with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system that adds an extra measure of safety and control, especially on slick pavement. Surprisingly, the V6 and the V8 both manage an EPA fuel economy rating of 22 mpg combined despite their decidedly different output numbers.
On the road, the A8's cabin benefits from excellent noise insulation. Handling is stellar for such a big car, although this sporty character means the ride is a bit firmer than the norm. The infotainment system includes an 8-inch touchscreen with a dial controller that connects you to an excellent sound system, among many other functions. Some of the controls take a little time to master, but chances are they'll eventually make a lot of sense.
As nicely conceived as the 2017 Audi A8L is, a couple of its central competitors have received full redesigns in the past few years, which is why Audi will introduce a redesigned A8 for 2018. But if you're a fan of the current car — it's hard not to be — Edmunds can help you find the 2017 Audi A8L that fits your needs, at a price that's right for you.
2017 Audi A8 Overview
The 2017 Audi A8 is offered in the following submodels: A8 Sedan. Available styles include L 4.0T Sport quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.0L 8cyl Turbo 8A), and L 3.0T quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl S/C 8A).
What do people think of the 2017 Audi A8?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Audi A8 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 A8 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 A8.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Audi A8 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 A8 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 Audi A8s are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 Audi A8?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
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