From £55,700
This is both the bodystyle and engine to go for if you’re tempted by an A8.

Our Verdict

Audi A8
The third generation Audi A8 is the best yet - and by some margin

The Audi A8 is a highly capable and desirable luxury saloon that's very easy to live with, despite its flaws

7 March 2011

What is it?

This test fills two holes in our experience with the new Audi A8 saloon: the first time we’ve tried the long wheelbase version which is just hitting UK showrooms. And the first go in one powered by the 246bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel that’s going to be under the bonnet of the bulk of the A8s sold here. An eight speed auto ‘box with stop-start is standard. Like other A8s this is four-wheel drive but there will also be a front-drive version powered by this engine coming along soon.

What’s it like?

Let’s deal with the extra inches first. This A8 has 130mm extra metal in both the wheelbase and body, all of it directed into creating more rear passenger space.

It’s effective too. One of my principle criticisms of the ‘short’ version that I ran for six months was that the rear quarters were far too cramped for a limo, with the suspicion being that in order to create handsome coupe-like styling the designers had been forced to move the rear bench forward, restricting knee clearance. No such problems in this version though as there’s now plenty of lounging room and it’s easier to climb in too. To these eyes at least, it hasn’t affected the styling either.

The 3.0-litre TDi does a good job of whooshing your more pampered passengers about too. Of course it doesn’t have the almost indecent pace of the V8 diesel we’ve got plenty of experience of. But it’s brisk even from start off and just as smooth and free-revving as in other Audis where its a mainstay of the range.

It also feels just as agile as the shorter car, even if it’s still some way short of the Jaguar XJ. It’s not as supple as the Merc S-class either, although the 19-inch wheels on our test car go some way to bridging the gap and deliver a softer experience than the 20-inchers fitted to our long term test car.

Should I buy one?

There are sound economic arguments for the smaller diesel. Spec for spec you save just over £7000 on the purchase price, but, of more concern to you probably is the thousands you’ll save in company car tax and likely depreciation. Fuel consumption plays 42.8mpg to 37.2mpg but in the real world the gap is likely to be wider.

Chas Hallett

Audi A8 L 3.0 TDI Quattro SE Executive

Price: £62,615; Top speed: 155mph (limited); 0-62mph: 6.2sec; Economy: 42.9mpg; CO2: 176 g/km; Kerbweight: 1965kg Engine type V6 2967cc turbodiesel; Power: 246bhp at 4000-4500rpm; Torque: 406lb ft at 1500-3000rpm; Gearbox: 8-speed auto (with stop-start)

Join the debate

Comments
9

Pye

9 March 2011

How long before someone says it now has as much rear leg room as a Skoda Superb? Whoops - just done that. Doesn't this put the SWB car in a awkward position? Too small to compete in its class so you have to spend more buying the slightly odd looking (rear door out of proportion to the front door) LWB.

9 March 2011

The link from the home page, and from the car review page, is now broken both on this story and the RS3 story.

9 March 2011

Way to make your range topping saloon look just like your entry level saloon Audi!

10 March 2011

[quote fhp11]Way to make your range topping saloon look just like your entry level saloon Audi[/quote]

Oh. I thought it was an A4

10 March 2011

Autocar...Are you sure there will be a FWD version of this car?

240 odd horsepower, 400 lb/ft torque, and 1900kgs of car are not going to be happy bed-fellows in a car powered by the two front wheels only.

Seem to remember you could buy a fwd Phaeton (with a 3.2 V6 petrol), It didn't last very long in the range...

10 March 2011

[quote LateKnight]

Autocar...Are you sure there will be a FWD version of this car?

240 odd horsepower, 400 lb/ft torque, and 1900kgs of car are not going to be happy bed-fellows in a car powered by the two front wheels only. [/quote]

The A8 FWD model will be detuned, for the exact reason you highlighted :)

10 March 2011

[quote LateKnight]Are you sure there will be a FWD version of this car?[/quote]

Yep, there will be. It'll be the same FWD powertrain used in the A7 - same platform after all - detuned 204PS 3.0 V6 TDI with the 8-speed multitronic transmission.


10 March 2011

why so many A8 haters ? i get my new one in 2 weeks which is my third in a row what else is available with this spec ? quattro 8 speed auto 35mpg which is what my current one has averaged over 20k and the new model must surely improve this plus lots of standard stuff that others will make you pay extra for e.g voice control , dab , remote boot release , hard drive , etc etc

11 March 2011

Cancel it & you'll feel a whole lot better

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