All A8s get W12-style family grille
3.2 much improved over old 3.0-litre V6
V6 propels the A8 with verve, aided by CVT
First DriveUK drive confirms that this facelift improves the A8, but doesn’t make it a class leader
First DriveThis third-generation luxury saloon offers mild styling changes and a new suspension set-up, but the big Audi fails to keep pace with its rivals
All A8s now receive the love-it-or-loathe-it grille that used to be on the W12 only. This is the updated entry level model, fitted with the new, more efficient, 3.2-litre FSI V6 engine. It’s still front-wheel drive, but now gets a unique-to-the-class constantly variable transmission (CVT).
What’s it like?
The new V6 murmurs purposefully and feels more than up to the task of propelling the A8 with executive ease. The performance figures are highly respectable for such a big car, due in part to VW’s FSI technology. And even if you’re not a fan of CVT gearboxes you’d have to admit it does a good job in this application.
Should I buy one?
If you’re just padding around town or spend most of your time on the motorway it’s worth buying and saving £5k over a 3.7-litre V8 quattro — the V6 is more than up to the job. And on the smaller, 17-inch wheels it rides nicely. However, factor in some spirited B-road driving — especially in the wet — and you might want more than just the front wheels driven.