What's the used Audi A8 saloon like?
Venture anywhere near central London and you’ll notice the sudden proliferation of large, black luxury limousines – of the sort regularly used by the rich and famous to ferry back and forth between important meetings and swanky gala dinners. Among these, if you keep track for a while, you’ll spot that the Audi A8 is one of the most popular.
Now in its fourth generation, the A8 is probably the most discreet among its luxury limo rivals – that is to say, the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Jaguar XJ. But don’t mistake discretion for indifference; beneath the skin, this A8 is a true techno-fest, with a host of advancements that maintain the model’s reputation for groundbreaking technology.
As far as the model range goes, there were initially just two versions to pick from: the entry-level A8 (that had no additional badging) or the sportier S Line. As you’d expect, the basic car is very well equipped, with climate control, heated electric seats, leather upholstery, sat-nav, LED headlights and air suspension all coming as standard, among other features. S Line then adds larger wheels, adaptive high-beam headlights, LED rear lights, sports seats and privacy glass.
You can also opt for your A8 in long-wheelbase ‘L’ form, in which case you also get heated rear seats, a tablet-style remote control for the infotainment system, four-zone climate control and electric rear sunblinds.
Later A8s adopted a Sport, S Line, Black Edition and Vorsprung line-up, which echoed the earlier trims, with the latter Black Edition additional styling tweaks, and the Vorsprung adding all sorts of goodies you might want including 21in alloys, front seat cooling, all-wheel steering and, the best bit, integrated washer jets in the windscreen wipers. Phwoar!
Granted, the A8 doesn’t have the precision of a Mercedes S-Class when it’s hustled along a back road quickly, but few – if any – A8 owners are ever going to drive their cars in this way. No, these cars are all about relaxation – and driving an A8 is about as relaxing as driving gets. The air suspension wafts you over bumps seamlessly, while engine noise is all but absent – and disappears altogether when you coast and it shuts off to run on electric power alone. There’s a faint whisper of wind noise and perhaps a background hum of road noise but, other than that, all is silent inside the A8.