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New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

The new Audi A8 is possibly the most advanced car you can buy, so it poses the biggest threat yet to the Mercedes S-Class’s dominance of the luxury limo class

Words By What Car? team

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Our verdict

The S-Class wasn’t going down without a fight and, after the recent facelift, it’s as good a luxury car as it has ever been. It has a strong yet smooth diesel engine, is more agile than the A8, has a better infotainment system and is the cheaper option for most buyers. The S-Class very much deserves its five-star rating.

So it was always going to take an extraordinary luxury car to dethrone the S-Class. But we have one in the A8. It manages to feel even sturdier inside, is quieter on the move, has an even plusher ride and comes with more standard equipment. The A8 has certainly earned the right to waft past the S-Class to take the win in this test.

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1st – Audi A8

For For More comfortable ride; quieter on the move; higher-quality interior

Against Poor infotainment usability; slightly gruffer engine

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Audi A8 review

Find a great Audi A8 deal


2nd – Mercedes-Benz S-Class

For For Sharper handling; cheaper for PCP buyers; better infotainment system

Against Mixed ride quality; interior quality not quite brilliant; not as well equipped

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Mercedes S-Class review

Find a great Mercedes S-Class deal


Specifications: Audi A8 50 TDI quattro L

Engine 6cyl, 2967cc, diesel

List price Β£73,095

Target Price Β£64,681

Power 282bhp @ 3750-4750rpm

Torque 443lb ft @ 1250-3250rpm

Gearbox 8-spd automatic

0-60mph 5.9sec

Top speed 155mph

Gov't fuel economy 50.4mpg

CO2 emissions 146g/km


Specifications: Mercedes S-Class S350d L AMG Line

Engine size 6cyl, 2925cc, diesel

List price Β£75,505

Target Price Β£65,403

Power 282bhp @ 3400-4600rpm

Torque 443lb ft @ 1200-3200rpm

Gearbox 9-spd manual

0-60mph 6.2sec

Top speed 155mph

Gov't fuel economy 52.3mpg

CO2 emissions 139g/km


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