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...

New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Room in the front of the two cars is pleasingly generous for the driver and front passenger. Both manufacturers provide deep door bins, a decent-sized cubby beneath the central armrest and a couple of cupholders. The S-Class also gets a useful cubby at the base of its dashboard – a space that is taken up by the lower of the two touchscreens in the A8.

But it’s really these cars’ rear quarters that need to provide seriously luxurious space. Make no mistake: Audi and Mercedes have ensured that space in the back is fit for giants, but ultimately the A8 has more rear leg and head room, even if its rear seat area is very slightly narrower.

New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

On paper, official boot space figures show there’s just five litres between the two cars. However, our S-Class test car was fitted with an optional Individual Rear Seat Package (£5000) that, while enabling electric movement of the rear seats, as well as heating and cooling, reduces boot space by 30 litres. Our A8 test car also had electric adjustability in the back via the optional Rear Comfort Pack (£2195) and heated, ventilated and massaging rear seats (£3300), but its boot doesn’t suffer as a result. As such, we managed to fit eight carry-on suitcases in the A8 versus seven in the S-Class – although it’s likely that the S-Class would be able to swallow an extra case in standard form. However, the A8’s rear seats can be folded flat to create even more space, while this isn’t possible – even as an option – on the S-Class.

Audi A8

Official boot capacity 505 litres Suitcase capacity 8

New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

While the A8 offers slightly less front leg room,its front quarters are still hugely spacious and it betters the S-Class for head and leg room in the rear.We managed to squeeze an impressive eight carry-on suitcases into the boot

Mercedes S-Class

Official boot capacity 510 litres Suitcase capacity 7

New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

Rear seats are slightly wider than those in the A8,but adding the Individual Rear Seat Package,which brings electric seat adjustment,slashes boot space to 480 litres.Rear seats can’t be folded flat to create more boot space, either.