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Used test: Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class costs

Buy either of these gadget-laden luxury saloons at four years old and you'll save yourself a fortune. But which one should you go for?...

New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety

The Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 are prone to quite heavy deprecation. Both cost more than £70,000 when new and have lost around half of their value over four years. The A8, while cheaper to buy now at £32,000, has depreciated the most. The S-Class is the pricier car at £38,000, but has proven to possess slightly better residuals so far. 

The S-Class should also cost you less money in fuel bills, because it has an average consumption of 44.1mpg, beating the A8's figure of 40.4mpg. Both will cost you the same to tax: £165 per year in road tax and, in years two to five after the car was registered, £355 per year in luxury car tax.

New Audi A8 vs Mercedes S-Class

In our latest What Car? Reliability Survey Audi as a brand placed 18th out of 30 manufacturers featured, while Mercedes came 22nd – two pretty uninspiring results. The S-Class and A8 were absent from the survey as individual cars. 

Both cars have a standard equipment list befitting the luxury class, but the fact that the A8 includes heated rear seats and adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous steering assistance as standard, while the S-Class doesn’t, scores it extra points. 

The Mercedes S-Class hasn't been tested for safety by Euro NCAP but the previous model secured its maximum five-star rating. The Audi A8 also hasn't been tested, although many recent Audi saloons and SUVs have received five stars. 

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