2018 Audi A8 Review | The best luxury saloon on sale? | What Car?

2018 Audi A8 Review | The best luxury saloon on sale? | What Car?
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    Imagine this, you've done very well for yourself and you're looking for a new car.
    You've done so well, in fact, that luxury cars such as the Mercedes S-Class and BMW
    7 Series are now well within your reach. But you don't want either of them, because you
    want something with four rings on the bonnet. Look no further then than the Audi A8.
    The A8 is a luxury car in every sense of the word. It's big, bold, and has a price tag
    that's best read sitting down. It's also very clever, because Audi claims that this
    car can even drive itself in some situations.
    So is the A8 a better buy than its rivals from Mercedes and BMW? Well, in this review
    we'll tell you what it's like to drive, how spacious it is inside, and ultimately
    whether we think you should buy one. And if you do want to buy one, then remember we could
    help save you thousands on your next new car, just head to our New Car Deals section.
    First though let's take this Audi A8 out for a drive.
    There are three engine options to choose from, one petrol, one diesel, and one hybrid.
    First up is the petrol, a 335bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol badged as the 55 TFSI.
    Then there's the diesel, it is a 3.0-litre V6 with 282bhp which is badged as the 50 TDI.
    Both are refined and quiet. The petrol is also a clever engine, it's a mild hybrid,
    so if you lift off the accelerator on the motorway the engine can
    coast for up to 40 seconds with the help of a small electric motor.
    This diesel option, meanwhile, hasplenty of pulling power from low down in the
    rev range, making overtaking feel almost effortless.
    There's also the hybrid A8 e-tron, which is able to run partly on electric power so
    could do wonders for your fuel bills.
    There's no getting away from the fact that the A8 is a very long and heavy car, but Audi's
    quattro four-wheel drive system comes as standard so you're never likely to be stuck for traction.
    There's also a very expensive option of four-wheel steering which can improve maneuverability
    at low speeds. The system can also give you extra stability at higher speeds, and makes
    the A8 as easy to drive in town as it is on the motorway.
    Both the S-Class and 7 Series feel more agile than the A8 through corners, and if you do
    press on then the A8's big body begins to wallow on its standard air suspension. The
    A8 is best enjoyed at a more relaxed pace, then, which is fine because this is one of
    the best-riding cars on sale today. It glides along the road untroubled by all but the very
    worst of lumps and bumps. You'll be supremely relaxed no matter which seat you're in,
    helped by the double-glazed windows which keep road noise to a minimum.
    In the not too distant future the A8 will be able to drive itself in certain situations,
    and there will be an app on your smartphone allowing you to guide the car into a parking
    space remotely – which might make parking in tight spots easier.
    Luxury cars need to be supremely comfortable, and the A8 has no trouble here. This driver's
    seat can has 22 different ways to adjust it, and between that, the four-way lumbar support
    which I'm going to have a play with.
    and this adjustable steering column, you should be able to find a driving position which suits you.
    Visibility is usually a strong point in luxury saloons like this, but the A8 is the best
    we've found. These broad windows and expansive rear screen mean that no matter where you're
    looking you'll have a great view. Front and rear parking sensors come as standard,
    as does a rear-facing camera to help with parking.
    This interior feels beautifully made, and is better built in some places than the rival
    S-Class. While there are plenty of high-quality materials in here, though, it doesn't have
    the same sense of occasion as the Mercedes.
    The standard kit list inside this A8 includes these screens. This 12.3-inch digital instrument
    cluster puts the most relevant information – including the sat-nav map – right in
    front of my eyes, while there's also a second 10.1-inch screen here for infotainment, and
    a 8.6in screen below that which is given over to climate controls.
    Although these screens look great, unfortunately on the road they can be hard to use. There
    are just too many small icons to hit, which means you're constantly looking down and
    taking your eyes off the road, and that makes it more distracting than many rival systems.
    Here in the front of the A8, you won't have any trouble stretching out, as there's plenty
    of head and legroom on offer, plus enough space between you and your front passenger.
    And there is lots of room in the door bins for your everyday clutter, and I haven't
    filled it up.
    Anyway lets see what the space in the back is like.
    The A8's party piece, though, is how well it caters for rear passengers. There's a
    vast amount of space back here, and if you go for the long-wheelbase version then you
    also get a 5.7-inch tablet which can act as a remote control, you also get electric sunblinds
    and heated rear seats.
    If you've been on a particularly large shopping trip, then getting it all into the boot of
    the A8 should be no problem, plus there is these handy nets and compartments to keep
    it all in place.
    Next to its key rivals from Mercedes and BMW, the Audi A8 seems competitively priced, even
    before you take into account the standard four-wheel drive system.
    CO2 emissions are higher than either the S-Class or 7 Series, though, which might deter many
    company car drivers.
    As ever with luxury limos, too, depreciation could wipe out a chunk of your car's value
    in its first year alone.
    At least you get plenty of equipment, with 18in alloy wheels, leather trim, heated front
    seats, LED headlights and Audi's Virtual Cockpit all coming as standard. Long-wheelbase
    cars additionally get heated rear seats, four-zone climate control and USB charging ports for
    rear passengers.
    A word of warning too about the A8's semi-autonomous technology, because even when you can buy
    it its use will still have to be made legal.
    The A8 is one of the most relaxing luxury cars you can buy. It's beautifully built,
    practical, well equipped and offers performance and serenity in equal measure.
    For plenty more on the Audi A8, including our full online review of it and its key rivals,
    head to whatcar.com, and while you're there click on our new car deals section to find
    out how much we can save you on your next car. Remember, it could be thousands of pounds.
    Before you do anything else, though, click subscribe to never miss another video.
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