Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy one?

The 2022 facelift has been the lightest of updates so our view that you should buy one, but only after taking a close look at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class still stands – because as an overall package, that is a better car than the A8 and S8. However, the A8 delivers everything expected of it as the company’s flagship, as a great car for chauffeurs and – more importantly – passengers, and there are some versions, such as the S8 and the TFSI e, which offer just a little more.

For those that want the ultimate wafter the plug-in hybrid A8 60 TFSI e is head and shoulders above the rest of the range thanks to its silent, smooth electric propulsion that boasts a 30-mile range. In reality you’ll find the petrol engine chipping in every now and again in order to make the most of the available battery life but even then, it’s a supremely quiet and refined experience.

If you’re an enthusiastic driver, the S8 is a masterpiece. It’s subtle to look at but accelerates like a missile, accompanied by a muted but very pleasurable soundtrack. This is the best of the range, for those who aren’t as rational as those who plump for the TFSI e.

Overall, though, buy the A8 for its under-the-radar-appeal and sharply styled cabin, plus the added all-weather confidence of Quattro all-wheel drive.

What we like

The A8 has an impressive, if slightly dated, interior, with loads of tech, and excellent all-round levels of comfort. In short, it should continue to satisfy those who are looking for the ultimate Audi limousine, even if the S-Class’s tech is so much better at making your life easier.

It also manages to increase the amount of tech on offer without losing any of Audi’s subtle design and famed build quality. It’s not as glamorous looking as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class on the inside or out, but for some that will be a positive thing.

To drive, it’s a triumph. Its air suspension adds smoothness and refinement, while the all-new active set-up adds a degree of body control previously unseen on any Audi. It doesn’t involve the driver in quite the same way that a BMW 7 Series does, at least not in the standard A8 range, but the S8 offers something of a solution for enthusiastic drivers.

What we don’t like

The lower screen to control the climate control and other systems is not the best solution, requiring you to take your eyes off the road a little too long for us. Yes, there’s voice control as an alternative, but nothing beats a well thought-out set of physical switches.

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Further reading