Sedans & Coupes

The 2020 Audi A8 Crushed Consumer Reports Road Test

We’ve seen a lot of impressive cars from Audi in the past few years. The Audi TT is an excellent entry into the luxury sports car category, with high-powered engines and an opulent cabin. The RS Q8, a brand-new version of the original Q8 SUV, even boasts a 590-hp engine. Another top performer in Audi’s lineup is the A8 sedan, freshly redesigned in 2019.

The 2021 model will arrive late next year, but it’s not expected to have any major powertrain changes. The 2020 A8 comes with a few minor updates, plus top marks in its road test conducted by Consumer Reports.

Packed with technology

The Audi A8 comes pre-loaded with a lot of standard infotainment features, all operated from a dual-touchscreen. A 17-speaker premium audio system, smartphone integration, a few USB ports, and satellite/HD radio are included. There’s a noticeable lack of physical controls, and most critics found that the touchscreen menus require some time to master. However, the graphics are clear and easy to read.

Available upgrades include the Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster, ambient lighting, a rear-seat tablet entertainment system, and even a cabin air ionizer. Many advanced safety features are also included, as well as some newly available offerings like night vision and intersection assistance.

Athletic engines

The standard Audi A8 comes with two potent powertrain options. The base engine is a turbo 3.0-liter V6 that can make up to 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. For those who want a little more power, there’s also a 453-hp twin-turbo V8 on tap. Both of these engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

For 2020, two new versions of the A8 were made available. One is the exciting S8 model, which offers more performance enhancements than the standard sedan. It has a 563-hp V8 that can rocket from 0-60 mph in just over three seconds.

The other new model is a plug-in hybrid. Its 443-hp turbo V6 is paired with a 14.1-kWh electric motor, which offers drivers 17 miles of all-electric range. Both of these models are also considerably more expensive than the regular A8.

The hybrid version costs around $95,000, while the supercharged S8 retails for an eye-watering $130,495. The base trim of the A8 costs $85,000, topping out at about $97,000. 

The Audi A8’s road test performance

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If you’re not sold on its value from just tech features alone, its performance should seal the deal. Consumer Reports gave the Audi A8 with the standard engine a nearly perfect score on its road test. They were particularly impressed with its acceleration, noting that it behaved more like a V8 than a V6.

Cabin noise is almost nonexistent, and barely any bumps could penetrate the car’s air suspension. The A8 has very agile handling, especially in Dynamic drive mode. The sedan also performed excellently in the avoidance maneuver test and it has a smooth set of brakes.

Room for improvement

Despite its impeccable ride quality, Consumer Reports gave the Audi A8 sedan a low overall score. This was due to its poor predicted reliability rating as well as some frustration trying to navigate the infotainment controls. CR also wasn’t impressed with the A8’s subpar storage capacity, particularly in the cabin.  

The door’s side pockets are very narrow, and the center console is small. It also lacks an overhead container that can hold sunglasses or other small items. However, these are small grievances when you consider its amazing performance on the road. If you need a luxury sports car that’s fun and easy to drive, the Audi A8 is a great choice.