Used Audi A8 Review (2009-2017) MK3

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Black Audi A8 Exterior Front Driving

Audi A8 (2009-2017)

With a variety of powertrains to choose from and a super-refined cabin, the Audi A8 is ideal for those that love luxury

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  • Very luxurious and refined
  • Range of powertrains
  • Well-equipped as standard
  • More powerful variants are thirsty
  • Rivals are less expensive
  • No manual option available
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What's the Audi A8 like?

The Audi A8 is one of only a few cars that can be all things to everyone.

From superb refinement and marvellous engines, to top of the market luxury in spades, this is a car that has it all.

Most models have massive performance and all-wheel drive traction and they're all fitted with a delightfully smooth changing and switchable tiptronic automatic gearbox.

Put all this together and you have one of the top luxury cars on the market, with understated looks that only add to that total for me.

You might think that such a range-topping big saloon would be hugely expensive even a few years down the road, but there are plenty of great value deals to be had on the used car market.

So, you can have that luxury car you’ve always wanted.


The most sensible model has always been the 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which is no slouch in its own right, while also managing real economy of 44-47mpg with decently low emissions.

It has power ranging from 201 to 262bhp and can cover the 0 to 60mph sprint in around 7.6 seconds, so it’s easily fast enough for the majority of drivers.

There’s also a 4.2-litre V8 diesel with 345bhp that blitzes the sprint in just 5.6 seconds whilst still mustering 36-38mpg.

Over in the petrol camp – if you can find one – is a choice of silky smooth 3.0-litre, 4.0-litre, 4.2-litre and 6.3-litre units, with power ranging from 285 to 493bhp.

And for those who want pure performance with their luxury, one of these has to be top of the list, as demonstrated by Jason Statham in the Transporter films.

However, economy drops to between 23 and 31mpg for all except one.

That’s the TFSI hybrid, which consists of a 2.0-litre petrol engine plus an electric motor. This setup gives a total of 241bhp and a 0 to 60mph time of circa 7.7 seconds. Economy is a very credible 44mpg, but it loses the quattro all-wheel drive that the rest of the range enjoys.

Driving Experience

All have wonderful comfort, library reading room hush and immense refinement.

But give one its head and they also have the most marvellous handling and road-holding – helped by that all-wheel drive of course – which will keep them going in the worst that winter can throw at us.

I most recently drove the 3.0-litre TDI and even this engine is inaudible, apart from a slight hum as the revs rise at a plant of the right foot. Road and wind noise are so subdued as to be hardly worth mentioning.

The automatic gearbox takes all the strain in its stride and performance is excellent to mind blowing, depending on the model you buy.


All in all, the A8 is absolutely brilliant, and it comes with Audi’s very good reputation for longevity and reliability.
Peter Hayward

The luxury inside is wonderful. There are acres of leather, electrically-adjustable heated and cooled seats, satellite navigation and a Bose sound system which could probably fill Wembley stadium.

The steering is full of feel, the boot is vast and there are many little touches, including a rear sunscreen which lifts at the touch of a button.

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The Audi A8 is a highly luxurious executive saloon that provides its occupants with plenty of advanced equipment and a comfortable interior. Very few of its rivals are able to compete when it comes to build quality too, making it a top option on the used car market.