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2019 Audi A8 Is a First-Class Cruiser in a Subtle Package

CR's testers detail their first impressions of this new luxury sedan

Update: Since this first drive was published in December 2018, we completed the Audi A8 road test and added a quick drive video.

The 2019 Audi A8 has been redesigned to court sophisticated buyers in the ultra-luxury sedan segment, with a focus on extra creature comforts, including heated armrests, technology, and partially automated driving capabilities.

We recently purchased our own A8 L and immediately began comparing it with other high-end models, such as the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and the recently tested Lexus LS. This is an exclusive group, and any model looking to compete has a high bar to reach.

These are our first impressions of this new model. 

2019 Audi A8 front

What we bought: 2019 Audi A8 L
Powertrain: 335-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine; eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $83,800
Options: $12,800 (executive package, first-edition package, driver assistance package, 20-inch-wheel package, cold weather package)
Destination fee: $995
Total cost: $97,595

Overview

The A8 is immensely satisfying to drive, with a smooth and responsive powertrain, an almost magic carpet ride, and an interior that’s as nice as a five-star hotel (and almost as roomy).