The A8 L Quattro is a rather niche car. Do you need it to drive a family around? Nope. Audi’s SUVs have that duty covered. And if family hauling in SUVs isn’t your preferences, the company will sell you a sedan that isn’t designed to function as a private jet for the road.
As a private jet for the road, however, the A8 L is exquisite. On paper, the 335-horsepower V6 is underwhelming for a car this large (a V8 could be on the way). In practice, once the machine is moving, it’s got the goods. Does it have a vast well of power in reserve? No. Does it merge and pass and cruise with aplomb? Most certainly. Is that power applied smoothly and quietly? For sure.
The fuel economy with this drivetrain setup — turbo V6 yoked to 48-volt mild hybrid and eight-speed transmission — is commendable: 19 mpg city/22 highway/27 combined.
This is the type of car that, once you get past the payments, lowers your blood pressure. Yes, in Dynamic mode and with its dynamic all-wheel-drive steering engaged it can come to life and be driven with purpose, although fans of Audi’s S and RS cars shouldn’t choose the A8. The suspension, steering, and throttle are all optimized for long, straight stretches of highway and slow, easy curves.
Those distances, covered at the upper end of legal speed limits, are where the thousands of dollars in extras that our A8 test car came with truly shine. Want a massage in the rear seats? You got it. Feel like firing up adaptive cruise control with lane-keep assist and low-speed traffic-jam assist? Go for it. Wish to run your hands across Valcona leather and ponder and Alcantara headliner? Have at it.
The 2019 Audi A8 L Quattro tries to drown you in luxury — and succeeds. But it’s a good way to go.
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