Audi A8L (2022) review

₹ 1,57,00,000

(Technology trim)

In the classic sense, the Audi A8L looks like the quintessential “limousine”. Long wheelbase, timeless lines, taut skinning over the shoulders and enough chrome to keep up with the competition. The new grille is studded with chrome inserts of gradually larger sizes from the bottom to the top and it’s eye-catching enough to make it stand out in esteemed company. Yeah, you know who that is.


Like we’ve come to expect of Audi, the art of illumination is on full display here with the Digital LED Matrix headlights which are now adaptive and comprise of 1.3 million micro-mirrors. Essentially they are pixels that can be controlled selectively to not dazzle oncoming traffic or even bend light around corners. A bit of wow factor is an added perk as you switch the car on or off with a light show projected on the wall in front of the car. The OLED tail lights similarly have multiple patterns depending on the intensity of braking and the situation. Overall, there isn’t much change in the exterior design but the A8L is destined to age well with its textbook proportions.


The cabin is a mixed bag of A6 and even some A4 parts and the major difference are the motorized air vents which are a bit OTT, but certainly add drama. Yes, the seats are comfier, the materials on the door pads are more luxurious and the sense of space, especially at the rear reeks of opulence. On their own, the seats are perfectly cushioned and angled, but at the touch of a button, you can orchestrate a ballet of electronics and motors that push the front passenger seat all the way forward, open up a footrest, angle the rear entertainment screen and even warm your soles with a foot massage! That’s a first in the category, but you also get a remote to control the indulgences. Indulgences like even Netflix streaming via a Wi-Fi hotspot!

The ambience inside the cabin though could’ve been more special. The media car was specced in too many shades of brown and the infotainment system is beginning to show its age. You don’t even get wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto and at this price, comes as a shock. The rear-camera resolution and clarity is not worthy of a car costing upwards of Rs. 20 lacs, let alone Rs. 1.5cr! Even the ambient lighting is subtle, maybe too subtle when compared to the lounge-like atmosphere created by the S-Class.

Gone are the rising UFO-like Bang & Olufsen tweeters (which can be optioned) and instead, you get a 17-speaker set-up that won’t make you take the long route home. It’s fine for non-audiophiles, sounding spacious enough to give you an aural idea of how large the cabin is, but in terms of sonic accuracy, there is some slack. The bass tends to sound thin while the highs could get a bit overbearing and EQing it doesn’t improve things much. It’s not a deal breaker though and only pales in comparison to the epic Burmester system in the S-Class.


But the undeniable star of the show here is the air suspension. Audi has been offering this for a while now, but in its latest guise, the calibration is judged perfectly and creates an almost floating-in-air kind of ride quality. Better than the “magic carpet”? Perhaps. The Predictive Air Suspension scans the road ahead with a camera and raises the ride height before you hit a speed bump and lowers the car back again once you exceed 40kmph. It didn’t bottom out during the test even once, but you do have to be mindful of the speed you approach the speedbump.

Another advantage of this quick-reacting air suspension is that is even raises the ride height when you open the door for ingress, making it a tad easier to perch yourself on any of the four thrones. But if you do select the driver’s seat, the creamy V6 will be a joy to command. 340hp and 500Nm are adequate numbers and propel this large, heavy car without any perceived effort. Leave it in auto mode and the 8-speed transmission will never make its presence felt and caresses you in the most supple, calm and smooth drive you might have ever encountered. Yes, I’m aware of the competition, so this is big praise indeed!

Rear-wheel steering makes an appearance too, helping the humongous A8L shrink (a bit) around corners and 3-point turns. As expected, it is an option too, along with a whole host of other customisations that ensure that no two A8L’s are alike and that boils down to the upholstery shade and even the stitching colour!


Not relying on ostentatiousness, the Audi A8L is more substance than style. At its core, it is a hugely capable oligarch carrier that will pamper its owners and guests in the most pillowy ride this side of an Airbus. It does lack the flamboyance and features that have become the de facto standard in this segment, but look past that and it delivers as a fast, smooth and uber-luxurious limousine.

Stuff Says

Unbeatable when it comes to ride comfort and back seat pampering, but could do with more distinctiveness compared to other Audis.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Air suspension with lift is game-changing

  1. V6 is smooth, powerful and even fun to rev

  1. Back seat comfort…and Netflix!

  1. Wireless CarPlay missing at this price

  1. Ambience in the cabin a bit sombre

  1. Long wheelbase requires caution on our roads

Engine: 3.0 V6 turbo-petrol
Power: 340hp / 500Nm
Acceleration: 0-100 kmph in 5.7secs
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Drivetrain: AWD Quattro
Wheels: 19in