2012 Audi A8 vs. Its Competition

2011 Audi A8 L 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With arrival of the dramatically reworked Jaguar XJ last year, the fourth generation of Audi's big, luxurious A8 sedan has tighter competition than ever.

The Audi A8 competes with the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and will have the Lexus LS also in its sights.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class spans the range of powertrains from S400 Hybrid to BlueTec diesel, to twin-turbo S65 AMG.

It's also the foundation for the Maybach sedans.

The BMW 7-Series was new for 2009, and since then has added six-cylinder models, an ActiveHybrid gas-electric version, and a V-12 edition, all working perfectly with its de-Bangled style and its improved iDrive controller.

The least engaging of these models to drive is the Lexus LS, but it's offered in short-wheelbase Sport models to long-wheelbase hybrid LS 600h L versions, all of which are incredibly smooth and comfortable.

2011 Audi A8 L 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A8Browse Used Listings2012 BMW 7-Series 4-door Sedan 750i RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW 7-SeriesBrowse Used Listings2012 Jaguar XJ 4-door Sedan XJL Supercharged Angular Front Exterior View2012 Jaguar XJBrowse Used Listings2012 Lexus LS 460 L2012 Lexus LS 460Browse Used Listings2012 Mercedes-Benz S Class 4-door Sedan 3.5L V6 Hybrid RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mercedes-Benz S ClassBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.8
The 2012 Audi A8 models might still be fighting for the most prestige among flagships, but they're in the top tier from inside, thanks to their impeccable cabin, innovative cabin tech, and a lean, athletic driving feel.
9.4
The 2012 BMW 7-Series is the Bavarian automaker's flagship model, and it cleverly wraps vast interior space, industry-leading tech, and the expected BMW fleet-footedness.
8.8
Cutting its ties with its illustrious and not so charmed past, the 2012 Jaguar XJ now rocks a swinging style that really suits its dynamic handling.
8.4
The 2012 Lexus LS sedans combine executive-class interior appointments and long-haul comfort with noteworthy tech features; but driving enjoyment is missing.
9.2
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a wide range of personalities--all of them superbly comfortably, some of them outrageously powerful.
MSRP From    
$78,750$71,000$73,700$67,630$91,850
Gas Mileage    
18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V8Turbocharged Gas I6Gas V8Gas V8Gas/Electric V6
EPA Class    
LargeLargeLarge CarMidsize carsLarge
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan 740i RWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan RWD4-Door Sedan S400 Hybrid RWD
Drivetrain    
All Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
Sedan4-Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
Automatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic