2013 Audi A8 Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

There's lots of performance in the Audi A8's aluminum-framed body, but passengers don't lose out to cubic inches or g forces. It's the opposite, in fact, particularly with the long-wheelbase car. Both A8 body styles can be counted among some of the best long-distance cruisers available today, thanks to ample space, multi-adjustable seats, and some thoughtful touches that rise above some of the busy lines of the cockpit.

You can have the A8 in either standard- or long-wheelbase form (117.8 and 122.9 inches between the wheels, respectively), with some clarification. The S8 sport sedan is short-wheelbase only; the W12 is long-wheelbase only. Where you have a choice in footprints, we'd recommend you choose the A8 L. That extra five inches goes almost entirely to rear-seat leg room, and though it makes for longer rear doors and slightly less nimble road manners, neither are major enough to cause acid reflux or assorted agita.

Long-wheelbase Audi A8 sedans have excellent leg room and multi-adjustable seats; fit and finish are to be envied.

No matter which model, the A8 provides lovely, supportive, 18-way adjustable front seats that combine soft-touch cushions with firm understructure for excellent support during very long-distance drives--think 600, 700, 800 miles. Mid-back support is excellent, and Audi's headrests don't force the driver's head too far forward. An option for 22-way comfort front seats bring in ventilation and massage functions. Audi's seat-control interface works inventively: a wheel on the side of the seat is orbited by a lever. Flick the lever and it brings up a screen menu that displays which cushions you're inflating or deflating. No bladder mysteries here.

In back, while the standard backseat setup has long cushions good for lankier passengers, there's simply not enough legroom back there in the normal-length A8; so do get the A8 L unless you're tight on parking space. Multi-zone climate control keeps everyone comfortable, the rear seats are power-adjustable, and the right-side one includes a footrest while the left-side seat includes massage and recline functions. Available on the A8 L (and included in all W12 versions) are lavish individual seats in back that might just be cause to get someone else to do the driving.

Also on offer in either model is a two-panel panoramic sunroof that makes the interior considerably brighter without interfering with headroom.

In either case, the A8 has plenty of trunk space, though at 13.2 cubic it's not objectively large--it's that the rather long trunklid allows a wide opening. Interior storage is fine for smaller items, and the cabin is a very quiet, refined place, and while you won't hear much wind or road noise, you will hear the tires on the sport models somewhat during acceleration.

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