2011 Audi A8 vs. Its Competition

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

With a base price of about $75,000 and a top price well over $100,000, the new Audi A8 competes with the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and will have the 2011 Jaguar XJ and Lexus LS also in its sights.

Fresh from a 2010 update, the Benz S-Class spans the range of powertrains from S400 Hybrid 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 2011 Jaguar XJ / XJL has been dramatically reworked, with a body more like the smaller XF than the dowdy aluminum panels worn by the previous version.

And finally, the Lexus LS range spans short-wheelbase Sport models to long-wheelbase hybrid LS 600h L versions, and it's an impossibly smooth vehicle to operate—though even with sport add-ons, it's still the least engaging of these sedans to drive.

2011 Audi A8 L 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View2011 Audi A8
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2011 BMW 7-Series 4-door Sedan 750Li RWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 BMW 7-Series
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2011 Jaguar XJ2011 Jaguar XJ
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2011 Lexus LS 460 4-door Sedan L RWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 Lexus LS 460
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2011 Mercedes-Benz S Class 4-door Sedan 5.5L V8 RWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mercedes-Benz S Class
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Quick Specs
8.8
Suave styling, an impeccable cabin, innovative cabin tech, and a lean, athletic driving feel earn the 2011 Audi A8 a spot in the top tier.
9.4
Call us converts: The latest BMW 7-Series turns our eyes more than ever and drives with real big-guy brio.
8.8
The 2011 Jaguar XJ severs ties with its past, and rocks a mod new look that suits its dynamic personality.
8.4
The 2011 Lexus LS sedans deliver a luxury-liner ride and hushed interior, with some options that are unmatched by all but ultra-luxury brands, but they sorely lack driving involvement.
9.2
From earth-friendly to exclusive and exotically fast, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz S-Class does it all in superb comfort.
MSRP From    
$78,050$70,650$72,700$67,130$91,000
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 25 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 S 400 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    
4 Door Sedan4-Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan
Transmission    
AutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Audi A8 vs. 2011 BMW 7-Series2011 Audi A8 vs. 2011 Jaguar XJ2011 Audi A8 vs. 2011 Lexus LS 4602011 Audi A8 vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz S Class