2022 Audi A8 L Facelift Review: The Boss Car!

The Audi A8 L facelift raises the bar with its tech, finesse and spirited drive. But is that enough to get your attention? Read our review to find out.
12 mins read
31-Aug-22 12:18 AM IST
2022 Audi A8 L Facelift Review: The Boss Car! banner
Highlights
  • The new Audi A8 L facelift offers more bling than before with its styling
  • The rear seat impresses with the best of luxury and the segment-first foot massager
  • The A8 L retains its tech-friendly identity in the segment and a refined petrol motor

The Audi A8 L is the automaker's flagship sedan and a popular one at that in India. The current generation model arrived in the country in 2020 and the automaker was quick to bring the facelifted version too, soon after its global debut in November last year. Audi's Luxo barge gets some subtle and not-so-subtle updates. The sedan is bolder than ever and promises an even more luxurious experience than before. It also arrives right in time in the segment, especially with the new-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the refreshed BMW 7 Series already here. If you are looking for an opulent sedan to be driven in, does the 2022 A8 L facelift cut it for you? Read on to find out.

WATCH: 2022 Audi A8 L Facelift Review

The front passenger seat moves all the way to the front to maximise legroom in the A8 L but the party trick is the foot massage feature, which is a segment first

Audi A8 L Facelift Rear Seat Updates 

The typical A8 customer occupies this seat in the car and it's only fair that we tell you about it first. And it's a complete Boss vibe! The cabin is covered in the best of materials including wood, veneer and leather, and there are plenty of soft-touch materials. The best of luxury, no doubt! The seats can recline and the front passenger seat can move all the way up front. And I can say with good authority that there is no dearth of comfort or space. The Technology variant brings the relaxation package with entertainment screens and a massage function that amps up the comfort quotient. Not only is it a part of the seat but also right there for my feet, which is a first for the segment. The massager is placed in the back of the front passenger seat and gets its own modes too.

The Technology variant gets a permanent centre armrest, making the A8 L a four-seater, while the armrest is retractable on the Celebration variant

The 2022 A8 L gets two cabin options to choose from. The Technology trim comes as a four-seater and the entry-level Celebration variant gets a foldable centre console making way for the fifth seat. On the four-seater that we are in, there's a fixed console with lots of storage spaces around. It now gets a fixed tablet here which essentially lends you control over every major function in the car. This unit is not detachable like earlier but you control everything from the massage settings, ambient lighting, blinds, climate control and so much more. With everything based on touch, the fact that you have to hold down the recline button is cumbersome to fully access the relaxation package. A one-touch function would've really smoothened the process. Moreover, the tablet screen heats up when pressed constantly, which is a bother too. 

The fixed tablet gives you access to all critical controls within the car but heats up quickly, which is annoying 

My new favourite feature though is the Matrix LED reading lights that are completely customisable. You can adjust the brightness intensity and even where the light falls in the cabin. It's a new update on the facelift and that level of detail is supremely impressive. The car also gets an adaptive air suspension that will raise the car by 50 mm for easy ingress and egress every time you open any of the doors but it has a major function too (more on that later).  The panoramic sunroof adds to the overall roominess.

The dashboard is a familiar space with the dual screens and Virtual cockpit and won't feel too much of an upgrade over the A6 or Q5

Audi A8 L Facelift Interior

From the driver's perspective, not a lot has changed. The Audi Virtual Cockpit remains likeable as ever and is an optional extra, while the dual-screen centre console has been carried over. The overall layout is distinctly Audi and isn't much of an upgrade from the pre-facelift version. The haptic feedback still takes time to get used to and the lower screen distracts often when on the move. The MMI user interface works smoothly and the layout is fairly simple to understand but is layered to access some of the more frequent functions. The driving modes buttons on the centre console do help bypass a lot of touching to get the right setting. While the layout isn't all that different, Audi has made a subtle addition in the form of new hidden air vents. They are rather unexpected but do add a nice touch to the cabin. Audi does offer plenty of customisation options on the A8 L to make the cabin even more personal to you. There are about four colour options on offer, and you can further pick and choose to your heart's content.

The MMI works well while features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make connectivity easy but the layout won't seem much of an upgrade to those driving newer Audi cars

Audi A8 L Facelift Features

On the feature front, the A8 L facelift is pretty well loaded with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB type-C ports, wireless charging, TPMS, and a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen (B&O) sound system that sounds great and drowns out exterior noises rather well. If you are looking to tickle your acoustic needs further, Audi will sell you the optional 23-speaker B&O system with a total output of a whooping 1920 watts. The sedan also gets a practical boot with a capacity of 505 litres, more than enough to store a weekend's worth of luggage.

Audi A8 L Facelift Safety

The cabin is safer now with the addition of a centre airbag, which will pop out between the rear seats in case of a side collision. In total, the A8 L facelift comes with eight airbags, along with features like park assist with 3D surround view, ABS with EBD, ESC, seatbelt pre-tensioners and more. However, there are no ADAS-based safety assistance systems, which is a big miss considering the car gets it overseas and is a full import. 

The bold exterior comes courtesy of the chrome treatment on the grille, bumper and side skirts. It does not look over done though retaining that classy appearance

LengthWidthHeightWheelbase
5,320 mm1,945 mm1,488 mm3,128 mm

Audi A8 L Facelift Design

While the interior is all about elegance, the exterior has seen a stark change over its predecessor. It's more bling now with plenty of chrome garnish thrown in. To be honest, this is very unlike Audi, which prefers to keep its styling a bit understated. However, the company has taken quite the radical route by its own standards and the end result is likeable. The overdose of chrome feels over-the-top but never in-your-face. The chrome treatment extends to the massive grille, bumpers, and side skirts jazzing up the familiar silhouette.

Audi truly pushed the envelope with its lighting technology and the new Digital Matrix LED headlamps and OLED taillights are simply state-of-the-art

Given this is only a facelift, it's still the very same car as far as the design is concerned. However, you do get the new Audi Digital Matrix LED headlamps with 1.3 million micro-mirrors. Pushing the envelope in lighting technology, the new headlamps offer great visibility but also let you customise different patterns. They are an optional extra on the Technology trim, and you get the HD Matrix LEDs as standard instead. At the rear too, the car has been upgraded to new OLEDs -- state of the state art -- and are customisable up to four patterns for each driving mode. The car rides on the five-spoke 19-inch wheels that may look a bit bland compared to the rest of the car but we do like them for balancing the styling subtly. At 17 feet long, the A8 L is far from small and the chrome additions do get the heads to turn.

The V6 mild-hybrid motor impresses with its refinement while power delivery is quick and linear across the rev band 

Audi A8 L Facelift Engine & Performance

Power on the Audi A8 L facelift comes from the same 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged mild-hybrid motor. With 335 bhp and 500 Nm of peak torque, the output is an "essential luxury" to get this rather bulky sedan moving. The 8-speed gearbox feels quick and the Quattro system helps put down power more effectively. Much to our liking, the A8 sprints like a lighter car than it is. 0-100 kmph comes up in 5.7 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 250 kmph. Impressive, given its size and girth. The car feels planted and eager to perform once you hit the pedal.  

Audi A8 L 55 TFSI QuattroSpecifications
Displacement2995 cc V6 Mild-Hybrid
Max Power335 bhp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
Peak Torque500 Nm @ 1,370-4,500 rpm
Transmission8-Speed AT with Quattro AWD
0-100 Kmph5.7 Seconds
Top Speed250 Kmph

Performance is identical to the pre-facelift version and there's hardly much to complain about. The V6 petrol is an extremely refined motor and it's nearly silent at cruising speeds. The refinement levels only add to the plushness of the cabin. It also switches to electric-only propulsion with the 48-vole mild-hybrid mode at cruising speeds, which further adds to the plush experience in the cabin. There's little that conveys about the switch with the new-age tech working seamlessly to maximise efficiency. The refinement is also visible in the way it delivers power. It's linear but quick and the car never leaves composure. If you are looking to drive more aggressively, you can switch to Dynamic mode and that beefs up the engine and gearbox response by a bit. The ride quality stiffens as well for better handling. But even around an aggressive corner, at no point would you feel the discomfort of any kind ruining your driving experience.

 

Measuring 17 feet in length, the Audi A8 L facelift is a long car but feels smaller and lighter on the move. There's also optional rear-wheel steering to help improve its handling 

Audi A8 L Facelift Ride & Handling

But the A8 L is a car that's best enjoyed for its great ride quality. The auto mode essentially takes care of more things and gives you a good balance between performance and comfort. You barely need to switch between Dynamic or Comfort to maximise what the car has to offer. Even in the comfiest setting, it's a decent handler and there's no drama from the car. If anything, it adds to that understated elegance. This is what really seals the deal for me. The adaptive suspension here really makes a big difference. It's a Rs. 15 lakh worth optional extra and an absolute must-have in my book. It does a lot more than raising the car for better ingress and egress. The front camera scans the road ahead and will adjust the suspension accordingly in real time. It can individually control each corner of the car and actively lift or lower the body by 50 mm within five-tenths of a second.

The adaptive air suspension is impressive in ironing out undulations at low speeds.. The raised suspension will automatically lower at high speeds for better handling

The car glides over speed breakers and broken roads at low speeds. The suspension also keeps correcting the lean around a corner up to 3 degrees containing body roll more effectively. That said, large speed bumps will require you to slow down and navigate carefully due to the long wheelbase. But the predictive suspension works seamlessly with very little disturbing the cabin's composure. If you are looking at even sharper handling, Audi does offer rear-wheel steering as an option that will help navigate this massive sedan easily. 

 

The Celebration variant is priced at Rs. 1.29 crore (ex-showroom), bringing great value to the A8 L facelift over its rivals 

Audi A8 L Facelift Prices & Competition

The 2022 Audi A8 L facelift takes things a notch up in every way. But it truly makes a mark with its fantastic pricing. The A8 L Celebration variant starts from Rs. 1.29 crore, while the Technology variant starts at Rs. 1.57 crore. All prices are ex-showroom. This makes the A8 L Technology a whole Rs. 12 lakh cheaper than the petrol version of the Mercedes-Benz S 450 4MATIC and Rs. 7 lakh more expensive than the BMW 740Li M Sport. The top-spec Audi is a whole Rs. 34 lakh more affordable than the Lexus LS 500h, which is also a full import and the only strong-hybrid in the segment.

 

Petrol Variant Prices

Audi A8 L Mercedes-Benz S-ClassBMW 7 SeriesLexus LS
Rs. 1.29 Crore (Celebration)-Rs. 1.50 Crore (740Li M Sport)-
Rs. 1.57 Crore (Technology)Rs. 1.69 Crore (S 450 4MATIC)Rs. 1.51 Crore (740Li Individual M Sport)Rs. 1.91 Crore (LS 500h)

However, a healthy chunk of sales for the S-Class and the 7 Series comes from the diesel version of the respective offerings. The lack of a diesel option on the A8 L will restrict its volumes. Nevertheless, the competitive pricing shifts the scales in the A8 L's favour by a strong margin, especially with the Celebration offering immense value. For someone wanting to break into the flagship luxury sedan segment, the Celebration variant brings you a lot of car for the money.

 

The Audi A8 L facelift retains its own identity as a tech-laden flagship sedan, building on its own niche over the competition

Audi A8 L Facelift Verdict

The Audi A8 L facelift commands attention, finesse and a spirited drive. A diesel version would've made the car more viable for a lot of users but the price advantage over its rivals is hard to ignore. But its most impressive aspect remains that impressive rear seat and a tech-laden package, which sets it apart from its rivals. The A8 L has always carved a niche for itself and the facelift strongly builds on that in more ways than one. 

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