17 Best & Worst Audi A8 Years (Stats & Examples)

Let’s check the Audi A8 as we uncover the best and the less impressive years of this luxurious flagship sedan.

Our in-depth guide provides essential insights to help you make a knowledgeable decision for your next Audi A8 investment.

Let’s dive in!

check also: most common Audi A8 problems

The Best Years for Audi A8

When it comes to luxury sedans, the Audi A8 is an excellent choice. However, some model years are better than others.

In this section, we will discuss the best years for Audi A8 and what makes them stand out from the rest.


The 2015-2017 Audi A8 is an excellent choice for those looking for a luxury sedan with great performance and features. These model years come with a standard 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.

The interior is spacious and comfortable, with high-quality materials and advanced technology features.

One of the standout features of these model years is the available Audi Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a customizable digital display.

Other notable features include adaptive air suspension, a panoramic sunroof, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system.


The 2020-2023 Audi A8 is the latest generation of this luxury sedan, and it is packed with features and performance capabilities. These model years come with a standard 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.

The interior is spacious and luxurious, with high-quality materials and advanced technology features.

One of the standout features of these model years is the available Audi AI Traffic Jam Pilot, which allows the car to drive itself in certain situations.

Other notable features include:

  • a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system,
  • a panoramic sunroof,
  • and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Year Pros Cons
2015-2017 Great performance, advanced technology features, spacious and comfortable interior Less fuel-efficient than some competitors, some may find the exterior design outdated
2020-2023 Latest generation with advanced features, luxurious interior, great performance Expensive, some may find the exterior design too conservative

The Worst Years for Audi A8


The first generation of the Audi A8 was produced between 1994 and 2002.

The second generation was introduced in 2003 and lasted until 2010. Unfortunately, the 2003-2005 models of the Audi A8 were not the best years for this luxury sedan. These models were plagued with several issues, including:

  • Transmission problems
  • Electrical issues
  • Oil leaks

These problems made the 2003-2005 Audi A8 less reliable and more expensive to maintain than other models.


The third generation of the Audi A8 was introduced in 2010 and lasted until 2017.

While this generation was generally well-received, the 2011-2013 models had some issues that made them less desirable. Some of the problems with these models include:

  • Engine oil leaks
  • Electrical issues
  • Transmission problems

These issues were not as severe as those of the 2003-2005 models, but they still made the 2011-2013 Audi A8 less reliable than other models.

Additionally, these models had a higher than average repair cost, making them more expensive to maintain.

Audi A8 Worst Years Summary
Year Range Issues
2003-2005 Transmission problems, electrical issues, oil leaks
2011-2013 Engine oil leaks, electrical issues, transmission problems

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Audi A8 Models?

The Audi A8 is a luxury sedan that has been in production since 1994.

Over the years, the car has had its share of issues. Here are some of the most common problems that owners have reported:

Year Problem
2011-2013 Oil leaks from the valve cover gaskets
2015-2016 Transmission problems with the 8-speed automatic transmission
2017-2018 Electrical issues with the infotainment system

In addition to these specific issues, some owners have reported general problems with the car’s reliability. The A8 has been known to have issues with its suspension, brakes, and engine.

Some owners have also reported problems with the car’s electronics, such as the navigation system and the touchscreen display.

It’s worth noting that not all Audi A8 models are affected by these problems. Some years and models have been more reliable than others. However, it’s important for potential buyers to be aware of these issues and to do their research before making a purchase.

What Audi A8 Models Had the Most Recalls?

When it comes to recalls, some Audi A8 models have had more than others.

Here is a breakdown of the A8 models with the most recalls:

Model Year Number of Recalls
2013 5
2014 5
2015 4
2011 3
2012 3

As you can see, the 2013 and 2014 A8 models have had the most recalls, with five each. These recalls have been for various issues, including problems with the fuel system, airbags, and electrical system.

The 2015 A8 model has had four recalls, which have included issues with the fuel system and airbags.

The 2011 and 2012 A8 models have each had three recalls, with issues ranging from problems with the fuel system to issues with the steering.

It’s important to note that while these models have had more recalls than others, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are less reliable. Recalls are issued to address potential safety issues, and Audi has been proactive in addressing these issues to ensure the safety of their customers.

Tranmissions Affect Audi A8’s Performance

Transmission Type

The transmission type is another factor that affects the performance of the Audi A8. The A8 has been offered with both manual and automatic transmissions.

The 2023 model comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and quickly.

Is the Audi A8 a Good Choice in Its Class?

The Audi A8 is a luxury sedan that competes with other high-end vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

It has a reputation for being a well-built and comfortable car that offers a smooth ride and plenty of high-tech features.

According to Car and Driver, the 2023 Audi A8 is a solid choice in the luxury sedan class.

They praise the car for its refined ride, high-quality interior, and advanced technology features. The A8 comes with a turbocharged V-6 engine that delivers smooth and powerful acceleration.

Additionally, it has a 48-volt hybrid system that provides extra torque and improves fuel efficiency.

The 2023 Audi A8 starts at $87,800, which is a bit higher than some of its competitors. However, the car comes with a lot of standard features, including:

  • all-wheel drive,
  • leather upholstery,
  • heated front seats,
  • and a panoramic sunroof.

In terms of reliability, the Audi A8 has had some mixed results.

According to J.D. Power, the 2021 A8 scored a 3 out of 5 for predicted reliability, which is average for the luxury car class. However, the 2020 A8 scored a 4 out of 5 for predicted reliability, which is above average.

Overall, the Audi A8 is a solid choice for buyers looking for a luxury sedan with a refined ride, high-quality interior, and advanced technology features.

While it may not be the most reliable car in its class, it offers a lot of standard features and a powerful engine that delivers smooth acceleration.

Go Back to the overview of best and worst year per Audi model.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.