Written by Tim Marsh:
There are three solid contenders if you’re looking for the best luxury ride on the market: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Audi A8, and the Range Rover. But which one is the right fit for you? Read our in-depth comparison below to find out.
The A8 luxury sedan from Audi has a sleek, stylish look and boasts a redesigned bonnet and front bumper along with some other minor tweaks for 2014. Inside, the Audi A8 has quality materials and some impressive technology, including electric closing doors and a 19-loudspeaker Bang and Olufsen sound system. With ambient lighting, you have 20 dimming stages that can be adjusted in four different zones. The head-up display is another nice feature that gives you a multicolored display positioned to provide minimal distraction. Of course, when it comes to luxury it’s all about the seats and trim. And although the A8 has quality leather and comfortable seating for 5, its interior doesn’t provide the level of luxury that the S-Class does.
The A8’s V6 engine provides plenty of power (190 kW) while remaining fuel-efficient (5.9 L / 100 Km), while the V8 model offers an impressive 283 kW of power. On the road, this sedan is stable and has an extremely quiet cab. Adding to its long list of features, the A8 has Matrix LED lighting that offers precision illumination. On the downside, this sedan tends to have a too-firm ride when driving over poor surfaces.
Mercedes Benz S-Class
Though the S-Class is stylish and sleek as well, it does have a sportier, more exciting look than the Audi A8. As mentioned, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is also a step up from the Audi A8 on the inside, especially when you upgrade to the Nappa exclusive leather with diamond stitching. Wood trim also runs all around the interior to provide an even greater level of luxury. On the technology end, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class features an innovative display, two 12.3″ screens, and a 360-degree camera. You can also upgrade to a 3D sound system with 24 speakers.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class gives you more models to choose from than the Audi A8 or the Range Rover, including petrol and diesel engine models. The BlueTec diesel engine offers solid fuel efficiency, while the petrol engine models have more power. The S63, for example, generates an amazing 435 kW, making it more powerful than both the A8 and Range Rover. Overall, we feel that the S-Class provides an exceptional blend of power and comfort on the road that makes for a more luxurious ride than the Audi A8.
Finally, the Range Rover distinguishes itself from the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class because it’s an SUV, not a sedan. On the exterior, you’ll get elegant styling with clean lines and that iconic Range Rover look. Inside, you’ll be surrounded by refined luxury with hand-stitched leather and high-quality veneers. The console in the Range Rover has a contemporary design with fewer switches to worry about, and the panoramic sunroof opens up the space and brings in more natural light.
The engines across the Range Rover lineup aren’t any more powerful than the Audi A8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and they also aren’t as fuel-efficient due to the larger size of the vehicle. The obvious advantage though is that the Rover can go places the other two vehicles can’t–off-road. You’ll also be in a more commanding position and be able to see the road better. With its new lightweight suspension and Adaptive Dynamics, the ride quality in the Range Rover is outstanding whether your driving it on or off-road.
Both the S-Class and Range Rover have the A8 beat when it comes to offering the most luxurious ride. So the choice basically comes down to whether you want an elegant, sporty sedan or a large SUV with off-roading capabilities.
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