Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Audi A8 VS 2013 Mercedes S-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2013 Audi A8

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2013 Mercedes S-Class

Safety Comparison

The A8 has standard power remote child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors (the driver can activate them and deactivate them from the front seat). The S-Class doesn’t offer child safety locks.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-wheel Drive is standard on the A8. But it costs extra on the S-Class.

Compared to metal, the A8’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mercedes S-Class has a metal gas tank.

Both the A8 and the S-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The A8’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the S-Class’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the A8 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the S-Class.

Reliability Comparison

The battery on the A8 is under the seat, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures, which can degrade battery life. By keeping the A8’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The S-Class’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the A8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Mercedes only offers a regenerative brake system on the S-Class Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the A8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Mercedes only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the S-Class Hybrid/S63.

The A8 has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the S-Class Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 21.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S-Class:

A8 3.0T

A8 L W12

S350 BlueTEC/S400 Hybrid/S550


Front Rotors

14 inches

15.7 inches

13.2 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.9 inches

14 inches

11.8 inches

14.4 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A8’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the S-Class (265/40R20 vs. 255/40R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A8 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S-Class.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A8 is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the S-Class.

The A8 L handles at .93 G’s, while the S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A8 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 8.6 MPH faster than the S550 (68.7 vs. 60.1 MPH).

The A8 L performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver faster than the S550 (60.7 vs. 59.9 MPH).

The A8 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.5 seconds quicker than the S400 HYBRID (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The A8 is 4.3 inches shorter than the S-Class, making the A8 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the A8 has an electronically controlled liquid-filled engine mounts. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The S-Class uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The A8 4.0T uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The S-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The A8 has 1.3 inches more front shoulder room and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the S-Class.

Ergonomics Comparison

The A8 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The S-Class doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The A8 L offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters, which can break or get misplaced. The S-Class doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the A8 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A8 will cost $2170 to $10380 less than the S-Class over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A8 is less expensive to operate than the S-Class because it costs $161 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the A8 than the S-Class, including $209 less for an alternator, $31 less for fuel injection, $249 less for a fuel pump, $178 less for front struts and $633 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A8 will be $3629 to $126822 less than for the Mercedes S-Class.

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