2019 Audi A8 vs. 2018 Bentley Mulsanne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A8’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A8 has standard Audi Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Mulsanne doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The A8 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A8 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A8 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The A8’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The A8 offers an optional Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Mulsanne only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the A8’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the A8 and the Mulsanne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The A8 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mulsanne’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The A8’s corrosion warranty is 9 years longer than the Mulsanne’s (12 vs. 3 years).

There are almost 7 times as many Audi dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the A8’s warranty.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the A8 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Mulsanne.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A8 V6T gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (19 city/27 hwy vs. 11 city/18 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the A8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A8 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Mulsanne requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling

The A8 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Bentley doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Mulsanne.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A8 is 1.5 inches wider in the front than on the Mulsanne.

Chassis

The Audi A8 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1150 to 1250 pounds less than the Bentley Mulsanne.

The A8 is 10.8 inches shorter than the Mulsanne, making the A8 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Audi A8 amounts to more than styling. The A8 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .28 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Mulsanne (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A8 get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the A8 has standard flush composite headlights. The Mulsanne has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The A8 has 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mulsanne.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the A8’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

Standard smartphone integration for the A8 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Recommendations

The Audi A8/S8 outsold the Bentley Mulsanne by almost 32 to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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