IF performance, luxury and refinement are high on your priority list, you’ll be more thoroughly satisfied with an Audi A8.

It is an effortless drive and a genuinely luxurious ride. This year’s refreshed version is subtle, with a slight reduction in CO2 emissions and a new adaptable LED design on headlights among the changes.

There are seven engines to choose from, but I drove the popular 3.0 diesel, which has 254bhp and testing the 0-60mph time is the best fun I’ve had in ages.

There are three specification levels – SE, SE Executive and Sport Executive. SE models come with 18-inch alloy wheels in a new design, electromechanical power steering and all-LED headlights with a high-beam assist function.

The lighting and steering upgrades carry over into the SE Executive models, while the top of the range Sport Executive gain the new MatrixBeam LED headlights and Mobile Phone Preparation – High with Audi connect.

The latest version of the MMi infotainment system pops up neatly from the dashboard, giving you access to many of the controls that Audi have kept to a minimum to keep the cabin clutter-free.

This feature brings internet-based services such as Google Earth, Google Street View and online traffic information to the car, and also establishes a wi-fi hotspot for connection of multiple handheld devices to the internet.

Indulgent interior options include a Bang & Olufsen audio system, relaxation seats with powered footrests, electrically adjustable, individual rear seats, a continuous, leather-covered centre console (exclusively for A8 L models) and power-assisted door closure. The Audi exclusive personalisation range offers additional options for particularly discerning customers.

But it’s the front seats with ventilation and massage settings that I warm too. Definitely my kind of motoring.

There’s all the safety equipment you’d expect and practically speaking, the boot is huge and there’s plenty of space inside the cabin.

Its large size makes parking around towns and cities a little bit tricky, despite the parking sensors and cameras. This car has won awards for being the best ‘chauffeur car’ with some of the factors listed including exemplary refinement, frugality and the all-weather reassurance of quattro all-wheel-drive.

Whether you’re behind the wheel or being chauffeured around in luxury, the Audi A8 is a pleasure to be in.

Audi A8 3.0 TDi
Price: £60,585
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 5.9 seconds
Fuel: 47.9mpg (combined)
CO2 emissions: 155g/km