2004 Audi A8 L quattro AWD 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
The Audi A8L is both an engineering triumph and a nightmare. It is the best riding, best handling, most responsive car I've ever driven in a long series of BMW-7, Jaguar XK, MB S-Class and other assorted vehicles I've owned. It even gets remarkably good gas mileage (25 mpg on the highway at 72 mph) thanks to its aluminum body and consequent light weight. What's the catch? It's had to be flat-bedded to the dealer twice with a dead battery. The battery can't be charged, can't be installed outside a dealer who mates it to the car via computer. Seems its electronics are so complex that the engineers wanted to give it a 24-volt system, but the marketers said "no." The engineers were right.
Great navigation system, superb engine and brakes, really good sound system. A true luxury car.
Electronic reliability. I suppose it's fixed now, after three new batteries and numerous software upgrades. The MMI isn't too bad to use, compared to a BMW-7, and even has a "CTL-ALT-DEL" feature. Some of the stuff that's happened, like the wipers going out in a snowstorm for no reason, shouldn't.
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