2006 Audi A8 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Audi A8 Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Audi A8 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 335 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Audi A8

  • It may not have the name recognition of its German peers, but the 2006 Audi A8 matches or beats them in just about every meaningful category.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Superb driving dynamics, plenty of passenger space, exquisite interior, standard all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Inconvenient glovebox location for the CD changer.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the A8 receives a new single-frame front grille, standard adaptive front lighting, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a redesigned color driver information center. A new Audi Exclusive package includes Valcona leather seats, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, upgraded floor mats and unique wood trim. A new 18-inch wheel design debuts, and 19-inch performance tires are now available only in the Sport Package. Finally, the A8's Bluetooth system is now Treo Smartphone-compatible.

Full 2006 Audi A8 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the A8 receives a new single-frame front grille, standard adaptive front lighting, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a redesigned color driver information center. A new Audi Exclusive package includes Valcona leather seats, a wood-and-leather steering wheel, upgraded floor mats and unique wood trim. A new 18-inch wheel design debuts, and 19-inch performance tires are now available only in the Sport Package. Finally, the A8's Bluetooth system is now Treo Smartphone-compatible.

Introduction

At first glance, the Audi A8 has crisp, uncluttered lines with aggressively swept back headlights and roofline. Filling the wheelwells is a choice of wheel designs and sizes ranging from sedate to sporty. All in all, this is an understated, handsome sedan that doesn't shout, "I've got money," yet still exudes class.

Inside the Audi A8, a spacious and beautifully finished interior greets the driver and passengers. Audi has a strong reputation for having what many consider the best cabins in the business, and the A8 maintains that lofty standard. Regardless of cost, there's nary a car that could top the top-shelf materials and design flair of the A8's inner sanctum. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) handles everything from the navigation and audio systems to the adjustment of the driver-selectable air suspension. MMI features a 7-inch monitor that automatically glides (and hides) into the dash when not in use. Mounted in the console and operated via a simple twist-and-press knob and four large buttons that surround the knob, Audi's MMI may draw comparisons to BMW's iDrive system. But unlike iDrive, MMI is simple and intuitive to operate.

Under the hood if this Audi car you'll find one of two engines. For starters, there's a refined 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 that makes a scintillating 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. If that's not enough, consider the 6.0-liter W12 power plant, which provides 450 hp, 428 lb-ft of torque and a 5.8-second 0-to-60-mph time. In either case, a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission sends the power to all four wheels through Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system. Under the A8's aluminum skin, Audi employs an aluminum alloy space frame that is stronger and lighter than a comparable steel structure. This architecture has 20-percent fewer parts than the previous-generation Audi A8, yet boasts considerably greater (60 percent) torsional rigidity.

Audi's engineers are especially proud of the A8's air suspension, claiming it provides the handling of a sports car with the ride of a luxury sedan, and based on our experience, they're not too far off. The adaptive air suspension adjusts itself to road and driving conditions, automatically firming up when the car is pressed through the curves and softening when cruising down the interstate. The driver can select one of four settings for the adaptive system: dynamic (lowest ride height and firm damping), automatic, comfort and lift (raises the car up for travel on rough roads). With its polished demeanor, spacious and luxurious cabin and capable road manners, the 2006 Audi A8 leaves little to be desired. And at a price tag thousands less than its chief rivals, we would strongly suggest visiting the dealer of the four rings before putting down your big money.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Three versions of the Audi A8 are offered: a standard-wheelbase V8 sedan, the long-wheelbase V8 L sedan for those who need maximum rear legroom, and a W12 version of the L. The question with this Audi car isn't what's standard, it's what isn't. A DVD-based navigation system, 16-way power front seats and HID headlights are on the roster, as is a 12-speaker Bose audio system (with a glovebox-mounted CD changer) designed exclusively for the A8. The elite W12 adds keyless startup, power door closers, four-zone climate control, ventilated/massaging front seats, seat heaters and four-way lumbar for all passengers, an Alcantara headliner and a wood steering wheel; these features are optional on other A8s. Other options include adaptive cruise control, a personal refrigerator and a sport package for V8 models that includes a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels and steering wheel shift paddles. An available Audi Exclusive package, available in Red and Anis Yellow, includes Valcona leather seats with contrasting piping (and floor mats to match) and unique wood trim.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard A8 and A8 L models come with a 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 that generates 335 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Named after the engine that makes it special, the W12 model has a 6.0 liter, 12-cylinder engine that make 450 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. The engine consists of two narrow-angle, 15-degree V6 engines joined at the crankshaft, a more compact design than a conventional V12. Both engines are matched to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that drives all four wheels through Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system.

Safety

Peace-of-mind features include stability control, 10 airbags (including four side, front knee and full-length head curtain) and a first aid kit in the rear center armrest.

Interior Design and Special Features

Whether you sit in the pilot's seat or stretch out (and with 42 inches of rear legroom in the L, we mean stretch out) in back, everything you see and touch in the 2006 Audi A8 bespeaks the highest quality. Generous fillets of dark or light wood, suede trim and aluminum accents are arranged attractively. With 16-way power adjustment (including upper seatback angle for the shoulders) and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, finding a comfortable driving position is easy for short and tall folk alike.

Driving Impressions

Throttle response is gratifying with either engine. Whether taking off from a stoplight or jetting up to cruising speed on the freeway, a solid rush of power is always on tap. The main difference is that the W12 simply has more power on reserve. Powerfully reassuring brakes that are easily modulated have no problem reining in the Audi A8. The air suspension is well sorted; left in automatic mode the system works just fine providing a soft but not mushy ride and solid composure through the twisty bits. And when used in the dynamic setting, body lean is kept to an absolute minimum, making the A8 feel more like a compact sedan rather than a large flagship sedan.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Three great months and counting...

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A8 L quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

New to me 2006 A8L with 73k miles. Premium, sport and massage packages. This year is the first year with the single grill and the last year with timing belt engine. I've had 98 A8 for 7 years - loved the car and now this one is amazing. No wonder many people moved from BMW, Mercedes to Audi. Air suspension is comfortable and very convenient to raise the car up when going to a complex that has many tall speed bumps. The car is so powerful, fast but very nimble (drives like a small car) and still get average 19MPG (26 hwy). Soft close doors are nice (the doors got sucked in if close half way). I drive people who don't know Audi on my A8L and they're amazed at the comfort and design.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

The best

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A8 L quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

This car makes me look forward to going to work. I've owned BMW and Acura and this car is above and beyond. I am now a Audi fan for life.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Officially switched from bmw to

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

After owning two BMW 3-series for the last 14 years, I decided to go with one of the large, luxury sedans. Was considering the 5 and 7 from BWW and the E-class Benz. Then I drove a friends A6 and was blown away. Added the A6 to the list and started looking. Decided to 'check out' the A8 and I was immediately sold. Nothing else compared after that. The A8 was extremely hard to find, but the one I landed on was nearly perfect - just about every option available and only 27k miles! LOVE this car.




Best sedan in its class

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

I have been wanting an A-8 for years and finally ran across one worth buying. Depreciation is heavy in the first 3 years but this is the best sedan in its class by far. The MMI is awesome and extremely easy to figure out for a non-tech guy. I have owned Lexus, BMW, and Acura and would not go back. This is the car to own if you can afford one.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The 2006 a8 got me

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

Let me preface this review with I am a BMW guy. Having owned 5 of them (3's, 5's and 7's) it has been my brand of car for years...until I needed to replace my 2001 740i Sport. The new 7 just leaves me cold and I am not an MB guy. May I just say that my new SWB Gray/Black A8 has simply blown me away. This is without question the nicest interior in any car costing less than a Bentley Continental and the fit and finish is the most perfect I have seen in any car. The exterior is sleek and aggressive and I love the new Audi schnoz.. The car rides beautifully and handles superbly. The controls are perfect, the shift paddles are fun and the MMI is awesome. I have my new dream car, sorry BMW.




3 years of great driving!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Audi A8 L quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A)

After 3 years this car is fantastic! Cabin more luxurious and refined than Lexus or S class.MMI a marvel once fully learning its operation(took months).Car's electronics are capable of doing much more then what was required in the past. The Audi solution is logical. The secondary display in the instrument cluster contains most information you need when accessing phone, destination and radio functions via the controls on the steering wheel. Buttons on the console to control the MMI display are conveniently positioned below the armrest. Voice command,slower than scrolling, works for many functions (would like available commands displayed on screen instead of system reciting).Replac



Talk About The 2006 A8

2006 Audi A8 Discussions See all Started By

sancris
sancris
03-01-2013
Thank you for your reply, it definitely helps. I am getting the Loyalty Bonus since I have a 2006 A8 which I will turn in when I lease the new A8, and I am also getting a 6% discount off the MSRP by b...


oriente
oriente
11-28-2003
Audi says shorter-wheelbase A8, performance variants likely on way to U.S....


are ample, if not class-leading. The AWD A8 and powerful S-Class both have handling that's at least as good, if not better. This car just isn't a leader any more, and with a starting price of $75K, w...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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