2012 Audi A8 Long Term Road Test

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2012 Audi A8L 4.2 Quattro: MotoGP weekend

July 30, 2012

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As expected, the Audi A8L proved a perfect vehicle to transport myself and three friends up to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the MotoGP weekend. Honestly, it's hard to imagine being more comfortable. Especially the two in the rear seat. Maybe if the rear seats reclined...

For me, I found the driver's seat a fine place to while away the miles on Highway 101 and Pacific Coast Highway. Of course I love the cooled seats, but also the massage feature. One of my friends thought that the massage should be even deeper/harder on the highest setting, but I thought it was alright.

The 4.2-liter V8 has plenty of power to move this huge car, and it's always silky-smooth in operation. Sounds good, too. The transmission, as well, has near-imperceptible upshifts.

About my only complaint is that the center- and door armrests could use a bit more cushioning.

We averaged 21.4 mpg over the nearly 800-mile round-trip journey.

Click for more photos:

Trunk was just right for four people over a three-day weekend, including our larger-than-needed cooler.

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2012 Audi A8L: Rolling Big For 900 Miles, Pt. II

April 03, 2012

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I wasn't kidding when I said our longterm 2012 Audi A8L makes high speeds easy. On my trip from Los Angeles to Sonoma and back, I set the cruise between 80-85 with some miles spent at 90-95-ish.

The A8L's adaptive cruise is pretty good as these systems go. It doesn't get freaked out easily by curving freeways and certainly allows a less-conservative following distance than our Equus' cruise. Still, I'd prefer if there was a way to turn the adaptive part off. In certain driving circumstances -- randomly-scattered cars all traveling roughly the same speed with no lane discipline (did I just describe every US highway?) -- adaptive cruise actually requires more intervention on behalf of the driver than does conventional cruise. Doh.

Anyway, the trip fuel economy for this jaunt worked out to 21.6 mpg.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Audi A8L: Trunk Smaller than the Camry

April 03, 2012

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What do you do when your cabinet maker's car breaks down and you have the key to our long-term 2012 Audi A8L? Well, if you're me, you pull off the doors needing attention, load them into the car and deliver them to his shop. My impromptu trip opened my eyes to the spatial limitations of the A8's trunk.

The A8L's trunk holds 13.2 cubic feet of air. It was plenty of space for my needs in this scenario, but psychologically, it felt smaller than it should. I looked no further than our long-term 2012 Toyota Camry to confirm my suspicion. The Camry holds 15.4 cubic feet of space in its trunk. So anyone cross shopping the Camry and A8L should take note.

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2012 Audi A8L: 10,000-Mile Milestone

February 23, 2012

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Deep in non-descript California farmland territory, our Audi A8L cleared 10,000 miles yesterday. It's been less than four months (including the month car was out due to body repair), but the odo was obviously helped along when Scott and Scott drove the A8 to Detroit and back.

Besides the body repair due to the unidentified flying object, the A8's gone to the dealer a couple times for normal maintenance. And that's it.

We're averaging 19.6 mpg.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 10,132 miles

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2012 Audi A8L: Distance to Empty

January 27, 2012

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OK, my bad. Turns out our 2012 Audi A8L has a distance-to-empty display on the dash. But since it was so tiny and not anywhere near the fuel gauge, I didn't notice it when I pointed out the hard-for-me-to-read fuel gauge in a previous post. Editor Scott Oldham had to tell me there was one, and he should know. He spend 5,000 miles with it.

Anyway, after diving into the owner's manual I found out that the bottom red LED light in the fuel gauge and the low fuel indicator light turn on when the fuel level drops below 4 gallons. And then that bottom LED light will start blinking red when the fuel level is VERY low.

So there you have it. Good to at least know what the A8 considers a low fuel level.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2012 Audi A8L: How It Handles Low Fuel

January 25, 2012

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This weekend I was on my way to Seal Beach with our 2012 Audi A8L when suddenly the car dinged a warning. It was telling me that it was really, really low on fuel and needed to find a gas station asap.

It even pulled up a list of the nearest gas stations on the nav. So nice! Only problem with that list is that I couldn't tell if any of them were on my route. And I wasn't familiar enough with my surroundings to know where anything was. That Chevron is 3.8 miles that way and there's a Shell 1.7 miles this other way. Um.

Not wanting to go off course I opted to just take the next exit to pull over and look for a gas station on my iPhone. OK, found one that was just a quick hop back on and off the freeway. Problem solved.

Now it should be noted that I usually try to gas up cars before they ever get to the point where they have to tell me they're low. But looking at the fuel gauge, it was difficult to tell right away that was the case as the only indication that it needed gas was one red dash. That white dash in the photo that extends from the E to the next red dash turned red. That was it. Really easy to miss that, right?

Not a big deal as I'm sure it's something the owner of an A8 could get used to but figured it was worth noting.

Another thing worth noting? How much it cost to gas up the luxury sedan. If you were curious, hit the jump.

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2012 Audi A8L: 5,000 Mile Road Trip and Serious Range

January 24, 2012

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This Audi A8 has a laaaaaaarge gas tank. Audi says it will hold 23.8 gallons. Fuel mileage is respectable as well. As I reported yesterday, despite the EPA rating the A8 at 28 mpg on the highway, we averaged 23.0 mpg over the entire trip.

That gives this big sedan some serious range. As you can see in the photo above, the car's computer says it'll travel 610 miles on a newly topped off tankful.

After living in this car for seven days and 5,000 miles, I believe it. This car can easily top 600 miles per tank on the highway if the driver wants it too, and drives accordingly. If we averaged 28 mpg the Audi's 23.8 gallon tank should deliver 666 miles of range.

We didn't want it badly enough. Fact is, our bladders couldn't last that long. Also, when you're out in the middle of nowhere late at night, fuel availability can be questionable, so we would stop and fill up when we could. Better to be safe than sorry.

Still, we did have two tanks over 500 miles, with the best covering 526.8 miles. When we stopped, the Audi drank 21.707 gallons, which means there were two gallons left and we had averaged 24.3 mpg. We also had nine other tanks cover over 400 miles with six of them over 450 miles.

This Audi is like a camel.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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2012 Audi A8L: 5,000 Mile Road Trip Fuel Mileage

January 23, 2012

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A couple of weeks ago Scott Jacobs and I drove our long-term 2012 Audi A8L from Santa Monica, CA to Detroit, MI and back. It was a total of 5,080 miles covering 17 states; California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

Along the way we drove on Route 66, ate two bbq lunches in Kansas City (Oklahoma Joe's and Arthur Bryant's), ate a bbq dinner in St. Louis (Pappy's Smokehouse), hit Las Vegas, stopped at the Mighty Mississip, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Cooter's Garage and we took a tour of Sun Studios, the birthplace of Rock and Roll in downtown, Memphis, where we also ate more bbq (Central BBQ).

During the adventure the Audi drank 12 tanks of fuel.

It averaged 23.0 mpg during the trip. Its best tank was its last. We averaged 25.1 mpg over the final 445.1 miles of the trip, which was through northwestern Arizona and California.

Ironically, the Audi's worst tank was its first. It averaged 21.0 mpg from Santa Monica out past Las Vegas.

I'll post about other aspects of the trip all week. Also, look for a huge photo gallery of the adventure on the Inside Line homepage tonight at midnight eastern time. I hope you enjoy it.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Audi A8 in VA is:

$166 per month*
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