Owned it for 3 months as a car to get around in until I got a more suitable vehicle for work. Maintenance was a mixed bag. It's easy to work on, it's just time consuming sometimes. Only problem I had was the fuel pump had gone out just as I was about to get my new car. For a car with 250k miles it did it's job and then some, and surprised at how it held up despite concerns about "german reliability." Transmission shifted a little too loosely for my taste but a quick 5 minute recodding on a scantool or VAG fixed that real quick. As a used cheap daily under $2k. It's second only to my old LS400. If I had to, I'd buy one again.
This is my second Audi a8 my first one was totaled but it definitely saved my life when hit a huge elk buck on 285 outside of Buena Vista . This car is the safest car structurally I've ever owned The elk was tossed up into the air when I hit it on drivers side at 70 mph. It landed on the windshield/roof and sunroof. This elk was huge and I would have been killed if not for how structurally sound this car is In any other car it would have crushed it up like an aluminum can For a car that is over a decade old it still turns heads great ageless design. In the past I have owned both a Mercedes S 500 and a BMW 740il. The Audi A8 is by far the all around winner and it's AWD which neither the BMW or Mercedes was in 97 it's a beast in the snow as I reside in Colorado. I did have to R&R the ZF5 HP24, not an easy job,but we'll worth it. This car is so comfortable to drive on long road trips Set the cruise control and lounge back in the 12 way adjustable/heated seats You can feel the quality that was built into this car you can tell that this car was 75k new
Very well engineered car. Interior is awesome. Leather is still soft, no rattles, everything works, very solid car. Engine is teriffic. Smooth, quiet, with enough power to get you where you are going. Suspension is a little loose for my tastes, but very smooth over bumps. Steering is feather light and very nice. Transmission had failed at 170k. Not unexpectedly with the D2 A8. Tranny shifts are slow and tall gearing can make the car feel slow when not in the correct gear. Fuel mileage is great for a car this big at about 25 mpg average when using cruise most of the time. I've had to replace a couple of things here and there but nothing out of the ordinary.
I bought mine used in 2002, have driven it 80,000 miles since. Build quality, handling, performance are great. Many small things have failed though, and at 170K miles it's on its third transmission (!). No other mechanical issues though. The engine is fantastic, still tight and strong and using no oil. I've driven the 4.2 AWD models as well, and I have to say I prefer the handling of my FWD 3.7 model. Weight is only 3600 lbs, about the same as a Subaru WRX. The 3.7 seems to have virtually disappeared from the roads now, though. At current rock-bottom prices these are a stupendous bargain.
Handling, performance, interior and exterior build quality, mechanical durability (with notable exception of the transmission)