Used 1997 Audi A8 Sedan

1997 Audi A8
List price range
1997 Audi A8

Pros

  • Aluminum space frame and body panels, six airbags, powerful V-8 engines, sumptuous luxury appointments, light weight

Cons

  • Potential cost of repairing body damage

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

After 10 years, 40 patents, and intensive collaboration with aluminum-giant Alcoa, Audi has created the technological tour de force called A8. Sporting senior A4 styling, sumptuous interior appointments, and the revolutionary Audi Space Frame (ASF), the A8 is lighter, tighter, and more responsive than competitors such as the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Cadillac Seville.

The ASF employs lightweight aluminum alloy construction designed to provide superior structural rigidity, improved handling and responsiveness, better fuel efficiency, and easier recycling. Two models are available: the A8 3.7 with front-wheel drive is powered by a 3.7-liter twin-cam aluminum-alloy V8 engine that produces 230 horsepower, and the A8 4.2 Quattro has all-wheel drive and a 300-horsepower 4.2-liter twin-cam aluminum-alloy V8 engine under the hood. The 4.2 Quattro also comes standard with a 200-watt Audi/BOSE Music System.

A8 3.7s are equipped with the same four-link front suspension design found on the A4. This setup virtually removes torque steer while providing precise, neutral steering. Both models have a fully independent rear suspension, which features passive rear-wheel steering to help stabilize the A8's handling at all speeds. Standard Electronic Differential Locking (EDL) provides low-speed traction control operating through the antilock braking system on all A8s, while the A8 3.7 also benefits from Anti-slip Regulation (ASR) which controls wheel slippage at all speeds by modulating engine power.

Airbags are provided for all passengers. Dual front airbags are supplemented by side airbags tucked into the front seats. Rear passengers also get side airbags, mounted to the seat rather than the door panel. Other features include special glass that blocks 99 percent of UV radiation and 30 percent of total radiation energy, and a climate control system that circulates residual heat from the engine through the interior to keep things warm on very cold days. Optional is a warm weather package that includes a power rear window sunshade and a solar sunroof that generates its own electricity to operate fresh air ventilation while the car is parked in the hot sun.

Standard is an ergonomic interior slathered in burled walnut and Nappa leather upholstery. Instrumentation is superb, and features soothing red nighttime backlighting. Front seats are power adjustable in 14 different ways, and a memory feature accommodates four different settings for the driver's seat, exterior mirrors, driver's headrest height, and steering wheel position. The steering wheel tilts out of the way when the key is removed from the ignition. The automatic dual-zone temperature controls employ two sunlight sensors to help maintain accuracy. A central locking system controls windows, door locks, sunroof, trunk, and fuel door. All windows have one-touch up/down function, enhanced by a pinch protection system.

Audi claims that the A8 4.2 Quattro will get from rest to 60 mph a hair under seven seconds. Retail price is exactly $65,000 at this writing. In comparison, the 740iL runs a smidge more while the Mercedes-Benz S320 short-wheelbase model runs a tad less. The A8 3.7, at more than $57,000, is more expensive than the Cadillac STS, the Infiniti Q45 and the Lexus LS400. Audi is on a roll lately, thanks to the excellent A4 sedan, which manages to undercut nearly all of its competition in the entry-level luxury class without sacrificing the luxury portion of the equation. Time will tell if the rather expensive A8's technological advances are desirable enough to bring BMW, Lexus and Benz intenders into Audi showrooms.

1997 Highlights

Audi revolutionizes luxury sedan construction with the Audi Space Frame, which employs seven new aircraft-grade aluminum alloys to lighten weight and provide a tighter, more crashworthy structure. The new A8 is also the first passenger car equipped with six airbags. The usual accoutrements associated with a premium German sedan are all in place.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Audi A8.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

LOVE THIS CAR!!!!
KD,08/05/2006
I purchased this car new. I feel it is an AWESOME car, the experience to have this car will stay in my memory forever. I LOVE the way it drives, very powerful and solid, can move QUICKLY when needed and beautiful inside and out! I can't imagine driving another car!
Audi A8
Anonymous,12/06/2010
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.
An automotive jewell!
jojo mojo,12/20/2006
I purchased a used '97 Quattro with all extras - winter, hot weather and convenience packages. On top of that the Nav system is upgraded to the Euro version with a big screen in the center console, as well as 3 10" subs in the trunk. All I need is a Phatnoise MP3 player in place of the CD changer, and a fridge, and I can live in this car. :)) Learn how to do small repairs and you'll avoid the dealer charges. I just replaced valve cover gasket myself - $60 for parts (not from the dealer - plenty websites sell original parts) and two hours because I took my time. I change my oil, brakes, sparkplugs, and other simple maintenance!
Excellent Car
AL/Dallas,02/25/2004
This car looks much better in real-life than in pictures. I bought mine for the fact that it is a rare car. You see 20 BMW 7 series for every A8 you see on the road. The gearing is set too high so that stoplight launches are not spectacular but this car has fantastic passing speed. I've taken it up to 130 mph and the engine doesn't even strain. The transmission is turbine smooth and shifts seamlessly. The interior is luxurious yet sporty and logically laid out. Maintenance is expensive (similiar to Mercedes and BMW) but expected. The A8 makes my friends Acura RL feel like a Honda Accord. Always fun to drive.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
Gas
230 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Audi A8 Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1997 Audi A8
Used 1997 Audi A8 Sedan Overview

The Used 1997 Audi A8 Sedan is offered in the following styles: 4dr Sedan, and quattro 4dr Sedan AWD.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Audi A8 Sedan?

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Can't find a used 1997 Audi A8 A8 Sedan you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Audi A8 for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $7,614.

Find a used Audi for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $14,640.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi A8 for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $16,653.

Find a used certified pre-owned Audi for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,330.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Audi A8?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Audi lease specials
Check out Audi A8 lease specials