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!
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 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!
This is really the finest of cars. I love the performance, comfort, and driving characteristics. The only issue is the exorbinate price of repairs. Driven entirely by Audi's excessive prices. The screw in replacement antenna cost over $150 (dealer is only place to get part). You will love the car, but expect to pay ($$$) for that love!
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.