I've owned two A8s. One I bought new when the L version first came out in 2000 or 2001. It was a lemon so I sued Audi and got all my money back. I loved driving the car and thought this was an exception so I bought a precertified 1998 A8. Since then I have replaced millions of things. From the transmission (died at 86K) all the engine seals, all the suspension parts, oil cooler twice, fan, heater core (expensive!) etc. I still drive the car since I like it and it is cheaper than buying a new one since I don't like the current body style. I don't have a high opinion of build quality, but it is a great car and gas mileage is pretty good. Use the tiptronic for freeway driving 20% better economy.
look, interior, handling, power
Build it so something doesn't break every 2000 miles.
Love my A8. It now has 180,000 miles and going strong, great on highway. Have kept up with maintenance schedule and it still runs and looks like new but my kids said to sell it for a new one as I have had the same car for 10 yrs. I will be buying another Audi.
After owning numerous BMW's and driving a lot more other cars in the past twelve years, this car is a revelation. I never thought that an Audi will give me so much driving pleasure plus doing it in utmost comfort and style. It is certainly a very beautiful car.
The styling. Also the Quattro drive system. Driver comfort is also a plus point, with that the rear seat comfort must also be mentioned. The excellent Bose sound system must also be mentioned.
The car is ten years old so things like xenon lights and heated/ventilated seats wasn't standard features. Park distance control would have been nice to have.
Well built and high roadability particularly in northern climates where the quattro really helps. Hardly any minor defects. Excellent fit and finish. Only drawback was that at 150,000 miles had several expensive repairs that were not routine maintenance including failure of the power windows, pulley bearing failures and computer controls failure.
Traction and performance of the quattro AWD system is exceptional. A quiet, quiet ride (you can whisper in one on the highway and be heard by a passenger).
More durability in some of the small features like the heated mirrors, power windows, retract motor for the sunroof.
Yes I did buy a used A8 with 85k miles and started with tires, checkup, belts- waterpump-timing chains with my Audi machanic of 15 years. I started to drive 100+ miles daily and never stopped. This car needs to drive to stay fit and clean. If you do a lot of short trips and cannot open this beauty up on the highway then this is not the car for you. I now have 122k on my second year and other than a few pesky oil or water drips from the water pump side of the engine, the car is a 10. I drive fast (80-90+) when on the highway but city driving is also just fine. Good mileage in the 20-23 mpg depending on speed but the all around average is 21.
The interior is perfect, seats firm and comfortable, controls are good and driver view is excellent. You feel very safe in all areas. The size feels smaller than it is large footprint. You could rent space in the trunk, enjoy the space and ski door.
This year has a weak arm rest that is very expensive to repair. Engine compartment light would be nice and the trunk light is weak. The trans filter and oils needs to be changed every year. The 5 speed auto searches for a torquier gear while coasting. It needs attention but does not affect car.