The handling was firm, responsive and impressive. Solid throttle response. Cornered in rain at 35 without a problem. Adaptive air suspension adjusted to conditions. Stunning body style,interior look/feel and comfort. MMI seems intimidating-not true. Sharp, clear visual display and options on the MMI and all dash components. So quiet and comfortable you can forget you're driving. Surround sound is near symphony quality. I'll sleep in this car over my bed anyday! Kids will not get these keys.
Most of the reliability issues owners have experienced are electronic problems. Interestingly, I have had major mechanical issues - transmission, suspension, cooling system and more. All these problems started right around 51K miles, just out of warranty! So far I have spent over $6,000 in repairs. About $4,500 of that is parts, because you won't find aftermarket parts for this car. If you are reading this review you are probably considering purchasing a used 2004. My best advice would be to get the best extended warranty you can. Get a warranty that has "stated exclusions" only, so you know exactly what will not be covered. With all that said, I really do love driving the car!
We expected Audi quality and attn to customer service when we purchased this vehicle. Our experience has been terrible. Mechanical car repairs since 80,000KM have exceeded $7,500. Examples of necessary repairs are, replacing starter cost $992.16, dysfunctional remote which has had batteries replaced 5 times. Four upper control link bushings cost $1130.53, breather valve atop manifold cost $240.81. Decarbonization of air intake system cost $216.57. And the car stopped functioning on HWY 81 last night requiring towing, stranding us in Wilkes Barre, Penn and now requiring replacement of the mass air flow sensor cost unknown. It apparently was also misfiring on some cylinders.
The Audi A8L is both an engineering triumph and a nightmare. It is the best riding, best handling, most responsive car I've ever driven in a long series of BMW-7, Jaguar XK, MB S-Class and other assorted vehicles I've owned. It even gets remarkably good gas mileage (25 mpg on the highway at 72 mph) thanks to its aluminum body and consequent light weight. What's the catch? It's had to be flat-bedded to the dealer twice with a dead battery. The battery can't be charged, can't be installed outside a dealer who mates it to the car via computer. Seems its electronics are so complex that the engineers wanted to give it a 24-volt system, but the marketers said "no." The engineers were right.
This car is so comfortable we call it the sofa. It has,however, been a maintenance nightmare. It is constantly in the shop and dealers in northern California uniformly provide lousy but expensive service. When the heater failed while in Minnesota on a winter trip, the dealer groaned when he saw it was a 2004. Nothing but headaches, he told me. Tons of electrical problems to start with, then the list gets mechanical.