Used 2008 Audi A8
Used 2008 Audi A8 for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Although it may lack the snob appeal of some of its fellow Germans, the 2008 Audi A8 gives absolutely nothing away to them in terms of luxury, performance or craftsmanship.
Choosing the 2008 Audi A8 as your premium luxury sedan is sort of like buying a pair of Brooks running shoes. They may not impress most of your jock friends as much as Nikes, but you (as well as serious runners) would have the smug satisfaction of knowing you chose a product built with an unwavering dedication to its purpose.
With Audi's flagship, it's the same deal. Unlike the status seekers who automatically go with the status quo, true car enthusiasts know all about this dark-horse candidate. In fact, the Audi A8 has consistently been one of our staff's favorite luxury sedans for the past half-decade. A few reasons for our Audi adoration include a roomy, impeccably finished cabin, powerful performance and a polished demeanor on the road.
Compared to the somewhat busy styling of its chief rivals -- the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS 460 the Audi A8's crisply tailored sheet metal exudes a subtle yet powerful confidence, much like an athlete in a custom-made suit. The cabin exhibits the same handsome, elegant theme along with top-grade materials and many thoughtful features.
A couple of other attributes are typical A8: all-aluminum construction and the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Contributing to its serene ride quality and composed handing is the A8's adaptive air suspension that provides a plush freeway ride as well as buttoned-down handling when the car is being pressed on a twisty road. For power, there is a pair of very capable engines: a 350-horsepower V8 and a 450-hp W12. Either powerhouse will swiftly bring the A8 up to speed and easily show off its autobahn breeding via effortless cruising at seriously illegal velocities.
Although the 2008 Audi A8 is certainly impressive in terms of design, performance and build quality, it still lags behind some of its fellow Germans (as well as the Lexus) on the sales charts. We're betting that's due to Audi's perceived lack of prestige. Let's face it. Most folks want it painfully obvious to their friends and neighbors -- via a three-pointed star or blue-and-white roundel -- that yes, indeed, they drive a premium luxury sedan. Sadly, these people probably never even test-drove the fully competitive A8. We strongly urge you to do so if you're shopping this segment.
trim levels & features
The 2008 Audi A8 comes in three trims: A8, A8 L (the "L" signifying a long wheelbase for increased rear-seat legroom) and A8 L W12 (the "W12" indicating that it's powered by a W12 engine). The A8 and A8 L come with virtually every luxury feature as standard, including a navigation system, leather upholstery, 16-way power front seats, heated seats (front and rear), xenon HID headlights and a 12-speaker Bose audio system with satellite radio and a CD changer.
The W12 adds keyless startup, power door closers, parking sensors, four-zone climate control, ventilated/massaging front seats, four-way lumbar adjustment (for all passengers), an Alcantara headliner and a wood steering wheel. Most of the W12's features are optional on the other A8s. Other options include a 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, adaptive cruise control, a personal refrigerator, a sunroof and a Sport package for V8 models that includes a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels and steering wheel shift paddles.
performance & mpg
Both the A8 and A8 L come with a 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 that makes 350 hp and 325 pound-feet of torque. Named after its special engine, the W12 model has a 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine that makes 450 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. The W12 actually consists of two narrow-angle 15-degree V6 engines joined at the crankshaft, which makes it more compact than a conventional V12. Both engines are matched to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that drives all four wheels through Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
With either engine, this is a quick luxury sedan. The 4.2 V8 version can hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and cover the quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds, while the W12 betters those stats by about a half second in each case.
Standard on all A8s are antilock brakes, stability and traction control, full-length side curtain airbags, front- and rear-seat side airbags and active front headrests.
Regardless of which A8 you're piloting, throttle response is gratifying. Whether taking off from a stoplight or jetting up to cruising speed on the freeway, a solid rush of power is always on tap. Powerful and easily modulated brakes have no problem reining in the A8. The air suspension is well sorted; left in automatic mode the system works just fine, providing a soft but not mushy ride and solid composure through the twisty bits. Select the "Dynamic" setting and body lean is kept to an absolute minimum, making the 2008 Audi A8 feel more like a compact sport sedan rather than a large flagship luxury car.
All passengers should find comfort in the A8. This is particularly true with the L version, as it boasts 42 inches of limolike rear legroom. Fit and finish throughout are superb, with generous amounts of wood, Alcantara and aluminum accents lending a luxurious ambience.
With 16-way power adjustment (including upper seatback angle) and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, finding a comfortable driving position is easy for folks of all body types. The dash is uncluttered by buttons thanks to Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI), which handles everything from the navigation and audio systems to the adjustment of the driver-selectable air suspension. Mounted in the console and operated via a simple twist-and-press knob and four large surrounding buttons, Audi's MMI may draw comparisons to BMW's iDrive system. But unlike iDrive, MMI is simple and intuitive to operate once one gets past the initial learning curve.
Features & Specs
More About This Model
Our 2008 Audi A8 is just one in a long convoy that whisks through Karlsfeld, a small suburb about 50 klicks outside Munich. It's just after dawn on a Thursday morning and the small town is cloaked in thick fog. Twenty sets of xenon headlights cut through the haze and the bicycle commuters stop to watch our cavalcade roar across the cobblestone streets.
They probably assume that our big sedans with tinted windows must contain important political figures or high-ranking members of the Russian mafia. Whatever, because their open-mouthed reaction testifies to the 2008 Audi A8's presence on the road.
It proves that the A8 commands every bit as much shock and awe as the BMW 750Li or Mercedes-Benz S550, particularly in a small town where most of the cars on the streets could fit inside the trunk of our A8.
But It Doesn't Feel Big
Out of town and rocketing down a narrow, twisting German B-road, the 2008 Audi A8 has a way of feeling smaller than it actually is. This is a monumental achievement when you consider we're talking about one of the largest four-door sedans on the road. In "L" trim, the A8 checks in at a monumental 204.4 inches long and 74.6 inches wide, not counting the mirrors. This is a half-inch longer than a BMW 750Li and the same length as two Smart Fortwos placed end to end.
Maybe the feeling of compact maneuverability comes down to the precise steering, which seems telepathic thanks to the quicker-ratio steering rack from the current-generation S8 (a feature that every model of the new A8 will have). The newfound steering response allows you to precisely place the big A8 right between the fir trees at the edge of the road and the oncoming bread vans without making Mr. Baker-man cover his face and say his prayers when you zip through the gap.
The 2008 A8 also gets a revised air-spring suspension, which Audi calls "more responsive to minor irregularities in the road surface." Great, although we hadn't noticed the previous system was in need of improvement. As before, the suspension offers four driver-selected suspension modes that determine the firmness of body control as well as overall ride height.
The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side
No matter how good the steering and suspension might be, there's nothing like standing on the loud pedal and letting 'er rip. The 4.2-liter V8's eight cylinders hammer hard, while twin turbochargers help sink your skull back into the headrest with the swell of torque starting from just 1,600 rpm.
Wait, cancel that. It turns out that the twin-turbo diesel — the best of the A8's engine packages with 322 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque — isn't available on our side of the Atlantic. You'd never believe that a diesel could deliver such performance. Trust us, the grass actually is greener with Audi's twin-turbo V8 diesel.
But we're not doing too badly, as the U.S.-specification A8 will continue to be offered with the 4.2-liter V8 with direct injection, and the innovative 6.0 W12 will also be part of the program. And the S8 will continue to feature the 450-hp 5.0-liter V10 yanked from the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Opt for the 350-hp V8 and you'll find yourself 10 hp shy of the output of the BMW 750Li's 5.0-liter V8 and a full 32 hp down on a Mercedes-Benz S550's 5.5-liter V8. On the other hand, your Audi A8 is still hundreds of pounds lighter than either of those cars, despite the added weight of all-wheel drive.
If you're feeling inadequate, you can always check the box for the W12, which combines 450 hp with 428 lb-ft of torque for a surge of power in a luxuriously effortless whoosh. Plus, you seem like someone who has better things to do than drag race from stoplight to stoplight anyway.
Pick the Lambo V10-powered S8, on the other hand, and your 2-ton luxury car will roar with a soul that could drown out James Brown at a Baptist church on Easter morning.
Coddled and Quiet
When we tested the A8 L W12 back in 2005, we said it made us feel more at home in its well-appointed cabin than the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. We still can't think of a better way to describe the feeling. The top-notch interior of the 2008 Audi A8 feels warm and welcoming, despite its size.
Solving problems that don't exist seems to be one of Audi's specialties. To this end, the new A8 is even quieter than before — it's now the quietest car in its class. The new bragging rights are thanks largely to new fiber-type materials and textile surfaces that reduce ambient noise without adding weight.
For 2008 the A8's plush interior receives a few more gizmos. A vibrating steering wheel, for example. Using Audi's MMI control interface, you can adjust the vibration in three levels of intensity. It's not some newfangled European massage system but instead, part of Audi's lane-departure warning system. Set the system to its most aggressive warning profile (there are three sensitivity levels) and the steering wheel will jiggle like Rip Van Winkle on speed in order to shake you awake.
The 2008 A8 can also be equipped with Audi's blind-spot warning technology, which illuminates yellow LEDs in the outside rearview mirrors when it senses a vehicle in your blind spot. If the system is triggered and you maneuver toward the hidden vehicle, the lights get brighter and flash repeatedly. According to the engineers at Audi, "It is virtually impossible to overlook this impulse because the human eye is highly sensitive to changes in contrast in the peripheral field of vision."
Both these gizmos come as a package that'll run you $1,400.
Nip, Tuck and a Few More Bucks
All but the automotive elite will be hard-pressed to distinguish a 2008 Audi A8 from the old one, as the fundamental sculpture remains largely unchanged. There's a minor face-lift with a one-piece grille treatment, blinkers in the outside mirrors and LED-style taillights, but that's about it.
As you might expect, the people at Ingolstadt have raised the prices for the various A8 models, and the regular A8 4.2 starts at $70,690, a $1,790 premium over last year's car. The same additional price premium goes for the long-wheelbase A8 L, which now runs $74,690. Meanwhile, the S8 jumps $1,900 to $93,900. But if you splurge for the A8 L W12, the price jump amounts to just $750 for a total of $120,875.
The 2008 Audi A8 isn't cheap, but we've said it before and we'll say it again: The Audi A8 is as good as cars get.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2008 Audi A8 Overview
The Used 2008 Audi A8 is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include L quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A), quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A), and L W12 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (6.0L 12cyl 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2008 Audi A8?
Price comparisons for Used 2008 Audi A8 trim styles:
- The Used 2008 Audi A8 L quattro is priced between $11,995 and$11,995 with odometer readings between 117843 and117843 miles.
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