A history lesson…
The daddy of the super-luxurious, super-‘get-out-of-my-way poor-person’ saloons, the Audi A8 still remains the top dog. There are plenty of cars which specialise within the A8’s sector – Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series, for instance – but those cars are a bit like Man UTD: very nice, talented; but everyone supports them. The A8 is a bit like Chelsea; slightly underrated but still capable of winning when it matters in the big stakes.
The A8 is, perhaps, a little more aimed at the older person, but it still remains one of the best ways to drive about in supreme luxury. If you want respect on the road, the massive A8 will do that all day long.
Bang for your buck
Okay, so the A8 is an expensive car, but for your hard-earned Audi really does give you everything. They put in pretty much every gadget they make, along with the best engines and build-quality. It is Audi’s flagship luxury model, so expect a bundle of wood, leather and comfort.
You also get a hell of a lot of space inside, so you can show it off to your mates all at once.
What you’ll pay
The 4.0-litre TDI is one of the more popular models, so expect to pay around £28,000 for an 04 plate. Watch out for the 6.0-litre versions; they are incredible but they also come with group 20 insurance, which is the same as a supercar!
What to check
The aluminium bodywork is, naturally, rust-proof, so no need to worry about the brown stuff here. A full service history is essential, as is a good check of the four-wheel-drive Quattro system – make sure this works!
Other than that, Audis are built like tanks, so you should be fine.
A new clutch will be about £280, while door mirrors retail for circa £120 a side, so not too bad but hardly prices to write home about. Just remember this is an expensive car so expect the parts prices to match its upper-class style.
How it drives
The 6.0-litre V12 version is a monster and will bankrupt you in no time; it’s a great car, just make sure you can afford it before you even begin to consider one. All A8s drive superbly for their size, but don’t expect sports car levels of handling capabilities, though; as that’s just not what the A8 is designed for.
It’s a car to waft home in after a long day at work. It’s a car that will sooth your brow with its unbelievably comfortable suspension. It’s a car you will be proud to own and drive, along with rubbing it in your neighbours’ faces.
The TDI models are the ones to go for because they represent fantastic value, reliability and, most importantly, fuel economy. The power will be sufficient and it should last you a lifetime if treated properly.