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Old 11-12-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
equ
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A8L Loaner

It's an 09, so nearly the tail end of the last generation that ended in '10... I haven't driven the 7er or the S in a year or two, but from what I dimly remember, the a8 is much less of a barge.

Quite a good car, this. Seems to get better mpg's than the croc, about equivalent to most 6-cylinder audi and bmw's. The interior/Nav/MMI is partially behind that of my a4, but it certainly doesn't matter much in this leathered living room in a bank vault. Very comfy with quite acceptable handling (not something I though when I last drove a 7er). I wish I could have sampled the sports seats/suspension on tires that were not pirelli p6's. No car that I have ever driven has been so quiet on the highway. Also the door close thunk is otherworldly... So much so that despite the autotragic (which really doesn't matter much in a car like this other than reliability to my mind) I found myself doing some searches to see where the numbers are at, and you know what you get a lot of car for your money if you spend $40k on a last gen a8. The plutocrat feeling is pretty cool, though it might wear off around Christmas (as it makes the expectations rise). You might have to visit the extended family in the ole' e39.

I would definitely go for the short wheelbase, I currently have no person or thing to place in those awesome rears. Pity that they don't fold, which would have made this the ultimate 1st class ski trip car. I'd most likely want the sports package though I'd have to try it to be sure it doesn't ruin anything.

(The photo is not fair to the a8L's length.. Viewing angle + cayman is in front of a couple of motos. It is longer by several feet.)
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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Also full-sized spare! Take that bmw! Haven't seen that since my e39.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Also full-sized spare! Take that bmw! Haven't seen that since my e39.
I've always really liked the prior gen A8/S8. Have on a number of occasions found myself sifting through autotrader listings, automatic aside.

EDIT: Speaking of cars I might buy if I could tolerate an automatic, the Phaeton is another one, though the reliability on those kind of terrifies me.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Have you driven an a8? Very decent (as long as you're not expecting M-like experience). Just think of the range... 24mpg hwy with a 23 gallon tank.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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How is a Phaeton less reliable than comparable bmw's & merc's? I'd venture that it's at least as good. I've been in and driven one, the build quality is insane. VW really took it to the next level for that model.

However, the a8 is much better to drive. Hated the phaeton's disconnected chassis and steering, true Limo. The a8 actually has a tiny bit of character, drives pretty similar to an e39 sport from what I can see. Bit more cornering grip, a good bit less steering feel but still a modicum of it is there.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question...9204223AA0ROom
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...n..Reliability
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:43 PM   #7
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Those links actually don't have much info. If one is so inclined, some good data is at truedelta.com... If you actually bother to read the commentary for the d3 a8, there is nothing "serious" that I see (and quite a lot of cars with 100k miles). Avoid air suspension (but that's true for merc's as well) get engine with timing chain, not belt so that needs to be 07+ I think.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:17 PM   #8
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Day 2:

The novelty faded. Pulling in and out of spot (with the motorcycle wedged in) became a real chore. Sure it would be awesome on those few days a year I drive 300+ miles, but those are few and far between... So the big boat gets a 'Meh'. But it sure impresses at first.

The braking of the a8 did not feel great at all. Sure this was a loaner with nearly 40k miles, craptastic tires and overdue for a fluid flush, but I really had that braking an old Mercury feeling. Engine sound is underwhelming when you do hear it (sort of like most Audis). At low revs, moderate throttle it sounds like a Crown Vic. At high revs, it's a bit jarring.

Yes, I do like the a8's heated, ventilated and butt-massaging seats better. But then the s4/s6 seats are better yet (though with less blingy adjustments). The steering/chassis feel certainly go to my a4 sport and I was happy to be back in it.

Last edited by equ; 11-14-2012 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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Day 2:

The novelty faded.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:44 AM   #10
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I still like my E38's.

Just put new shocks/struts and H&R springs in the '01 (got rid of the EDC system).



Very nice....
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