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Old 02-03-2014, 07:18 AM   #1
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Default Driving the A8

I was an Audi fan for many years with a few 100's and A6's. Then I switched to a 550BMW which I have had for 3 generations now. However, I am looking for a change, so Friday I am test driving the A8. I did test drive the BMW 750 and found it to drive "too big". A number of write ups on the A8 suggest it drives like a smaller sedan than you would expect, given its size - its 8" longer than my BMW550. Another thought is an S6, but I am not sure I will like the ride. In any case, I was wondering how folks find the actual driving experience of the A8 and what other cars they considered? My commute is a mixture of highway and local roads in Connecticut. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #2
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I love the ride of the A8. I have the A8L. It is comfortable and depending on the setting very smooth.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:49 PM   #3
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Default switched from a 650i

I recently switched from a 650iC, so have some sense of how you'll see the difference. Although the 5 and 6 are a bit different, the drive train and overall driving experience will be pretty similar.

As far as driving experience, the first two things I noted were:
1) AWD vs RWD, even at moderate speeds I could tell that there was drive to the front wheels - took me a day or so to adjust my cornering approach to compensate for the [lack of] over steer.
2) Power delivery. I have the 4.2 A8 (D4) and was really glad to get back to a vehicle without the horrible throttle lag that I had on the 650. There is perhaps not as much power in the A8 4.2, (or at least not unless you go into 'M' mode on the transmission), but the overall power delivery is much smoother and more predictable. I certainly don't notice any lack of power compared to the 650. I have heard some folks complain about throttle lag on the 4.0T versions - I have no direct experience of that.


Even by comparison to the 6er, which was fairly small, the A8 doesn't appear to have the barge like qualities of a larger car. It has a reasonably sporty character in 'S' mode, and 'go where you point it' handling. All in all, I find the A8 great fun to drive, and definitely an upgrade compared to the 650 (although in fairness, I never really liked the 650).

Good look with your search,


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Old 02-05-2014, 11:28 AM   #4
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I agree that the 750 feels big and handles that way as well. THe 550 is just right but you already have one.
I sold my A8 and went with a 650 Grand Coupe. It is simply outstanding. I do not have the x-drive but you could get that as well. As a daily driver, you definitely need to take a test drive as I believe it is a pure drivers car that handles better than the 7 or the 5. However, it is not as smooth as the A8 so it depends upon what you want in the vehicle. As for me, I definitely prefer the 650 GC. For more excitement, go for the M6 Grand Coupe. You could definitely beat the traffic in CT in that one. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:56 AM   #5
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Default Wow

I drove the 2014 A8 SWB 4.0T. What an amazing car. It holds the road like it is on rails with no body roll. The adaptive suspensions works incredibly well. On comfort you can feel nothing - then turn the dial and it become much more aggressive. I went down snow covered back roads and highways - car didn't budge.

The car is about 3" wider than my BMW 550 and it does feel a small bit wider - but its acceptable. Getting back into the 550i turned it to comfort mode - and it was so much more noisey and harsh than the A8.

The technology is amazing. Cameras all around, warning indicators, touch screen, language learning, Nav etc etc. Safety features are outstanding. The front hood is so light.

I will be ordering a 2015 in dark blue 4.0T. I was told July delivery and order in March according to the regional manager. No word on what are the 5 new colors yet.

Only downside is the price!
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonjb View Post
Only downside is the price!
Not sure I understand how the price is a downside. You cannot compare the price of the A8 to the 550 as they are 2 different classes of vehicles. And if you compare it to the 750 then you will see the price is about the same.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:39 AM   #7
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Default Driving the A8

I bought a 2011 A8 CPO that was just off lease from VW Credit. What an amazing car. I grew up in the car business. My family sold Chryslers from 1925 to 1980. We even had Mercedes in the 60's & early 70's. I worked for a Porsche-Audi, Mercedes, and Pontiac dealer in the 1980s after my father sold his business. Anyway, the point is, Mercedes were always solid and Audi was innovative is somewhat less reliable (think electrical) back in those days. I was able to drive some great cars back then. Ferrari, Porsche 928S & 911T, MB, Lamborghini, BMW, etc.

Audi took us up to Watkin's Glen where we were able to drive the 4000 & 5000 against BMW, Volvo, MB. Even then the Audi was always a driver's car.

I find that to still to be true today. My 2011 A8 doesn't have the touch screen NAV system and requires manual updating, but other than that, I love this car. My local dealer DFW Audi gave me the correct price for the car and a bit more than I thought my trade was worth. I signed on the spot with no regrets.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #8
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Sorry - I should have been more clear - The BMW 550 was only a comparison of the adaptive suspension, not price. However, against any comparison, writing a check for $100,000 is a lot of money for a car.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:45 PM   #9
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I recently purchased a 2011 CPO A8L. I was really close to buying a 550S, but a friend told me about the Audi. I am glad that I listened and was able to find one as there were not many around. I am very tall and this car has the leg room in front and back, but drives like a much smaller car. It is a blast to drive and I love the B&O stereo system.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longbow42 View Post
I recently purchased a 2011 CPO A8L. I was really close to buying a 550S, but a friend told me about the Audi. I am glad that I listened and was able to find one as there were not many around. I am very tall and this car has the leg room in front and back, but drives like a much smaller car. It is a blast to drive and I love the B&O stereo system.
That is the reason I bought mine, the leg room front and back. That and the fact that I liked the D4 from day one.
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2008 S6 V10 - 5.2 Quattro SOLD
2002 A4 3.0 Quattro SOLD
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:37 PM
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