2008 Audi A8 Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
May 29, 2008

Perky, nimble handling and frisky, refined performance is what separates the 2008 Audi A8 from the rest of the super-sedans.

The A8, Audi's large luxury sedan, gets a number of minor cosmetic improvements--including a redesigned front end and LE taillights--and newly available high-tech features for 2008.

Changes for this model year include updated steering hardware for more road feel. The air suspension has also been retuned. The styling is still beyond subtle; it's almost impossible to detect how the A8 looks much different from the rest of the Audi family.

The 2008 Audi A8 develops 350 hp from a 4.2-liter V-8 in most cases. On some long-wheelbase models, power comes from a 450-hp W12. The V-10-powered S8 is covered separately. With the V-8 there's plenty of power on tap, but don't test-drive the W-12 until you're sure you want it. Its immense power comes with a tremendous shove from stoplights, and its quiet whir is the only indication at the effortless way it accelerates the car.

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Audi puts some of the best seats we've sampled in the A8. They're big, firm, snugly bolstered, and supportive in the ways you need for long-haul driving. The base car has fine room for adults in back, but "L" cars have limo-like space in back, enough room for the most lanky of bodies.

The Audi's instrument panel looks remarkably clean and clearly laid-out. It's due to the infotainment interface that uses a simple controller to direct audio, navigation, and climate-control functions. The system in the 2008 Audi A8 works quite well, especially when compared with BMW iDrive and Mercedes COMAND.

New high-tech options for 2008 include a side assist system that uses radar technology to scan blind spots alongside the car, and a lane assist system that uses a small camera to warn the driver with a steering-wheel vibration if the vehicle strays from lane markings. Audi also offers an awe-inspiring Bang & Olufsen sound system, rear climate control, a rearview camera, and a power rear sunshade, as well as a Sport Package. All models come with heated seats front and rear, bi-xenon headlights, and navigation.

The 2008 Audi A8 has not been crash tested, but the list of safety features is vast, including separate front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, front active head restraints, and electronic stability control.

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