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STYLING | 7 out of 10
well-proportioned...appearance is subdued
interior more sporty rather than opulent, but it's still classy
gives nothing away in terms of luxury, performance
“hard to find room for improvement
The 2008 Audi A8 is largely a carryover version of a car styled to blend into the Audi lineup, instead of striking a bold new path.
There are two versions of the A8, Audi's large luxury sedan—a standard car and the A8 L, which has a 121-inch wheelbase, slightly more than 5 inches bigger than that of the base model, according to Cars.com. Both are penned not to offend. Automobile.com phrased it the best: "Aesthetically, Audi took the safe road when it penned the second-edition A8." Audi, the magazine says in its online site, has designed a “well-proportioned” car that’s “subdued,” but praises its “long, arc-shaped roofline and the familial front end.”
As Car and Driver points out, changes for the 2008 Audi A8 are minimal; other than LED turn signals and taillights, new wheels, and interior/exterior finish options, there's very little to distinguish the 2008 Audi A8 from its 2007 predecessor on the outside. Edmunds says the "snob appeal" of the Audi 2008 is still less than that of its rivals from BMW and Mercedes as a result.
Inside, it’s impeccably detailed, and the Audi A8’s cabin is as "handsome and spacious" as ever, Edmunds believes. Automobile.com calls it “conservative as the lobby of a Ritz-Carlton hotel,” with careful lines, lots of wood, and leather.
TheCarConnection.com’s editors think the A8 Audi is one of the most refined-looking vehicles on the road. The exterior shape is enduring; inside the A8, Audi's instrument panel looks remarkably clean and simplified compared to the excess of lines and gadgets in the latest Benz S-Class or BMW 7-Series.
The 2008 Audi A8 is a sober-looking sedan with a subtle richness inside—but if you want a new look, wait for 2009.