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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
state-of-the-art digital modeling has allowed Audi to build one of the safest cars in its class
[turn off the lane assist] except when going cross-country on too little sleep
Editors at TheCarConnection.com note that the 2009 Audi A8/A8L has not received crash-test ratings from either major agency—but there are plenty of airbags and other safety features.
J.D. Power contends that "state-of-the-art digital modeling has allowed Audi to build one of the safest cars in its class." Even with this distinction, Audi still piles safety features into the 2009 Audi A8/A8L. These include separate front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, front active head restraints, and electronic stability control—all standard, according to Cars.com. J.D. Power explains that "side-mounted air bag supplemental restraints and Sideguard head-protection air bags are designed to offer additional protection for both front and rear outboard occupants."
ForbesAutos reports that the 2009 Audi A8 features adaptive headlights as well. The headlights actually turn with the wheels, providing better illumination around curved roads at night. In addition, the windshield wipers are rain-sensing, the standard quattro all-wheel-drive system provides excellent control in a variety of road conditions, and the brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution ensure maximum stopping power. J.D. Power likes that "Lower Anchorage and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is standard, as is a tire-pressure-monitoring system."
Another interesting piece of safety equipment that comes standard on this year's A8 is Audi's lane assist. The device causes the steering wheel to vibrate when the vehicle begins to wander; however, Motor Trend recommends that this feature be turned off "except when going cross-country on too little sleep...it's amusing at first, then more annoying than helpful."
The 2009 Audi A8 and A8L have not yet been crash-tested. They do, however, offer an impressive range of safety equipment.