Audi A8 - a perfect

executive

Audi A8, front, action
Audi A8, side
Audi A8, rear
Audi A8, interior
Audi A8, rear seats

I HAVE always been hugely fond of the Audi A8 because it really can be all things to all men.

Most models have massive performance from V8 engines and four wheel drive traction, and they're all fitted with a delightfully smooth changing tiptronic automatic gearbox, making them one of the top executive cars.

The most sensible model is the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel, which is no slouch in its own right and which can also manage real economy of about 40 miles per gallon with low emissions.

There is also a V8 diesel with a load more power and a choice of 3.0, 4.0, 4.2 and 6.3-litre petrol engines.

For those who want pure performance with their luxury, one of these is top of the list, as demonstrated by Jason Statham in the Transporter films.

And of course, most have the security of all wheel drive traction to help get all the horses down onto the tarmac.

Suffice it to say that they all have wonderful comfort, library quiet and tenacious road holding.

I most recently drove the 3.0-litre TDI and and even this engine is unaudible and road and wind noise are not worth mentioning.

The automatic gearbox takes all the strain in its stride and performance - shall we just say more than adequate.

Inside all is pure luxury, as I have said. There is acres of black leather, electrically adjustable heated seats, satellite navigation and a multi-CD player with a Bose sound system which could probably fill the Millennium Stadium.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £16,700 for a '10 10-reg SE, or £26,000 for a '13 13-reg Executive

Mechanical: 246bhp, 2,967cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 44

Insurance Group: 43

C02 emissions: 169g/km

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