Audi A8 - Used Car

Review

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

TO my eyes, the Audi A8 built until 2018 is better looking than the latest model with it's 'gatemouth' grille.

And for the many drivers who hanker after a large, superbly built prestige saloon, there are models to suit all needs and all pockets

Prices for the earliest models from 2010 are now down to around £7,000, and although some may have long mileage under their wheels, a full service history will mean they're usually still good for many more.

This really is a car that can be all things to all men, with superb refinement and marvellous engines, plus top-of-the-market luxury.

Most models have massive performance and Audi's quattro four wheel drive traction, and they're all fitted with a delightfully smooth changing and switchable tiptronic automatic gearbox.

Put all this together and you have one of the top luxury cars on the market, with understated looks that only add to its appeal.

By far the majority on the secondhand market will be the smooth and frugal 3.0-litre V6 diesel capable of no less than 49 miles per gallon.

This is the most sensible model, with power in later models boosted to an excellent 262bhp - enough for a 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint of 5.7 seconds.

There's also a 4.2-litre V8 diesel with 345bhp that blitzes the sprint in just 5.4 seconds and can still muster 36mpg.

Over in the petrol camp was a choice of silky smooth 3.0, 4.0, 4.2 and 6.3-litre units, with power ranging from 285 to no less than 493bhp. But by 2017 only the 6.3-litre model remained.

And for those who want pure performance with their luxury, one of these has to be top of the list, as demonstrated by Jason Statham in sundry Transporter movies.

However, economy drops to between 23 and 31mpg for all except one.

That's the TFSI hybrid and even that had been dropped by 2017. It has a 2.0-litre petrol engine plus an electric motor giving a total of 241bhp, and a 60 miles an hour sprint of 7.7 seconds. Economy is a very creditable 44mpg but it loses the quattro four wheel drive that the rest of the range enjoys.

All have wonderful comfort, library reading room hush and immense refinement.

But give one its head, and they also have the most marvellous handling and roadholding - helped by that four wheel drive of course - which will also keep them going in the worst that winter can throw at us.

I remember driving the 3.0-litre TDI and it's all but inaudible, apart from a slight hum as the revs rise at a plant of the right foot. Road and wind noise are so subdued as to be hardly worth mentioning.

The automatic gearbox takes all the strain in its stride, and performance is excellent to mind blowing, depending on the model.

The luxury inside is wonderful. There are acres of leather, electrically adjustable heated and cooled seats, satellite navigation and a Bose sound system which could probably fill Wembley stadium.

The steering is full of feel, the boot is vast, and there are many little touches, including a rear sunscreen which lifts at the touch of a button.

All in all, the A8 is absolutely brilliant, and it comes with Audi's very good reputation for longevity and reliability.

But don't buy one without that service history. You have to know it has been properly fettled, and of course, even servicing and tyres for such a car come at a little more than the ordinary.

Pay about £19,000 for an '18 18-reg 3.0 TDI SE Executive, or £19,650 for a '17 17-reg 4.2 TDI Sport.

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