2003 Audi A8 V8 Quattro

Summary:

Beautiful ride, gorgeous car with many problems and needed repairs

Faults:

We have had numerous problems with this car almost from the day it was purchased.

The brakes squeak so loud it is embarrassing to come to a stop - the dealership claims it is due to materials used in the brakes and refuses to fix the problem. Even a call to Audi Customer Service produced no results.

Other problems... knobs break, leather/plastic materials used for door switches and controls peel and tear, trunk latch has broken, emergency kit in trunk has broken, door plate has fallen off 2x, speaker covers fall off, air compressor broke, engine light on requiring new parts, fuel pump, cup holders broke, CD system problems which dealer cannot identify, parts not installed properly when the car was built or not installed at all require attention, and on and on.

All problems have been fixed by Audi with no charge, however, this car has been in for servicing so many times as a result of need for repairs that we are enormously frustrated and angry.

General Comments:

This car drives beautifully, looks gorgeous and is comfortable in both the front and back seats. The back seat is the most spacious we have ever encountered. On the highway, it is quiet and smooth. This car handles amazingly well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd February, 2006

9th Sep 2007, 11:43

I owned a 2002 Audi A8L...what a great car... until the avalanche started. Major transmission problems, electrical problems... you name it. The dealership is worthless. Very nice when you buy the car, but insulting otherwise.

I will never buy another European car again. They are wonderful to drive, but mechanical nightmares. I had enough. If you can believe it, I bought a new Hyundai Azera Limited. Is it an Audi? Of course not. But frankly, it's just as comfortable... and the rear seat legroom is not far behind the A8. And guess what? 38,000 miles later and not one problem. And when one pops up, I have that 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Better yet, the Hyundai dealer actually smiles and shows respect. For $26,500 totally loaded, it's the best car buy of my life... and perhaps the best car.

I've owned Mercedes (nightmare), BMW (nightmare on wheels) Audi (see above), Volkswagen (awful dealership experience, awful electronics and reliability), Lexus (sweet, but again expensive maint), and Toyota (I had a 91 Cressida... until the Azera, the best car I've ever owned). This Azera is the real deal, and such an amazing contrast compared with my A8.

Again, I'm not comparing the Azera to an A8. It is not a high-tech, sophisticated euro-machine. But I know that when I want to get from point-A to point-B, I know that there won't be any drama. $10,000 for a new tranny is absurd. Thank you Hyundai for keeping it simple.

13th Feb 2009, 15:26

Hmmm above comment is suspect. Key to any luxury vehicle with high mechanical labor is always an extended warranty. Just because a car costs an arm and a leg doesn't mean it is going to be perfect. Cars and trucks have one purpose, to be driven. And often, #$it happens.

God bless and long live the extended warranties.

5th Jul 2011, 14:14

If you buy a top of the range A8, then you have to accept the odd bug. It is after all, an incredibly complex machine. I think it is a fantastically over engineered vehicle, with fantastic build quality. It's also probably one of the safest cars to be in, in an accident.

24th Jul 2011, 00:31

I would have to agree with safe. I've had 5 yes, I'm an idiot, old V8 quattro's and a couple of later A8's and a POS RS6. Got in an accident at deep into triple digit speeds in a V8 Quattro and no worries. Did I state I have no sense?

They are horrible cars, yet wonderful. No different than a MGC or any British thingy. No bragging, but I've been a damn good mechanic over the years, and I can tear one of these damn things apart just as easy as a '71 Boss 351, but why? The driving experience is fantastic, but doesn't out weigh the B.S. We've all seen Ronin, and that in itself spiked much interest in the Audi gene, like Vanishing Point and Bullit did with Mopars. Don't listen to the proper, concise, seemingly educated talk about Audi's. If you live in Wiesbaden, buy a god damn Audi. If you live in the state's, prepare to have your ass kicked by one.