1997 Audi A8 Quattro 4.2 from North America


Still a dream machine after 10 years


Okay, it's had its fair share of problems. But fortunately quite a bit was covered under the Audi Assured (extended warranty) program. One of the more serious glitches was the "multifunction switch", which controls transmission functions. It fried while on vacation many miles from home, but the local Audi dealer was fabulous, and a rental car was covered under the warranty, so it was just a minor inconvenience and a bit of an adventure. Am now experiencing the apparently commonplace transmission "hunting" between 4th and drive at low RPM's. As most people have observed, it's an annoyance, but not super-critical (yet).

Also had the tie rods replaced due to excess play, and now have some additional rattles in the front suspension that need to be addressed. I'm sure that the engine will run forever, it's just a question of the rest of the infrastructure holding together.

General Comments:

Perfect combo of style, comfort and performance.

Can't be beat for long trips, it's like rolling along in your living room. You'll never drive a more comfortable car. It puts my Mercedes to shame in that regard.

Performance is still satisfying at 10 years old. Still reasonably tight. Some coil-over shocks would probably give the suspension a new lease on life.

Sound system is the best factory system I've ever owned, and still performs flawlessly, never had a hiccup.

It's a classic beauty in the looks department, and of course with the aluminum construction, rust will never be an issue. Also the best paint of any car I've owned, by far. Both my A8 and my Mercedes CLK AMG are silver, and the paint on the Benz doesn't come close to the Audi in appearance, even though the Benz is half the Audi's age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2007

1997 Audi A8 Quattro 4.2 from North America


Luxury performance cruiser


Front rotors warped after only 10,000 miles. Repair cost $600 (including new pads of course) and was not covered under the Audi Assured program (which is generally great) since brakes are considered consumable items. Hopefully this was a fluke and will not be repeated 10000 miles from now.

The so-called Multi-function Switch needed to be replaced recently. It controls transmission functionality. This was covered by Audi Assured. Breakdown occurred while on vacation in Vermont, but all was handled well by the Roadside Assistance program and local dealer.

General Comments:

Gorgeous piece of automotive art, with impeccable fit and finish. Now five years old and still has a showroom finish. Gobbles up the highway miles. Extremely precise handling under any road conditions. Handles like a big cat, with exceptionally responsive and tight steering and suspension. Only complaint is with the transmission, which has a serious lag when downshifting into passing gear. This is a minor point relative to the overall combination of luxury and performance offered by the vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2002

30th Oct 2004, 08:30


I bought an Audi A8 4.2 Quattro late 1998 model, one owner with full service history, garaged, 64450 miles, recent 60000 mile dealer service, warm weather package, 17" premium wheels etc, from www.ecarlink.com for $15880.

You certainly paid way too much. I changed to drilled Zimmerman rotors/Pagid pads, and replaced the outer tie rods for better performance. There are any number of high quality car dealers on eBay, selling for similar prices, and shipping via DAS auto shippers is a breeze.

That must have been the most expensive drink you ever had. Sorry to learn about your ordeal.

20th Nov 2005, 21:42

I'm thinking the "drink" owner above actually paid $19,000, but was $10,000 "upside down" on his Hyundai (a common problem if you finance a car and sell too early). Since he's put 30,000 miles on it, it was likely bought somewhere around 2002, so if it really was $29,000, hopefully it was a Certified Pre-Owned car.

7th Aug 2006, 13:22

Your front rotors may have warped due to over tightening the lug nuts. Did you use after-market or alternate Audi wheels or have another reason to re-tighten the front lug nuts?

20th Jun 2007, 01:38

Had new pads and rotors installed. Immediately the driver's side rear pads lock when the emergency brake is applied. What procedure was missed by the mechanic that should have prevented this from happening? Also, how do I correct this problem? Thanks.