2001 Audi S8 from UK and Ireland
Comfort and performance for a low price
Small coolant leak from when I bought it, from a plastic pipe between the oil cooler and engine (could have lived with it, but got it fixed).
Front lambda sensors replaced at around 100,000 miles (but they are practically a service item at this mileage).
Water pump started squeaking at around 95,000 - replaced as a precaution (dealer should have replaced it during timing belt service).
Air con stopped blowing cold around 85,000 miles, needs re-gassing (not that unexpected).
There are some interior trim squeaks, not unexpected on a 10 year old car.
Servotronic module failed, I removed it myself, steering is a little heavier but more communicative, actually much better without servotronic module.
Squeaky auxiliary belt replaced because the noise was annoying, belt looked fine.
Brakes still squeak now and then. When parked, make sure you use the handbrake, don't let the car roll onto the front brakes as this seems to make the squeaking worse.
There are various items that need to be done as a precaution or as a service item; this applies to any car though: fuel filter replaced, power steering fluid, coolant, MAF cleaned, battery replaced after 8 years, spark plugs after 4 years.
It's better to service things in advance rather than let them fail.
This is a very comfortable and easy to drive car, a real pleasure even after 3 years. It is my first automatic car, and I wasn't too sure about it, but I have since got very used to how easy this auto is to drive.
Lots of power at all speeds; overtaking is easy on local roads and motorways.
Although there are niggles with some things going wrong such as lambdas, and water pump, the car appears to be very reliable and able to keep running; so much so it has not broken down yet, including surviving 4 holidays to Europe ranging between 1700 miles and 3000 miles each.
I bought this car with the knowledge that the gearbox can and most probably will fail above 120,000 miles.
Also I bought it with the knowledge that it has to be serviced by a independent specialist who knows these cars, and not the Audi dealer, who appears to be a lottery. As it turns out, the specialists are cheaper too. Also with these cars, you can do some things yourself, for example oil changes and air filter.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th August, 2011
I forgot to add, the suspension is really good; compared to Volvo S40, it absorbs bumps much better and rides over speed bumps better (the S40 is too harsh), whilst at the same time being much more controlled in turns. For example, happily going round small roundabouts at 30mph. By comparison, the S40 is wallowy and handles a bit like a boat. It has to slow down round bends, where the S8 can keep going at speed.