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2012 Audi A8

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2012 Audi A8 Review

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Audi flies under the radar in every segment that it competes because the subtle elegance of all of their models belies what’s on the inside and under the hood. One grand example of this is the 2012 Audi A8 sedan, which competes with the likes of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS, Jaguar XJ and the BMW 7 Series. The Audi A8 faintly edges its way into the luxury sedan group by offering a host of tech-savvy luxuries and potent engine choices. There are two A8 models to choose from – normal (A8) and long-wheelbase (A8L) – as well as the specialized, sportier 2013 S8 (coming this fall) that boasts a new twin-turbocharged V8 engine.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Audi A8’s interior provides a more tactile feel over its competitors. With real aluminum trim pieces, and available walnut inlays and Valcona leather, the A8 puts the premium in “premium luxury.”

You May Not Like This Car If...

While a 500-horsepower W12 engine is more than enough to scoot the A8 to freeway speeds in less than 5 seconds, the overall driving feel of the car is not as visceral as the BMW 7 Series.

What's New for 2012

For the 2012 model year, the Audi A8 is available with a selection of new interior packages as well as Audi connect with Google Earth-view maps. The high-performance 2013 S8 variant differs itself from the rest of the A8 sedans by offering sporty interior touches and a new twin-turbo V8 engine, which replaces the V10 that was offered in the previous S8.

Driving the A8
Driving Impressions

The 2012 Audi A8 offers a fine balance between a luxury cruiser and sports car when driven. The adaptive air suspension provides an overall comfortable ride but isn’t afraid to...

... get the job done when pushed hard into a tight corner. And having enough is never a concern considering the potent V8 and W12 engine choices. However, we've also spent a deliciously good deal of time behind the wheel of the 2013 S8, which has a stiffer suspension setup than the A8 and a twin-turbo V8 under the hood. With 520 horsepower on tap, precise steering, Quattro all-wheel drive, and an 8-speed transmission with well-spaced gear ratios, the S8 felt just at home on a race track as it did on normal city roads.

MMI TOUCH
Audi’s MMI touch can easily be considered one of the best driver-to-car interfaces on the market. In order to select a destination or queue up an alphabetical category in your song collection, just draw the characters with your finger on the touch-pad.

TWIN-TURBO 4.0-LITER V8 ENGINE
Luxury sport-sedan enthusiasts will celebrate in fall of 2012 when the 2013 Audi S8 arrives. The S8 roars to life with an all-new twin-turbo V8 that is a work of art. With 520 horsepower on tap, it’s enough to get the 4,300-pound car to 60 mph in less than five seconds.

2012 Audi A8 Details
Interior

As far as interiors go in the full-size luxury sedan segment, the 2012 Audi A8 comes second to none in terms of feel, fit and finish. The A8 comes standard with Valetta leather and can be outfitted with Valcona or Nappa leather depending on which package box is ticked. The HVAC and radio controls on the dash are elegantly displayed and logically placed and the MMI touchpad is intuitively located for the driver’s convenience. To top things off, every button and knob offers some operational resistance, which is a telltale sign of impeccable attention to detail. The 2013 S8 has largely the same interior with the exception of a few minor details such as carbon paddle shifters, real carbon-fiber dash inserts, and a few well-placed S8 badges.

Exterior
2012 Audi A8 photo

There’s no mistaking the distinctive LED strip underneath the headlights of any new Audi model, and the A8 is no exception. These unique daytime-running lights rely solely on LED clusters for illumination and flank the large trapezoidal grille that takes up most of the real estate on the car’s front fascia. These visual enhancements alone are enough to delineate the A8 from the rest of the Audi line, not to mention its luxury competitors. There are sporty touches on the upcoming 2013 S8 that differentiate it from the A8, including an aluminum front lip spoiler and rear diffuser, as well as a twin-tip exhaust system.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Audi A8 is the company’s flagship model so as one might expect, it comes with a lot of the bells and whistles standard. Some of the most notable equipment includes Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, 8-speed automatic transmission, adaptive air suspension, a BOSE sound system, directionally adaptive headlights, and the MMI interface. The 2012 A8 comes with 19-inch wheels as standard, but 20-inch wheels can be had for an extra cost. All of these features are standard on the 2013 S8 as well, and it gets 21-inch wheels.

Optional Equipment

The Audi A8 is available with a multitude of safety, audio and interior enhancements as optional equipment. For those looking for more stately rear seating, an Executive Rear Seating package can be applied to the long-wheelbase A8, which includes a rear-entertainment system, a fixed center console with a refrigerator, seat massagers, and integrated footrests. For safety, options include lane assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and Audi Night Vision Assistant with pedestrian-detection and highlighting capability. And for the audiophiles, a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound system with 19 speakers and over 1,000 watts of power is on the options list to suit their auditory needs.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Audi A8 is offered with two different powerplants – a V8 and a W12 – and both are mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission which sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The 2013 S8 forgoes the V10 it once had in favor of a lighter, more-powerful twin-turbo V8 that produces 520-horsepower and propels the large luxury cruiser to 60 mph in just over four seconds.

4.2-liter V8
372 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
328 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 mpg

6.3-liter W12
500 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
463 lb-ft of torque @ 4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21 mpg

2013 S8
4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8
520 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 - 5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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2012 Audi A8 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 22 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Too much technology for the family to learn.

By on Thursday, March 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Safety features"

Cons: "Ride bumpy, dealership terrible,instruments diffic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The safety features are great and the car rides OK-but for the price there should have been much greater comfort. The ride was no different than a current lower priced but higher end GM car and it should be much better than that. The exterior design is boring and does nothing to distinguish what is suppossed to be the Audi flagship model. A friend had the sports car by Audi and pushed me to go for the A8L. We are still good friends, but I’m not going to rely on him for automotive guidance."

DO NOT BUY THIS CAR

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The Audi A8L appears to be a great car. But there is a secret that Audi is keeping from you. If your A8 is in an accident, it can take 2-3 months for it to be repaired. The reason is that Audi limits the repair shops which are authorized to repair the vehicle. I live in a city with 5 million people and there is only one repair shop that employs one technician who can repair the vehicle. My car has been in the shop for 7 weeks and work has not even started yet. Audi implements this insane policy by refusing to sell parts to otherwise qualified repair shops. I complained to Audi USA and they refused to provide me an alternative vehicle or buy the car back. It makes no sense to purchase a car, in particular one that cost between $90k and $100k which you cannot drive for 2 to 3 months because of Audi's policy to limit the ability of collision shops to repair their vehicles."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Best Car I Have Ever Drove

By on Friday, October 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, very fast, comfortable, message seat"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I picked up this car 5 weeks ago and I love it. I had the Benz S, BMW 740iL, Lexus 460 and nothing comes close to the Audi A8. Drives like a dream the comfort is off the wall the V8 engine is a rocket ship you feel like you are in a living room."

7 people out of 21 found this review helpful

I refuse to part with it even after 64K

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Luxury, power, economy, styling, quality."

Cons: "Cannot think of any."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"As Angus McKenzie of Motor Trend put it - it's the thinking man's luxury sedan. After more than 64,000 miles it still drives like new. Both exterior and interior are like new. Ample power (0-60mph = 4.6 sec measured), 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, starts first time, every time. My wife and I have had numerous conversations about getting a newer car but it would have to be another A8 and since only the engine is different (my is the 4.2 non-turbo) - there is really no point. We have had two issues: an engine sensor failed which made idling rough - repaired under warranty. An occasional suspension noise which has been hard to reproduce for the dealer - but it's not bad enough to be annoying."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Top of the line from a quality OEM

By on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The reliability and feature set are as fine as any line in the world at this price point. While performance is more than adequate with a good deal of pep, it is not a rocket ship. The L series features incredible passenger comfort with a very quiet and smooth ride. Trunk is adequate."

18 people out of 41 found this review helpful

Has never failed to start.

By on Thursday, December 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 187,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "The drive and engine are awesome!"

Cons: "There are some electrical problems which are minor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have owned the car for 10 years now and apart from some electrical issues, have enjoyed the fabulous ride and handling. Handles like a smaller car, rides like a limo. You have to keep the curse control on b/c you will drive too fast and be stopped (like me) not realizing how fast your going. I live in upstate NY and it never fails in the snow. It truly is an amazing car and now that it's time to buy again and researching what's out there, I'm going to buy another A8."

36 people out of 68 found this review helpful

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