With a modest MSRP, luxurious cabin, remarkable driving dynamics, and a powerful base engine, there is a lot to love about the 2013 Audi A8 Sedan. The 4.2-liter V8 from last year has been replaced with a supercharged V6 for better fuel economy and performance, making Audi's flagship sedan more appealing than ever. Base models get a 3.0-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive. It generates 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, while returning 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Equipped with the Sports Plus package it can hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. If that's not enough power for you, a new turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is available that will lift you to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, thanks to 420 horsepower and 444 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is barely affected, returning 21 mpg combined. With its automatic air suspension, crisp steering, and all-wheel drive, it handles like a much smaller car, and delivers a quiet, smooth, and composed ride. It even offers electronically adjustable settings for both chassis and engine calibration.
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• Rear Seat Entertainment - Keep backseat passengers happy with a rear seat entertainment system. It includes two 10-inch screens.
• Audi MMI Touch™ -This feature recognizes handwriting, so you can use your finger to write phone numbers, address destinations, etc., and the system will recognize it.
• Audi Connect™ - This feature provides Wi-Fi connectivity for as many as eight passengers, and grants access to Google Earth™, local fuel prices, and more.
• Audio - The available 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen® sound system is really something special, but you may not have the need to upgrade considering the base audio system is by Bose®, and has 14 speakers, iPod interface, satellite radio, CD player, and more.
• Navigation - If you do not upgrade to Audi Connect™, you can use the hard drive-based navigation system for maps and turn-by-turn directions.
Crash test results are not available for the 2013 A8, but Audi rarely disappoints in this department. Braking was put to the test though, and a V6-powered model stopped from 60 mph in an unthinkable 109 feet. The V8 with all-season tires was still respectable at 114 feet. Safety-minded buyers will want the Driver Assistance package with Audi Pre-sense Plus, lane-departure warning system, and blind-spot monitor. Features worthy of a mention include:
• Stability control
• Night vision assist
• Tire pressure monitoring
• Pre-collision safety system
• Post-collision safety system
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Turn signal mirrors
• Engine immobilizer
• Cornering lights
• Emergency braking assist
• Child seat anchors
• Rear door safety locks
When you think of a luxury sedan the sophisticated styling of the 2013 A8 comes to mind. It is available in regular and long wheelbase versions, with the latter adding 5 inches of rear legroom. It boasts a wide stance, gentle curves, LED headlights, 19-inch wheels, and a Singleframe® grille that proudly holds the iconic four rings.
Do not assume that since an extended wheelbase is available that the rear seat must be cramped in the regular one, because it's not. There is more than enough leg and headroom in both rows for adult passengers, but if you do frequently haul tall passengers, the 43 inches of legroom in the extended wheelbase will be appreciated. The seats are comfortable and covered in rich leather. Everything about the cabin is what you expect from Audi, from the brilliant layout of the center stack controls to its finely crafted wood inlays to the way the curve of the window sill seems to sweep across the instrument panel.
If you are trying to find a flaw, you will stumble upon it when you open the trunk, as there are only 13.2 cubes.