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2005 Audi A8

2005 Audi A8

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4
Photos
Sedan
4-5 Seats
18-21 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Performance
  • Easy maneuverability for its size
  • Ride comfort
  • Interior space, especially in A8 L
  • Refinement

The Bad

  • Excessive downshifting on upgrades
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

What to Know

about the 2005 Audi A8
  • 4.2-liter V-8 rated at 335 hp
  • Six-speed Tiptronic automatic
  • 10 airbags, including knee airbags
  • Available extended-length body
  • New standard-length model
  • W-12 engine available for 2005

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2005 Audi A8 Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Audi’s redesigned flagship sedan debuted as a 2004 model. A slightly lower-priced shorter-wheelbase model has been added for 2005; the long-wheelbase version is designated A8 L. New standard equipment for 2005 includes a tire-pressure monitor and a rain sensor.

For 2004, an all-new aluminum body was developed, promising 60 percent better structural rigidity than its predecessor. Audi’s third-generation space frame uses fewer components and weighs 300 pounds less.

Audi’s 4.2-liter V-8 features five valves per cylinder and produces 335 horsepower. The six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission incorporates a Dynamic Shift Program that reduces the number of gear changes needed. An adaptive four-setting air-spring suspension features continuous shock-absorber damping control, and it also permits speed-dependent lowering of the body for increased directional stability. Permanent all-wheel drive, which Audi designates with the term “quattro,” is standard.

An A8 L 6.0 quattro sedan with a 450-hp W-12 engine went on sale late in 2004.
(Skip to details on the: A8 L 6.0 quattro)

Exterior
Audi describes its top sedan as “a harmonious combination of clarity and sporting character, grace and elegance.” The A8 L rides on a 121-inch wheelbase, 5.1 inches more than the base A8. The low front end features a short overhang, contrasted with a high tail. A high belt line that rises toward the rear highlights the A8’s sporty appearan...

Vehicle Overview
Audi’s redesigned flagship sedan debuted as a 2004 model. A slightly lower-priced shorter-wheelbase model has been added for 2005; the long-wheelbase version is designated A8 L. New standard equipment for 2005 includes a tire-pressure monitor and a rain sensor.

For 2004, an all-new aluminum body was developed, promising 60 percent better structural rigidity than its predecessor. Audi’s third-generation space frame uses fewer components and weighs 300 pounds less.

Audi’s 4.2-liter V-8 features five valves per cylinder and produces 335 horsepower. The six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission incorporates a Dynamic Shift Program that reduces the number of gear changes needed. An adaptive four-setting air-spring suspension features continuous shock-absorber damping control, and it also permits speed-dependent lowering of the body for increased directional stability. Permanent all-wheel drive, which Audi designates with the term “quattro,” is standard.

An A8 L 6.0 quattro sedan with a 450-hp W-12 engine went on sale late in 2004.
(Skip to details on the: A8 L 6.0 quattro)

Exterior
Audi describes its top sedan as “a harmonious combination of clarity and sporting character, grace and elegance.” The A8 L rides on a 121-inch wheelbase, 5.1 inches more than the base A8. The low front end features a short overhang, contrasted with a high tail. A high belt line that rises toward the rear highlights the A8’s sporty appearance.

Rear doors on the A8 L are 5 inches longer than usual for easy entry and exit. Seven-spoke alloy wheels hold standard 17-inch tires, but 18- and 19-inch tires � and different rims � are available.

Interior
Up to five occupants fit inside the A8 or A8 L. The driver faces a multifunction four-spoke steering wheel and uses an electromechanical parking brake.

Fine wood trim � Amber Vavona or Beige Grained Birch � extends to the sides of the interior, complementing Valcona leather upholstery. Power front seats can be equipped with massage, heating and ventilating functions. The premium Bose surround sound system includes a CD changer and 12 speakers.

Under the Hood
Audi’s 4.2-liter V-8 produces 335 hp and drives a six-speed-automatic transmission that offers Tiptronic manually selected gear changes and a Dynamic Shift Program. All A8s have quattro all-wheel drive.

Safety
Antilock brakes and 10 airbags, including knee airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, and side curtain-type airbags, are standard.

Driving Impressions
Instead of being flamboyant, Audi’s flagship sedan is civilized and refined and accomplishes most things in a manner that’s close to flawless. Next to luxury, maneuverability is the A8’s strongest point.

On narrow two-lane roads, this full-size sedan whips from one curve or corner to the next with ease. Going precisely where you steer, it stays beautifully flat in curves and responds immediately to driver inputs. Even when the road gets narrow and windy, staying in your lane is easy.

The ride is elegantly smooth, and the A8 displays total control. You get an abundant rush of energy when the pedal is pushed, but considerable downshifting occurs on even moderate upgrades. Fortunately, those downshifts are smooth and prompt.

The A8 L has abundant backseat legroom, but toe room is more limited. Visibility in all directions is good.

A8 L 6.0 Quattro
Late in 2004, Audi introduced a variant of its flagship A8 sedan with a W-12 engine rather than the usual V-8. Known as the A8 L 6.0 quattro, the top-level sedan is the first model to wear Audi’s new, prominent grille. Rated at 450 hp, its 6.0-liter W-12 mates with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. This is the first production car in the world to use LED technology, which promises extremely low power consumption, for its daytime running lights. Back to top

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
15 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(3.8)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Best Sports sedan available less than $100k

by Raudi from Kansas City on January 31, 2019

The A8 is very cush and comfortable when you need it and quite sporty when desired. Technology is 2nd to none. A 10 yr old Audi A8's tech is comparable to the nicer new cars available today. It makes ... Read full review

(5.0)

Nicest car I've ever owned.

by Car Enthusiast from Chicago on January 16, 2019

I've owned 7 series BMW's, Infiniti's, Porsche's, and Mercedes. This car has been by far the nicest car I've ever owned. Fast, comfortable, great ride, with all the bells and whistles a 2005 would ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 Audi A8 currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Audi A8 has not been tested.

Latest 2005 A8 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The A8 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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