2006 Audi A8

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2006 Audi A8. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    18-20 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    335-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

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

Notable Features of the 2006 Audi A8

  • 4.2-liter V-8 rated at 335 hp
  • Six-speed Tiptronic automatic
  • 10 airbags, including knee airbags
  • Standard- or extended-length body
  • W-12 engine available

2006 Audi A8 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Audi's redesigned flagship sedan debuted as a 2004 model. The redesign included an all-new aluminum body that promised 60 percent better structural rigidity than its predecessor was developed. Audi's third-generation space frame uses fewer components and weighs 300 pounds less.

A slightly lower-priced, shorter-wheelbase model was added for 2005; the long-wheelbase version is designated A8 L. A tire-pressure-monitoring system became standard for 2005.

In mid-2005, a Sport package that included 19-inch wheels and an adaptive air suspension became available. All 2006 A8s get a new single-frame grille, adaptive front lights, a rain sensor and Audi's parking system with a graphic display.

Audi's 335-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 includes five valves per cylinder. 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 quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

An A8 L 6.0 quattro sedan with a 450-hp W-12 engine went on sale in late 2004 and is now named the A8 L W12.
(Skip to details on the: A8 L W12)


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, which is 5.1 inches more than the base A8. The low front end features a short overhang, and the back has a high tail. A high belt line that rises toward the r...
Vehicle Overview
Audi's redesigned flagship sedan debuted as a 2004 model. The redesign included an all-new aluminum body that promised 60 percent better structural rigidity than its predecessor was developed. Audi's third-generation space frame uses fewer components and weighs 300 pounds less.

A slightly lower-priced, shorter-wheelbase model was added for 2005; the long-wheelbase version is designated A8 L. A tire-pressure-monitoring system became standard for 2005.

In mid-2005, a Sport package that included 19-inch wheels and an adaptive air suspension became available. All 2006 A8s get a new single-frame grille, adaptive front lights, a rain sensor and Audi's parking system with a graphic display.

Audi's 335-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 includes five valves per cylinder. 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 quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

An A8 L 6.0 quattro sedan with a 450-hp W-12 engine went on sale in late 2004 and is now named the A8 L W12.
(Skip to details on the: A8 L W12)


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, which is 5.1 inches more than the base A8. The low front end features a short overhang, and the back has a high tail. A high belt line that rises toward the rear highlights the A8's sporty appearance.

The A8 L's rear doors are 5 inches longer than those on the shorter-wheelbase version for easy entry and exit. For 2006, five-spoke alloy wheels hold standard 18-inch tires, but 19-inch tires are available in the Sport package.


Interior
Five people fit inside the A8 and A8 L. The driver faces a multifunction four-spoke steering wheel and uses an electromechanical parking brake.

Fine wood trim extends to the sides of the interior and complement 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. Audi Exclusive packages for 2006 A8 models include contrasting black piping and unique wood trim.


Under the Hood
Audi's 4.2-liter V-8 produces 335 hp and drives a six-speed-automatic transmission that permits Tiptronic manual gear selection and a Dynamic Shift Program that reduces the number of gear changes needed. All A8s have quattro all-wheel drive.

Safety
Standard equipment includes antilock brakes and 10 airbags, including knee airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, and side curtain-type airbags.

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. Luxury and maneuverability are the A8's strongest attributes.

On narrow two-lane roads, this full-size sedan whips from one curve to the next with ease. Going precisely where you steer, it stays beautifully flat while cornering and responds immediately to driver inputs.

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 foot room is more limited. Visibility in all directions is good.


A8 L W12
Late in 2004, Audi introduced a variant of its flagship A8 sedan with a W-12 engine rather than the usual V-8. Initially known as the A8 L 6.0 quattro, the top-level sedan was the first model to wear Audi's new, prominent grille. Rated at 450 hp, its 6.0-liter W-12 engine mates with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. This was the first production car in the world to use LED technology, which promises extremely low power consumption, for its daytime running lights.

Audi says the A8 L W12 "accommodates four in supreme luxury." Standard equipment includes keyless entry and engine start-up, a navigation system, four-zone automatic climate control, a front and rear Parktronic parking system, and electric sun shades for the rear and side windows. For 2006, A8 L W12 sedans get distinct rocker panels and a standard wood-segment steering wheel. Back to top



Latest 2006 A8 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.9)
Interior Design
(4.9)
Comfort
(5.0)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.9)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Reliable, Flashy, and Comfortable Vehicle

by CaliforniaBoy from Atlanta, GA on October 15, 2018

Excellent vehicle.....I bought it used at 97k miles. This was my everyday car, which I would really recommend to only use a fancy car like this for special occasions or on weekends. I end up driving ... Read full review

(4.0)

Incredible car...but beware

by SJD on January 29, 2018

Most incredible driving experience...smooth, powerful, but you need tech skills or know someone who has them to help you fix it, or you'll spend a fortune in repairs. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2006 Audi A8 currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Audi A8 has not been tested.

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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