The Audi A8 has been Audi’s flagship luxury vehicle since its inception back in 1994, with the D2 Generation A8. But the second generation, dubbed the D3 internally, that debuted in 2002 is when the Audi A8 really hit its stride and pre-owned examples of the D3 Audi A8 could possibly be the best deal on the used market right now.
The D3 Generation Audi A8 is entirely made from aluminum, making it the lightest car in its segment at the time, lighter than the equivalent Mercedes-Benz S Class and BMW 7 Series. This combined with class-leading technology and a variety of powerful engines made the A8 a serious threat to the other Germans in the segment. Audi’s MMI infotainment system made its debut on the D3 A8 as did the brand’s six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The A8 was also available with an Active Front Lighting system which curved the headlights around turns and self-levelling air suspension. So the Audi A8 was packed full of great tech for its time.
The Audi A8 came with a variety of different engines, but only two were available in the US market, a 4.2 liter V8 and a 6.0 liter W12 monster in the top-end A8 W12. The Audi S8 was available with the same 5.2 liter V10 from the Lamborghini Gallardo, which would eventually go on to power the original Audi R8.
But we’re here to talk about the 4.2 V8 Audi A8L that was available in the US and is now extremely cheap on the second-hand market. Prices for these A8s vary, but can easily be found with decent mileage and in decent condition for around $10,000 and sometimes even less. Considering the fact that you can get a car for $10,000 that is a long-wheelbase full-sized luxury car with technology, luxury and performance that would impress customers even ten years later makes the D3 Audi A8 the steal of the century.
Obviously, buying a used car isn’t only about its bottom-line price. Older luxury cars can be, and often are, very expensive to maintain because you buy them when things start to go wrong. And even the smallest of repairs on an A8 isn’t cheap. All of that excellent luxury and technology is great to own but costly to replace and repair. So when buying a used car, one must consider this.
However, we think the D3 Audi A8 is worth the extra cost and risk. Not only was the A8 an outstanding car over a decade ago, but it’s an excellent car today. It looks great, has an outstanding interior, incredible luxury that is far more than anyone needs and some serious performance and a great engine. It’s such a good car that it’s hard to pass up for the price. If you can find one for $10,000 or less with decent mileage and in good condition, just grab it. You won’t regret it.