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Audi, Drives — April 30, 2013 at 10:47 am

2013 Audi A8 L: Family Choice Challenge Winner

The 2013 Audi A8 L won the Luxury Choice award at GAAMA's 2013 Family Choice Challenge at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

The 2013 Audi A8 L won the Luxury Choice award at GAAMA’s 2013 Family Choice Challenge at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

The Ride of the Week is a 2013 Audi A8 L 3.0T Quattro Tiptronic, winner of the Luxury Choice award at the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association’s (GAAMA’s) recent Family Choice Challenge event.

Media members of our organization drove and rated 21 family-oriented vehicles at our first signature event, including four contenders in the Luxury Choice category. The Audi A8 L topped a luxurious SUV, crossover and minivan for the win. With a total price including options and destination charge of $85,045, the A8 L was the most expensive vehicle in the competition.

So what does the 2013 Audi A8 L offer at that price? In short, a luxurious, spacious and technologically advanced sedan with sophisticated style inside and out. The “L” designation indicates the long-wheelbase version of the model, which offers vast rear-seat legroom suitable for tall adult passengers. Although the 3.0T is the base engine, the supercharged V6 makes ample power and delivers it smoothly, thanks to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. Other, more powerful engine options are available, but the 333-horsepower V6 provides a luxurious driving experience and will suit most drivers.

That $85,000 price tag also includes about $5,650 in options, only one of which I’d do without if I were specifying the vehicle for myself. The $600 6-disk CD/DVD changer may quickly become obsolete, but the test car’s other options are too cool to forgo. For $3,000, buyers get the Driver Assistance package with adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection and a frontal collision warning system. These features are a must for a top-tier luxury sedan. I’d opt for the $1,600 LED headlights, too. They give the A8 a distinctive and sophisticated look. Heated front seats are standard, but the $800 Cold Weather package adds a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. Ventilated front seats are noticeably absent in the test vehicle, which is disappointing at this price.

Perhaps one of the best features of the A8 L comes standard. Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus system is top-notch in every way, with a easy-to-use interface, an elegant look and huge capability. Maps are powered by Google Earth, which means you get a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings. MMI has its own mobile connection and a wireless network right in the vehicle. When not in use, the MMI display retracts into the dash for a clean look.

That may represent the essence of the A8 L: clean, modern and sophisticated. This vehicle doesn’t scream luxury. It delivers it subtly. And to that end, it’s a winner.

Quick Specs: 2013 Audi A8 L 3.0T

body type4-door, 5-passenger sedan
as-tested price$85,045
engine size/configuration3.0-liter supercharged V6
horsepower/torque (hp/lb-ft)333/325
transmission8-speed automatic
fuelpremium unleaded
EPA city fuel economy rating (mpg)17
EPA highway fuel economy rating (mpg)28
optionsDriver Assistance package; Cold Weather package; LED headlights; 6-CD/DVD changer