Given the choice, many buyers of executive cars would find it hard to resist a fully fledged luxury car for similar money. So here’s one such quandary: buy a new Audi A6 – you can get the entry-level 40 TDI Sport for £36k with a discount – or an Audi A8 that’s barely two years old for less?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m talking about the old model, but I’m not. You really can buy the latest A8 for less than half the price it was new. It has the up-to-the-minute twin-touchscreen technology that’s being stuffed into all the refreshed Audis, plus it comes with a smooth 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine rather than a mundane 2.0-litre four. And the A8 will have an interior that’s a notch higher in quality than an A6’s since it’s the flagship of the line-up.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the two aren’t so far apart in terms of running costs. Sure, the A6 will cost less in fuel, but both have mild-hybrid technology, so 40mpg should be achievable, particularly if you spend much of your time on the motorway. Each attracts the highest rate of VED.
There have been a few recalls for the latest A8, including issues with rear shock absorber forks, missing retaining clips in active head restraints, problems with the passenger front seat rails and a gearbox oil leak. Most used examples will have been sorted out by now, especially if you’re buying one from a franchised dealer.
The cheapest one we found at a main dealer was on a 67-plate with 23,799 miles for £29,750. Not bad when it was knocking on the door of £70k a few years ago, and it’s noticeably cheaper than a brand-new A6. I know which one I’d rather have…
BMW 730i, £5400: The E32-gen 7 Series is probably the best of BMW’s luxury lineage. It predates the firm’s foray into V8s with failing plastic timing chain guides yet still feels modern enough in today’s traffic, even this 1993 example with 140k miles under its belt.