Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 1999 SLK230 Kompressor
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RE: Help me decide! :)
I would say wait a little to see what is on the horizon. I can tell you how many problems the first generation 7 series had when they came out - when those puppies act up, everything shuts down and you had to reprogram all the car's computers (to be fair to BMW, they have since released patches and fixes for most or all the software glitches). Another thing, BMW already has plans to redo the front and rear look to the 7 - that tells you the design was not its greatest selling point; too many complaints. And the i-drive is a maze - I had no problems using it, but if you are not techy or patient, you risk taking your eyes off the road to fiddle with the damn thing and get it just where you want it.
The Audi S8 is a great understated luxury car. Yes, it does not scream 'Look at me!' like the 7, nor does it have the commanding pull/recognition of the 3-pointed star, but for quality, performance, and luxury it delivers a well-rounded package. It may look to some like an overgrown Passat (although I do not see the resemblance), but they will know it is not a Passat because there is that something different about it. Find one, drive one and compare notes - we can yap all eternity about taste but in the end it is your money and you get to live with your choice.
BTW did you consider getting a Range Rover???? Now that will impress whomever you have to shuttle around even though it is no Porsche (I would add the Cayenne to your list but I still cannot get over the front nose of the car; spectacular performance but why that front nose????)