How to spoil your kids, part 1

The A8’s cav­ernous rear cabin o ers all sorts of lux­ury and con­trol, as the chil­dren are now dis­cov­er­ing. By Tim Pollard

CAR (UK) - - Our Cars -

I’VE NEVER LIVED with any­thing big­ger than a 5-se­ries for an ex­tended test so it’s taken a while to get used to hav­ing a 5.2me­tre lux­ury leviathan on my drive­way.

Gaps have to be judged more care­fully and coun­try lanes ap­proached with cir­cum­spec­tion, and my fam­ily is re­signed to me park­ing in the largest, most re­mote bays of car parks. It spills out of most spa­ces like an over­weight pas­sen­ger sprawl­ing be­yond the con­fines of an air­line seat.

The flip­side is that we have oo­dles of space in­side. My chil­dren can’t quite be­lieve the legroom in the rear of our long-wheel­base A8 L, com­plete with the comedic lit­tle footrest blocks nestling in the rear footwell. I’ve spent most of my time up front, where it’s equally roomy, but the rear com­part­ment is where the Audi flag­ship makes most sense.

Our car comes with the Rear Com­fort Pack which bun­dles in those footrests, dou­ble glaz­ing, elec­tric rear seat ad­just­ment and power door-close for a chunky £2195. The acous­tic glass makes the A8 record­ing-stu­dio hushed, and the large fold-down arm­rest lets you choose be­tween four-seater limo spec and oc­ca­sional five-seat taxi duty.

Note also the re­mov­able mi­cro-tablet in the arm­rest; back-seat driv­ers – sorry, pas­sen­gers – can use it to ad­just tem­per­a­ture, check the trip com­puter or even re-tune the stereo. Par­ents should note the po­ten­tial for fa­mil­ial chaos on long jour­neys, as in­fo­tain­ment con­trol is in­evitably ceded rear­wards.

It’s not all about the newly-en­ti­tled pas­sen­gers in the back, though. Up front I too have be­come ac­cus­tomed to sit­ting in the lap of lux­ury thanks to the ex­tremely comfy arm­chairs. There are no mas­sag­ing or ven­ti­lat­ing tricks here, but these are in­her­ently well de­signed, pam­per­ing pews.

Rear Com­fort Pack: made to wind the driver up

Tim’s chil­dren have weirdly hairy hands...

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