Combining fashion and utility, the Q8 is Audi's flagship SUV. Introduced for the 2019 model year, the Q8 is mechanically similar to the Q7 but trades that SUV's third row for a sleek, sporty exterior design. The powerful SQ8 and slightly insane RS Q8 were introduced last year to take performance even further.
Our inner curmudgeons think SUVs should be all about rugged utility and capability—luxury, speed, or style be damned. Then we look at the Audi Q8.
It's difficult to not be stricken by the Q8's design. Its three-dimensional grille, muscular wheel arches, and technical LED lights position it in the coupe-SUV niche with distinctly Audi flair.
That dramatic roofline doesn't terribly impede interior space, either. The Q8 is still practical; there's plenty of passenger and cargo room. Those inside can indulge in the cabin's styling, high-quality materials, and impressive tech. However, ride quality can be a bit harsh, and there's a good amount of wind noise.
Audi's Quattro AWD system aids the Q8 on loose surfaces, but this isn't an off-roader. On pavement it drives well, displaying flat and agile handling, yet it doesn't feel as sporty as its design suggests. That's remedied in the SQ8 and RS Q8, which add gobs of power and dynamic upgrades. Proof? Look at the RS Q8's Nürburgring lap time.
We like the Q8 for its blend of style, performance, and tech. However, we're still slightly let down. The Q8 is nice, but enough to serve as Audi's SUV flagship? The brand could've done more to make it not feel like a cut-roof Q7.
Every Q8 engine is assisted by a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system and linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.
The Q8's base engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 producing 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Models with this engine are designated 55 TFSI. In MotorTrend testing, this engine enabled a 5.7-second 0-60 mph acceleration time.
The SQ8 gets a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 making 500 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It does the 0-60 sprint in an Audi-estimated 4.3 seconds.
The RS Q8 also uses a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, but output is turned up to 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. According to Audi, that'll launch this SUV from 0-60 mph in a physics-defying 3.8 seconds.
From the NHTSA, the Q8 receives a five-star overall safety rating, the highest possible. That factors five-star front- and side-crash scores with a four-star rollover score.
The Q8 earned a 2020 Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS. The Audi received Good scores, the highest, in all crashworthiness tests. Its standard automatic emergency braking system received Superior scores, the highest, in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. However, its standard LED reflector headlights got a Poor score, the lowest, and available LED projector headlights got an Acceptable score, the second-highest.
Standard active safety and driver-assist features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, side and rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic windshield wipers and high beams. Adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist are added on range-topping Prestige trim.
Cargo volume behind the Q8's second-row seats measures 30.5 cubic feet. With the 40/20/40 split-folding second row lowered, maximum cargo volume measures 60.7 cubic feet.
Front-row headroom measures 37.1 inches in the Q8, less than the 39.3 inches found in the BMW X6. However, second-row headroom is greater in the Q8, at 38.1 inches to the X6's 37.5 inches. Front-row legroom in the Audi is 41.6 inches, better than 40.4 inches in the BMW. There's much more second-row legroom in the Q8 at 40.2 inches, while the X6 has 35.7 inches.
All Q8 trims include a dual-touchscreen infotainment system. The upper screen measures 10.1 inches, and it is used for main vehicle and infotainment functions, while the lower screen is 8.6 inches and handles climate and convenience controls. A 12.3-inch digital gauge display is also standard. A head-up display is included on the Prestige trim. Built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto come on all trims, as do two USB ports in each row. The Premium Plus and Prestige trims get a 360-degree view parking camera system. A 10-speaker audio system is included on Premium models, a 19-speaker setup is featured on Premium Plus models, and a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen system is added to Prestige models.
|$0||1.49% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$0||1.99% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$0||2.49% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$0||2.99% Financing for a maximum term of 75 Months - Audi announces APR rates on select models.||01-04-2021|
|$1000||Audi announces a Bonus cash for customers who Finance through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-04-2021|
|$1500||Audi announces a Customer Bonus for customers who Lease, Finance or Premier Purchase through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates.||01-04-2021|
|$1000||Audi announces a Lease Bonus cash for customers who Lease or Premier Purchase through Audi Financial Services using AFS Standard or Special rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-04-2021|
|$1000||Audi announces an Audi Credit that is good towards cash purchases, outside lenders or AFS Standard Lease or Standard APR rates. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.]||01-04-2021|