You won’t have trouble finding the new Audi Q8 in a crowded car park – it’s one of the biggest SUVs on sale – but boxier alternatives have bigger boots and come with the option of seven seats
The all-new Audi Q8 is a giant sporty SUV with a seriously high-tech interior, a pair of powerful engines and some seriously imposing styling to help it stand out from the likes of the Mercedes GLE Coupe and BMW X6.
It might be based on the Q7, but the Audi Q8 looks even more titanic on the road thanks to a huge octagonal grille, some aggressive headlights and a set of giant 21-inch wheels.
Step inside and you’ll notice the roof in the Audi Q8 is lower than in the Q7, but there’s still more than enough headroom for you to get comfy – even if you’re over six-foot tall. The Audi Q8’s interior looks almost identical to what you get in the luxurious A8 – so you get three giant infotainment screens, lashings of brushed aluminium trim and a huge slab of glossy plastic on the dashboard. Most of the dashboard can be covered in soft leather too, but at a price.
Everything feels strong enough to withstand a nuclear blast and the standard sports seats come with more than enough adjustment to help you find your perfect driving position. You can also get some upgraded Super Sports seats to hold you even more firmly in place in tight corners, but they cost a lot and limit the view out for rear seat passengers.
Your passengers in the back don’t have quite as much space to stretch out as in the Q7, but there’s still space for two six-footers to get very comfortable. The larger side windows and taller roof make it feel less claustrophobic than the likes of the BMW X6 and the Audi Q8’s boot is more spacious, too.
Unlike the rather dowdy Q7, the Audi Q8 has ample road presence – the only thing that lets it down are those horrendous fake exhaust pipes…
The Audi Q8’s engines are designed to make it a relaxing motorway cruiser, with plenty of poke for blasting past slow-moving traffic. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel in 50 TDI models will make light work of crossing continents while the 340hp V6 petrol in 55 TFSI variants turns this relaxing cruiser into a seriously sporty SUV.
Both models come with an automatic gearbox as standard and super-comfy air suspension to iron out bumps in the road. It’s a little stiffer than the Q7 so it feels very slightly sportier – impressive, given the fact the Q7 is a really good SUV to drive in its own right.
Another trick up the Audi Q8’s sleeve is its impressive 3500kg towing limit – something made easier by the optional four-wheel steering that helps make the Audi Q8 as manoeuvrable as possible.
Also standard is a boatload of safety kit, including an advanced cruise control system that’ll accelerate, brake and even steer for you on well-marked roads. This helps make the Audi Q8 a seriously safe SUV that should score very highly when it’s crash-tested by Euro NCAP.