Audi Q8 Review & Prices
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
What's not so good
Find out more about the Audi Q8
The Audi Q8 is one of the most imposing SUVs on sale. Its super-aggressive styling means it looks more ready to devour an unsuspecting hatchback than even the Mercedes GLE and BMW X6, yet despite this, it’s still pretty easy to live with every day.
Sure, the Audi Q8 shares more than a handful of mechanical bits with the boxier Audi Q7, but you wouldn’t necessarily notice just by looking at it. Its huge octagonal grille, piercing two-piece headlights and vast 21-inch alloy wheels make it look more like a naval warship than a Q7, which is more a lolloping oil tanker.
Things feel just as titanic when you step inside. The roof is a little lower than in the Q7, but you won’t struggle for headroom unless you’re the sort of person who can replace lightbulbs without using a ladder, and there’s plenty of space for two adults to stretch out in the back.
All this room has left Audi with space to pack the Q8 to the brim with cool features. As standard, you get the same futuristic triple-screen infotainment system as the uber-luxurious A8 saloon. There’s one in front of the steering wheel, another on the dashboard and a third underneath that’s just for controlling the Q8’s heating and ventilation. The latter takes a bit of getting used to, but it comes with some neat haptic feedback like a smartphone to help you use it when you’re driving.
It doesn’t just look fancy inside, the Audi Q8 feels very well put together, too. There are lashings of leather, brushed aluminium and glossy black trim dotted about the place and every surface feels solid enough to stand on – should you ever want to.
So then, the Audi Q8 should have no trouble standing up to the rigours of everyday life – even if you find yourself regularly packing your car’s boot to the brim. Sure, there are some SUVs out there with bigger boots, but you’d never call the Q8’s load bay pokey. There’s space for plenty of large suitcases with the back seats up and you can even carry a couple of bikes with their wheels attached if you fold them away.
Unlike the dowdier Q7, the Audi Q8 has ample road presence – just one look at that huge grille will be enough to scare hatchbacks from the outside lane
If traipsing up muddy off-road tracks to your favourite biking spot sounds like your ideal weekend activity, you’ll be pleased to know that every Audi Q8 comes with four-wheel drive as standard.
That being said, the Audi Q8 feels much more at home on motorways where its 3.0-litre petrol or diesel engines cruise along smoothly and quietly. The former has plenty of poke to blast past slow-moving traffic while the latter makes the Q8 reasonably economical – for a vast SUV, at least.
Whichever engine you pick, you get a smooth automatic gearbox as standard and comfortable air suspension that soaks up bumps very nicely around town. It’s even easier to potter about in if you pay extra for the clever four-wheel-steering system which makes the Q8 more manoeuvrable than you’d expect of a car this size.
There are also plenty of driver assistance systems worth paying extra for. These will accelerate brake and even steer for you on well-marked roads – not just on motorways like in some alternatives.
These high-tech features certainly contribute to making the Audi Q8 one of the most futuristic and desirable large SUVs on sale, and an excellent all-rounder if you prefer your high-riding off-roaders to look sporty yet still be easy to live with. Read on for our detailed interior and specifications sections or check out the latest Audi Q8 deals to see how much you can save on one.
The Audi Q8 has a RRP range of £75,615 to £100,015. However, with carwow you can save on average £7,329. Prices start at £69,026 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £900. The price of a used Audi Q8 on carwow starts at £38,750.
Our most popular versions of the Audi Q8 are:
|carwow price from
|50 TDI Quattro S Line 5dr Tiptronic
The S line is the most affordable spec and is hardly short of toys. Black Edition adds some styling features, while Vorsprung models are dripping with tech and luxury kit.
Whichever model you choose, the Q8 is more expensive than its close relative, the Q7. That’s despite having two fewer seats and a smaller boot. You’re paying for the Q8’s coupé-meets-SUV looks and the sharper driving experience.
The BMW X6 is aimed at the same kind of buyer as the Q8 – someone who wants a big SUV but is prepared to trade practicality for style and it’s broadly comparable on price with the Audi. If you’re a fan of the three-pointed star, the Mercedes GLE Coupé does a similar job but costs quite a lot more.
The Audi Q8 is comfortable and enjoyable to drive, but the gearbox could be more responsive
The driving position in the Q8 is definitely more SUV than coupé – you sit a little lower than in a Range Rover, but still look down on most cars. All-round visibility is good, which helps the driver guide this huge car through narrow urban streets.
Despite its size, the Q8 is quite manoeuvrable around town, especially if you choose a version with rear-wheel steering. This turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts at low speeds, giving the Q8 a similar turning circle to Audi’s A3 hatchback. It’s a big plus while parking, or if you need to make a three-point turn. Light steering helps too – you can twirl the wheel with your fingertips.
Every Q8 rides on huge alloys (at least 21 inches) which logic suggests would make for a stiff low-speed ride. But the standard air suspension does a great job of smoothing out the worst lumps and bumps in the road.
Even the least powerful Q8 is a very quick car, so it will leap into any gap in traffic.
For similar performance but near-silent running, take a close look at our review of the electric Audi Q8 e-tron.
On the motorway
Big miles are a pleasure in the Q8. Whichever engine you pick, you’ll quickly pass dawdling traffic, while the air suspension keeps things controlled but comfortable. The Audi feels super-stable at speed.
The Q8 is available with clever driver aids that make motorway journeys really relaxing. You need to pay attention to make sure the systems are working properly, but letting the car steer, slow down, and accelerate for you makes life that little bit less stressful.
There’s not much in the way of noise in the cabin at 70mph, and the gearbox swaps ratios smoothly.
So to sum up, if you want to cover a lot of miles at pace in peace and comfort, the Q8 is a near-ideal tool for the job.
On a twisty road
Audi’s chassis engineers haven’t found a loophole in the laws of physics, but they have worked hard to disguise the Q8’s size and weight on twisty roads. It really is fun.
The suspension set up is slightly sportier than the closely related Q7’s, so it stays flatter and feels more poised when cornering hard. Both the 50 TDI diesel and the 55 TSFI petrol sprint between the corners, although the gearbox can be slow to grab a lower ratio.
For even more potent performance, the SQ8 has 507hp and a 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds. In the unlikely event that’s still too tardy for you, the RS Q8 ups the ante with 600hp and a 0-62mph sprint of 3.8 seconds.
Every Q8 from the most to the least powerful has quattro four-wheel drive to help put all that power down even when the road is slippery.
There's plenty of space for five people and their bags, but there's no third row of seats like you get in the Q7
There’s lots of room in the front of the Q8. Stretch a basketball player on a rack, and they’ll still have enough head and legroom.
The driving position isn’t quite as armchair-like as a Range Rover’s, but you still sit up nice and high with plenty of support under your thighs. The front seats adjust every which way, so drivers of most shapes and sizes should be comfortable, and the steering wheel also moves over a wide range, both up and down and in and out.
The standard seats are supportive without being too narrow. The high-performance Q8 models have more heavily bolstered seats which grip you more firmly when cornering but may be a little pinchy depending on the driver’s build.
Audi hasn’t skimped on storage space. The glovebox is a healthy size, and the door bins are absolutely huge. A large bottle of water will fit with room to spare. There’s more room under the arm rest, and a small fold-down compartment in the dash with room for a phone – although you can guarantee you’ll forget whatever you put in there as it’s tucked out of sight.
If the Q8’s performance isn’t enough to wake you up each morning, there are twin cupholders beside the gearlever for a large coffee.
Space in the back seats
The most obvious compromise in choosing a Q8 over a Q7 is the loss of the third row of seats. So whereas Audi’s more practical luxury SUV has room for seven, the Q8 is a five-seater.
You might think that the coupé-like sloping roofline would mean headroom also suffers, but there’s actually plenty of space. Legroom is very generous, so rear-seat passengers can stretch out and relax.
There’s a hump in the floor for the transmission which gets in the way a bit if travelling with three in the back, but there’s so much foot room under the front seats that it’s not a big issue.
If the middle seat is empty, passengers can fold down an armrest with a pair of cupholders. Big door bins take care of bottles and snacks, and there are map pockets on the backs of the front seats.
Okay, the Q8 isn’t as practical as Q7, but this is still a very big SUV with a very large boot. You won’t need to travel light with a 605-litre capacity. That compares with 580 litres on a BMW X6 but 655 litres for the Mercedes GLE Coupe.
The slope of the rear window means tall items won’t necessarily fit by the tailgate, even with the parcel shelf removed. And while we’re moaning, if you do take the luggage cover out there’s nowhere to store it. One final gripe – there’s no remote release for the seat backs, so you’ll need to walk around to the rear doors to extend the space by dropping the seats.
But really, you’ll need to go some to fill this boot, and there are useful touches like lashing hooks and a 12-volt socket.
The cabin is lovely for look and feel, although it’s a shame the climate controls are touchscreen rather than physical buttons
Cars like the Q8 sell on looks and style as much as how they drive and how practical they are. It would be a big letdown if the Q8 wasn’t as handsome on the inside as the outside.
There’s no worry on that score – the Q8’s cabin is a real looker, with quality to back up the style.
Buttons have been kept to a minimum, which means relying on touchscreen menus. This can be a pain if all you want to do is turn up the air con, and you need to wade through a menu to find the controls.
Audi has dodged this bullet by having two touchscreens, one stacked above the other. The bottom one takes care of the climate control and heating, so the controls are always there when you need them. The top one looks after all the other stuff you expect the infotainment system to handle, like satellite navigation, the stereo, and the telephone.
The screens work really well when you’re parked up, and look amazing thanks to their crisp resolution and punchy colours. Things aren’t quite so simple when you are moving, as it’s harder to hit a screen the feel for a physical button. The screens do click and vibrate when you hit a button, though, so you know you haven’t pressed a blank space by mistake.
There’s a third screen in place of regular dials. You can configure this display to your heart’s content – being able to put a map right in front of you while driving to an unfamiliar destination is especially useful.
It’s the tech that you notice when you first sit in the car, but the quality makes a lasting impression. There’s nothing loose-fitting or cheap looking, with soft-touch plastics and luxurious leather throughout. The premium finish runs deep, as it should at this price point.
Diesel sales have dropped off dramatically in the past few years, but diesel power still makes some sense for anyone shopping for a big SUV.
The 3.0-litre diesel (oddly badged 50 TDI) is the smart choice for a Q8 buyer, especially someone who covers a lot of miles. It will return an official 33.2-34mpg, depending on the exact specification. Carbon dioxide is emitted at 217-223g/km.
If you are set on petrol power, there’s another 3.0-litre engine, which for reasons best known to Audi is called the 55 TFSI. There’s not a huge amount between the two in performance, but the petrol is a lot thirstier, achieving 25.9-26.6mpg depending on the spec. The car emits 240-248g/km.
The SQ8 and RS Q8 aren’t the models to choose if you want to keep running costs and emissions at sensible levels. The SQ8 does 22.1-22.4mpg, while the RS Q8 officially gulps down a gallon of unleaded every 21.1-21.2 miles.
Every model is in the 37% company car tax band, so you’ll say goodbye to a big chunk of your pay every month if your employer supplies you with a Q8.
In terms of fuel bills and running costs, an electric SUV will be much cheaper than a petrol or diesel Q8. So, if a big Audi appeals but the emissions are offputting, consider the Q8 e-tron instead.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Hang on a minute, carwow. Surely Audi makes plug-in hybrid Q8s as well?” If so, you’re half right. The hybrid models have been dropped from the range temporarily due to parts shortages which are affecting the whole motor industry. The plug-in hybrid versions should rejoin the range at some point, but there’s no firm word as to when.
The Audi Q8 has an excellent safety rating from the experts at Euro NCAP. It scored the maximum five stars, with a score of 93% for adult occupant protection, 87% for child occupant protection, 71% for pedestrian protection and 73% for its safety assistance features. That means the Q8 is among the safest large SUVs you can buy.
It comes with all the airbags and stability systems you’d expect, and the car can be specified with driver aids to keep the car in lane and sensors to slow the car down if the vehicle ahead slows.
Security standards are high, although car thieves are ever more sophisticated.
Some say German cars are reliable, but that’s not always backed up by reliability and customer satisfaction surveys. Audi doesn’t fare as well as you might hope, although in fairness some models are more reliable than others.
The Q8 doesn’t appear in many of these studies due to its relatively small numbers, but the closely related Q7 does. Despite being a hugely complex car it doesn’t go wrong all that often, which bodes well for the Q8.
Audi provides a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, which is the minimum you’d expect. Plenty of other brands offer longer cover.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.