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Audi Q8 review 2020

Find out more about the Audi Q8 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

£62,943
Average Price
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3
Out of 5

Pros

  • Bold looks
  • Fantastic interior
  • Very practical for the class

Cons

  • Expensive, especially in higher trims
  • Vague steering and slow gearbox
  • Not as sporty as it looks
  • MPG

    31 - 41

  • CO2

    180 - 208 g/km

Model review

Stylish, coupe-like SUVs are all the rage nowadays, with increasing amounts of manufacturers producing them. Now, the Q8 doesn’t fall into this category as much as rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6. But this model does feature a sloping roofline and is meant as the Q7’s more stylish, but slightly less practical counterpart.  

Speaking of the Q7, the Q8 shares many parts including its underpinnings. It’s slightly shorter, lower and wider, but due to the sleek sloping rear, it’s not offered with seven-seats like the Q7. That being said, the two are very similar. 

The Q8 began production in 2018, so not long ago. Because of this it’s still in its first generation and hasn’t received any updates – although this is no bad thing as the car is still relatively new. 

Current model

As mentioned, the Q8 is still in its first generation. Not much has changed since it was launched, but there have been some additions. For example, the sporty SQ8 has recently joined the range, while new petrol and diesel powerplants are set to be added. What’s more, a hot RS Q8 is on the way, which is sure to give super SUVs like the Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 Coupe and BMW X6 M a run for their money. 

 

The Q8’s cabin is an especially nice and tech-filled place to be. It features two screens situated in the centre of the dashboard, as well as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – a display which replaces traditional dials. Build quality is also strong, and all the materials feel premium.  

 

Get the Q8 out on the road and the model proves to be a comfortable cruiser. It doesn’t provide the sporty drive its aggressive looks may suggest, but it is quiet and composed, if not a tad vague (in terms of steering mainly). Another issue is that the gearbox tends to lag sometimes, which can be a bit annoying. 

 

Value for money

New Q8 models start at £65,765, which is pretty much bang on for the class. For example, the BMW X6 is offered from £60,790, while the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is priced at £65,165. Just note that it’s not particularly difficult to make the car a lot more expensive. Simply tick a few boxes on the options list, perhaps opt for the £81,740 SQ8, and that base price is sure to soar. 

 

On the used front, there’s a lot to choose from – some good bargains too. Cheapest versions go for circa £49,000, which is good considering the starting price new – though it also says a lot about depreciation on the model 

 

Looks and image

The Q8 is sure to divide opinion. On the one hand, there will be people who like the bold stance and aggressive nature of the SUV’s design. At the same time, there will also be people who think that it’s just a bit much in places. 

 

There’s one thing, however, that everyone can agree on though; and that’s that it has presence. Both driving down the road and parked, this thing turns heads. Whether for the right or wrong reasons is down to personal preference, but buyers wanting to make a statement – this is the car for you. 

Space and practicality

Despite being the Q7’s less spacious sibling, the Q8 still impresses when it comes to practicality. For starters, the cabin is very room. The model’s a strict five-seater (unlike the Q7), but those seats are very accommodating to people of all shapes and sizes. There’s plenty of headroom, legroom, and even decent space for three abreast in the back. 

 

Boot space is also behind the Q7, but still massive nonetheless – bigger than the BMW X6 too. At 605 litres, it offers as much room as most people will ever need, and the car’s unlikely to be used as a load-lugger anyway – the odd family holiday perhaps.

 

Engines

Currently, there’s just one engine offered with the Q8 – a 3.0-litre diesel V6 producing 282bhp. If that’s not enough, the SQ8 features a more powerful, 429bhp motor. A V6 petrol and a lower powered diesel are also set to join the range in due course. 

 

But, for now, let’s focus on that diesel unit found in the regular Q8. It’s not the sprightliest powerplant in the world, although it’s still reasonably quick with a 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds – keep in mind it’s built to deliver affordable running costs as well.  

 

There’s not much to criticize about this motor. With a reasonable amount of punch, as well as decent fuel economy, buyers do get the best of both worlds. Our only complaint is that the V6 is a tad characterless and not as sporty as the looks suggest. 

 

Running costs

Being a large, heavy SUV naturally takes its toll on fuel economy. Buyers after the lowest running costs possible may want to look outside the class – or invest in a plug-in hybrid or an EV. Although, the Q8 does utilize mild hybrid tech and is rather good for the class when it comes to this area. The 3.0-litre unit is said to deliver 40.9mpg and emit 180g/km of CO2 – not bad by any means.  

Things to look out for

The Q8 is admittedly too new to make any accurate judgements about its reliability, but we can go off the Audi brand as a whole. In the reliability surveys, the manufacturer tends to end up in the middle, with most owners satisfied, but a few finding issues. For the most partthe Q8 should serve buyers well.  

 

Rivals

The Q8 does have quite a lot of rivals keeping it on its toes. Arguably, it’s key rivals are the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, but there are also other Volkswagen Group products that could be potential competition, namely the Porsche Cayenne Coupe. Also, regular, non-coupe-like SUVs could be considered rivals, like the heralded Range Rover and desirable Maserati Levante.  

 

Depreciation

Despite the Audi’s bold looks, stylish bodystyle and plethora of tech and features, it seems residual values aren’t looking too good – WITH used prices showing this. It’s difficult to say exactly what has caused this, but it may simply be down to the badge. At such a high price point, the Audi badge might just not be enough to result in the Q8 holding its value particularly well. That’s not to say the car’s not a good buy – far from it – but just don’t expect it to retain value as well as a Porsche or Bentley.  

Which Q8 to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

55 TFSI Quattro S Line 5dr Tiptronic [Leather]

Most MPG

50 TDI Quattro S Line 5dr Tiptron [Comfort+Sound]

Fastest Model (0-60)

SQ8 TDI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic

Trims Explained

Audi currently offers the Q8 in three trim levels – S line, Edition 1 and Vorsprung.

'S Line'

This is the entry level trim and comes equipped with kit such as 21-inch design alloy wheels, HD Matrix Led headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators, and lighting animations, Audi Virtual Cockpit and MMI Navigation plus, as well as front sport seats.

Priced from £65,765.

'Edition 1'

Pay a bit more and buyers can upgrade to this trim level. It comes with features like 22-inch alloy wheels, titanium black styling pack, panoramic glass sunroof, four-zone deluxe automatic climate control and Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus.

Available from £75,760.

'Vorsprung'

This is the range-topping trim level. Opting for it treats the Q8 to items such as 22-inch alloy wheels, super sports seats in valcona leather, front seat ventilation and massage function, a Bang & Olufsen Premium sound system and all-wheel steering.

This starts at £85,660.

Summary

  1. The Audi Q8 is the Q7’s less practical, more stylish sibling
  2. It began production in 2018
  3. The model is still in its first generation, but its engine range is being added to, as well as more variants joining the range
  4. While not being as practical as the seven-seat Q7 (the Q8 is a strict five-seater), the car is still very usable
  5. Only one engine available as of this being written – a 3.0-litre V6 diesel
  6. Reasonably punchy and good fuel economy
  7. It undeniably has quite a bit of presence thanks to bold, aggressive looks
  8. The car faces plenty of competition from rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne Coupe
  9. New Q8’s start at £65,765
  10. Used examples go for as little as £49,000

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