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A white Audi Q8 driving down a countryside road at sunset

Audi Q8 review

Audi might have been a little late joining the coupé-SUV class, but when it did decide to join the likes of the BMW X6 or Mercedes GLE Coupé, it came in with a bang. Similar to the Q7 (they share the same base) but with more flair, a sportier look and drive, the Q8 is a real head-turner.


The Q8 is Audi’s flagship SUV – it’s the Godfather of Audi’s four-wheel drive lineup. It rivals the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE and is quite a looker. The four-door coupé design makes the Q8 that bit sexier than the Q7 too. The frameless windows, prominent roof spoiler, full-width LED light bar, wider and lower front grille and angular wheel arches make it noticeably more aggressive than the Q7.

It’s royalty within the premium SUV bracket. 

A grey Audi Q8 parked on a road in the countryside surrounded by grass and a cottage in the distance

The four-door coupé design makes the Q8 that bit sexier than the Q7

What's it like to drive?

This car is weighty, there’s no denying that. Initially, it drives like a big mighty SUV would – not the quickest off the mark. But then, flick into dynamic mode and you’ll start grinning. Handling tightens up, corners become more fun, and you get a significant spurt of speed for such a huge car. You can choose which driving mode you want on the dash selector, but you can also flip into the Sport gears on the selector. We’d recommend taking advantage of the paddles behind the steering wheel because the eight-speed automatic gearbox is a little clunky, but in general, the Q8 is a very quiet car that handles very well, with minimal body roll in the corners. 

white Audi Q8 driving away from the camera down a countryside road surrounded by trees and fields

The Q8 also has an off-road setting and four-wheel drive, so it’s an SUV that's perfectly capable of diving down a muddy track when needed. If you get the Vorsprung edition then you also get all-wheel drive, with makes turning, reversing and parking much easier.

The Q8 has an off-road setting and four-wheel drive, so it’s an SUV that's perfectly capable of diving down a muddy track when needed


A black leather Audi Q8 interior with red stitching

Audi is renowned for its interiors; discreet and simple, but luxurious and top quality – and the Q8 is another winner. 

As soon as you sit in the Q8, the high standard of the materials is evident. While it might initially seem a bit sparse compared to a Range Rover Velar interior, you quickly realise the Velar's glitz and glam is only surface-level, and the Q8 actually takes the prize for first-rate materials and build. None of the plastics you can find in the Velar or the Mercedes GLC are in the Q8 – all surfaces feel luscious to touch.

The electronic adjustable front seats adds an extra bit of comfort for driver and front passenger, and visibility is excellent even though the back roof slopes down.

Audi Q8 interior rear

Audis have some of the most intuitive infotainment systems if (again) not the flashiest. The virtual cockpit digital driver’s dash is very cool and extremely functional. It's customisable and easy to read, change up the track you’re listening, flick through your playlist or check which lane you’re supposed to be in.

A head-up display also comes as standard on the Vorsprung model, or you can add as an additional extra.

Q8 takes the prize for first-rate materials and build


An orange Audi Q8's open boot

If you’re buying the Q8, then it’s only right to expect an awful lot of space, and that’s exactly what you get. 

The boot is huge, with 605 litres to stuff to the brim. From moving your teenager into uni to taking the dogs and the luggage on holiday, you won’t find space a problem. There’s about 100 litres less than the Q7, but then you get the sloping sporty roof instead. 

Audi Q8 rear seats

Luckily, it doesn’t impact the headroom, and you can’t fault the legroom and passenger room. Unlike the Q7, the Q8 is a five-seater, but three adults will be more than happy on long journeys, so it’s equally appropriate if you like to join friends for a staycation without the kids. 

Running costs and reliability

You’re unlikely to buy a hulking Audi Q8 because you want to save on fuel, so it will come as no surprise that the Q8 isn’t the most fuel-efficient car. But the good news is that Audis have some pretty innovative fuel-saving mechanisms. The Q8 has mild-hybrid tech and electronic turbocharging to get more performance.

You’re looking at similar mpg figures to the Audi Q7, which means the 3.0-litre diesel engine claims 33.2mpg and the one petrol engine is slightly less economical, claiming 26.4mpg. The Q8 is heavy and it does like its fuel, but fortunately, you can buy the plug-in hybrid engine if you wish, which will give you 97mpg and 28 miles of fully electric driving – great for town and city savings.

While insurance is high on the scale, from 47E to 50E, the Q8 comes out with a full five-star rating from EuroNCAP.

a grey Audi Q8 parked in a city

You can buy the plug-in hybrid engine if you wish

What we love

The Audi Q8 is a sexy SUV, and we think it’s becoming the new Range Rover Velar. It looks sleek and manicured yet tough and impressive, and you really feel like you get your money’s worth sitting inside.

The interior keeps the understated, unpretentious atmosphere you expect from Audi, but you and your passengers are still cocooned in plushness. We particularly love the fact that you can throw it off-road if needed.

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Perfect for

Town and country drivers

For parents



If you want to cruise in comfort, style and a lot of luxury, then the Audi Q8 could be the big SUV for you.

It's practical enough for a family of five, the coupé roofline doesn't impact on space, and you get one of the best-appointed interiors.

It might not be the most finely-tuned SUV to drive, but the visual wow factor is hard to deny.

This review was