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Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
12:18 PM 18th May 2020

Audi’s Supersize Q8 On Test

The march of the SUV seems endless as all manufacturers battle it out for a share of the growing market. A raised driving position, looks and practicality seem to be the driving factor. Time then, for another test!

What is it?

The Q8 is Audi’s range-topping SUV and one which puts stylish looks to the fore. A pumped-up coupe might best describe it. It seats five large adults in great comfort, but if it is practicality you are after, the equally large seven-seat Q7 should be on your radar.

The large grille dominates the front and the LED lighting strip at the rear may well impress. Frameless windows are an unusual touch. Dragon orange paintwork would not be my choice, but hey, this ain’t a subtle car!

The interior boasts all the latest tech with three separate digital screens. Once you tune into Audi’s methodology, most functions can be easily accessed though some will bemoan the lack of conventional switches.

Vital Statistics

Q8 50 TDi quattro
Price as tested £85,260
286PS 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine
600Nm torque
0-62mph in 6.3 seconds
Top speed 152mph
Economy – 32.1-33.6mpg
Emissions – 178g/km CO2

If those figures don’t excite, splash out £104,240 for an SQ8. This ups the power to 435PS and will shave a heady one and a half seconds off the 0-62mph sprint time. Looks mean too!

How does it drive?

The powerful engine makes for a spirited drive, especially with the gearbox set in ‘sport’ mode. Audi’s well-respected quattro drivetrain ensures all the power can be utilised, whatever the conditions and inspires confidence.

Motorway cruising is a relaxed and refined affair but show the Q8 a twisty road and the car’s considerable girth and disconcertingly light steering do little inspire.

Ride comfort is well judged, though low speed bumps can send occasional shockwaves through the cabin. Blame the wheel and tyre combination methinks.

Should I buy one?

It is doubtful that anyone will walk into their nearest Audi showroom with a cheque for £85,000, so of more interest are monthly payments. A quick trawl of Audi’s website brought up the following figures on their ‘Solutions’ plan.

RRP £67,795
Customer deposit £12,630.87
Audi contribution £3,000
47 monthly payments of £659
Option to purchase £31,066.90
APR 6.1%

I suspect there are some attractive company lease deals available and most will undoubtedly be financed this way.

Rivals

BMW’s X6 is perhaps the most obvious, but the home-grown Range Rover Velar and Sport models will compete.
I rather like the Maserati Levante, which bristles with Italian flair and Porsche of course is represented by the Cayenne in various guises.

Those with the deepest pockets may well be able to stretch to a Bentley Bentayga.

Verdict

As a statement SUV, the Q8 will impress at the golf club or in Waitrose car park. I prefer the more practical Q7. Both offer luxurious travel for their lucky owners and are well-judged products that will appeal to Audi aficionados.
Big is best or is it as I suspect most will find a Q5 just as comfortable and a good deal more manageable on our ever more congested roads.
Whatever your preference, there is an Audi SUV to suit.