The most awaited top of the class SUV, Q8 by Audi is here and we can no longer stop ourselves from comparing this master car from the ever so successful, iconic and brilliant Q7, which has been the definition of Audi SUVs.
All new 2019 Q8 effectively blends both SUV and Sedan into a car which has an exaggerated face, chiselled surfacing and a raked roofline which separate this 2-row seater from 3-row seater Q7. A turbocharged V6 under the hood provides all the acceleration and traction while the all-wheel drive provides all-weather compatibility.
Although Q8 holds fewer passengers and lesser luggage than Q7, it has a bigger back seat and better driver controls. Surely, this one-off crossover from Audi seems to keep with the trend of refinement and quality that has been continued in the company traditions for so long.
A turbocharged 3.0L V6 producing 335 pony powers a 369 lb-ft of torque, coupled with 8 speed automatic Quattro all-wheel drive and a 48-volt hybrid assist system makes this car accelerate from 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds and a further 50-70 mph in 4 seconds, making this car faster than supercharged Q7. With a towing capacity of 7700 pounds and a pretty smooth and controllable dynamic mode, this car seems better off on highways and race tracks than jammed out city traffic.
While this car follows all the standards set by other crossover coupes, the Q8 also provides high-riding capability and sporty responses. Though this car swiftly changes directions and is good to handle on tough turns, it is still less engaging and smooth than premium Audi Sedans such as A7. Equipped with adjustable ride heights and a four-wheel drive, Audi Q8 is more or less agile in tight spaces and comfortably handles sloppy terrain.
One part of the concern for this car is its braking system, while it is easy to modulate the brake pedal on highways, it really becomes a struggle to control the braking system of this car in busy and congested city traffic. Though it passed the emergency braking system test by stopping the car at 70mph within 170 feet, the brakes still remain a part of the concern as far as daily city commute is concerned.
As typical of Audi, the company created a sophisticated and comfortable environment inside the car. Using premium materials and expertly aligned panels, the company tries to increase the grandeur of this car’s interiors. While the base models miss out on some upscale features such as four-zone climate control, leather stitched dashboard, it does have a standard heated front seat and panoramic sunroof to offer.
The top of the line models offer some luxurious features such as massaging front seats, upgraded leather surfaces, dual pane glass and a head-up display as well as customizable ambient interior lighting features. These features not only make Q8 luxurious, but they also make this car look like a masterpiece which is visually super impressive. With enough passenger space and sporty driver position despite being higher, the car looks comfortable enough for 5 adults to go on a long journey and come out without a sign of tiredness.
Coming to the infotainment system, equipped with cutting edge technology such as integrated touch screen with dashboard and centre control, the Q8 also boasts of a touch screen that works on haptic feedback instead of the usual rotary controller found in other Audi cars.
Standard features of the car include a 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wireless Charging, 2 different Bang and Olufsen Audio systems and a pretty amazing virtual cockpit known as standard digital gauge cluster with its configuration settings and superb navigation control is also present.
If we talk about cargo storage, 2 row Q8 has less cargo space than 3 row Q7, it could only manage 8 carry-on bags behind the back seat. Although that number increased to 23 after folding the rear seats, it is still less than what Q7 manages. Inside, the Q8 has very little space, its shallow central console bin and narrow door pockets leave pretty fewer spaces to store small objects.
Q8 has mediocre ETA estimates when compared some other all-wheel drives. While the government estimates give 17 mpg for city and 22 mpg for highway, which is far less than 19 mpg and 25 mpg for Q7, these stats get defied for a 200-mile drive which gives an over the board 28 mpg for highways in real life while Q7 gave 24 in the same.
Getting a perfect 5 star in crash-test rating from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and getting named a top safety pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety clearly shows how safe this car is for the passengers, the car has some other driver assistance systems as well.
While the base models are equipped with several basic driver assistance systems, some more advanced features such as adaptive cruise control, stop and go technology and night vision with pedestrian detection are only reserved for more expensive higher trims. Some key safety features of the car include:-
- Forward Collision Warning and Emergency Braking
- Blind Spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert
- Lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
When compared with supercharged Q7, newer Q8 offers glazier and more premium touch with one less row and a total difference of $7500 in starting price when compared to six-cylinder Q7. Since the base Q8 Premium isn’t available with certain options, we’d recommend the mid-level Premium Plus. This model adds standard 360-degree camera system, larger 21-inch wheels, a fourth climate zone, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, plus driver assists including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. We would also recommend you to add the Adaptive Chassis package that comes with air suspension and four-wheel steering, the Cold Weather package with a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, and lastly the Towing package which make use of its maximum towing capacity of 7700 pounds.