The Audi Q8 launched last year as an all-new model that made a statement about design and luxury. The 2020 Audi Q8 adds more standard equipment to the base model, including lane departure warning and automatic high beams, although the increasing levels of luxury for the subsequent trims are too enticing to not seriously consider.
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2020 Audi Q8 Overview
Choosing Your Audi Q8
The Audi Q8 is offered in three trims: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Pricing starts at $69,195 including destination for the Premium and tops out at $78,695 for the Prestige.
All Audi Q8 models are powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that generates 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the standard Audi quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The Q8 achieves an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 combined, which is typical for the large luxury crossover segment. When properly equipped with the $650 Trailer package (and necessary wiring), the Q8 is rated to tow 7,700 pounds – which should be adequate for a loaded double-horse trailer.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Q8 offers seating for five passengers and a generous amount of passenger space. Rear passengers enjoy more than 40.2 inches of leg room. Though the cargo area behind the second row is compromised by the sloping rear pillar, it still gets 30.5 cubic feet of space. This expands to 60.7 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
The Audi Q8 is equipped with a basic level of standard active safety equipment. The Premium comes with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Premium Plus and Prestige add blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, vehicle exit warning, and a surround-view camera system. Those first four are available on the Premium through the Convenience Package ($850).
The Prestige gets lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, and a head-up display. These features minus the head-up display are available on the Premium Plus through the Driver Assistance Package ($1,750).
The Q8 carries a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, while it earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS.
Audi’s infotainment is controlled through two touchscreens: a 10.1-inch upper unit and a 8.6-inch lower display. Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, HD radio, and satellite radio are included. There are two USB ports up front and two more for the rear passengers, while wireless charging is standard on the Premium Plus.
Premium - From $69,195
The Premium trim includes the basic features expected in a luxury crossover, such as proximity entry, a hands-free power tailgate, 20-inch wheels, power-folding exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating, three-zone climate control, and natural wood trim.
The Cold Weather Package ($600) adds a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats, while the Black Optic Package ($1,500) includes 21-inch wheels with gray inserts and black window surrounds, bumper trim, and grille surround.
Premium Plus - From $73,195
The Premium Plus trim option firmly resides within the luxury crossover crowd with 21-inch wheels, a surround-view camera system with augmented 3D images, extended interior ambient lighting, perforated leather seats, and four-zone climate control.
Newly available items include Adaptive Chassis Package ($2,750), which includes air suspension and rear-wheel steering. A leather upper dashboard panel with contrast stitching is offered for $1,250.
Prestige - From $78,695
The Prestige trim option includes more of the previously optional features as standard equipment, such as adaptive cruise control, power soft-closing doors, and the leather dash with contrast stitching.
Valcona leather upholstery, dual-pane acoustic glass, an air quality system, an Alcantara headliner, and leather interior trim are all part of the Luxury Package ($6,150).
It's the mission of the 2020 Audi Q8 to deliver a luxurious experience in an uncompromising crossover package. The Prestige trim with the Luxury Package and Adaptive Chassis Package allows the Q8 to strut its stuff.
2020 Audi Q8 Review
Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
- Composed ride
- Excellent technology
- Spacious, upscale interior
- Not a value option
- Poor fuel economy
- Limited outward visibility
Forget about the kids. The 2020 Audi Q8 isn’t the automaker’s largest crossover. That honor belongs to the Q7. Instead, the Q8 is the sportier, more athletic version of the Q7 with a coupe-like roofline.
While the Q7 can seat up to seven, the Q8 offers spacious seating for five. Not only is it a change in philosophy – the Q8 isn’t a family vehicle – it’s also one that results in an entirely separate vehicle. Need room for kids? Get the Q7. Have they already moved out? It’s time to splurge on the comfier Q8.
With just two rows of seating, the Q8 offers passengers with hotel luxury levels of space. Things in the back are especially roomy, as the Q8 offers two more inches of rear legroom than the Q7. Despite the sloping roofline, there’s a generous amount of headroom, too. In the front, you’re getting highly adjustable seats that'll keep you comfortable on even the longest of road trips.
Cargo capacity doesn’t take a massive hit with the sportier body style, either. The Q8 has 30.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and a total of 60.7 cubic feet. These may not be class-leading figures, but they’re more than enough for a run to Home Depot.
Making speed comfortable. Despite its Stormtrooper-like design, the Q8 is a buttery smooth crossover. It comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that’s good for 335 horsepower.
The Q8 may tip the scales at over 5,000 pounds, but the grunt still results in a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. Highway speeds don’t tax the engine in the slightest. However, with its hefty weight, the Q8 hardly feels like a prized boxer around corners.
Steering is light and the all-wheel-drive layout of the drivetrain is rear-drive biased, adding up to a vehicle that constantly feels sure-footed. Adaptive suspension ensures a soft ride, despite available 21-inch wheels, while an optional air suspension system bumps up the luxury even more.
The major downside to the Q8’s heft, AWD system, and the powerful V6 engine is fuel economy. The Q8 only manages 18 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA.
Advanced technology. The Q8 is Audi’s flagship model. As such, it’s packed with cutting-edge features that the brand has become known for.
Audi’s excellent virtual cockpit system, which includes an incredible 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, is included as standard. The Q8 also comes with Audi’s dual-center display system, which is comprised of a 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower touchscreens.
Safety is also a key part of the Q8. It comes with nearly every advanced driver-assist system under the sun, so we won’t cover them all. With available traffic jam assist, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, the Q8 is capable of handling some aspects of driving on the highway, though we wouldn’t call it a rival to Tesla’s Autopilot.
Modern, conservative styling. Audi took an interesting stance with the Q8’s design. Putting the Q8 side by side against the Q7 reveals a racier, lower, and wider appearance.
While the rear end on the Q8 is certainly more angular than the Q7’s, it’s nowhere near as dramatic as the designs you’ll find on competitors from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche. Somehow, the Q8 manages to join the modern crowd without going overboard. We think it’s a good place to be.
Final thoughts. Like a lot of other models that are inspired by coupes, the 2020 Audi Q8 is a choice that’s mostly driven by looks. While Audi has managed to make the Q8 a utility vehicle, it’s not the most versatile option in the segment. But then again, if you’re shopping for a high-performance, comfortable, and tech-packed crossover, the Q8 is a fine choice.
Fuel economy and pricing are our two main gripes, but those are minor ones. We’re still waiting for the high-performance RS Q8 and SQ8, but they're coming soon.
The BMW X6 has much more dramatic styling, costs less, and is available with 617 hp. It can’t match the Q8 when it comes to cargo or interior space, though. The Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe costs more but comes with a 385-hp engine as standard. The GLE Coupe’s more aggressive rear-end design eats into cargo and interior space.
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