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.