The 2021 Audi SQ8 returns with no major changes after being introduced last year. The SQ8 remains the German marque’s flagship performance SUV. A compact two-model range is powered by a four-liter V8 gas engine, while raiding the options list can push the price of either model north of $100,000.
2021 Audi SQ8
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.
2021 Audi SQ8 Overview
Choosing Your Audi SQ8
The Audi SQ8 is available in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige. Pricing starts at $90,195 including destination for the Premium Plus and climbs to $95,695 for the Prestige.
Every SQ8 is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine. This pumps out 500 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, fed to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can go from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
The SQ8 returns an EPA-estimated 15 miles per gallon city, 21 mpg highway, and 17 combined.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The SQ8 is a midsize crossover with seating for five passengers. There's 30.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, or 60.7 with it folded down.
The SQ8 packs in a great deal of safety kit. All models get blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning. The Prestige further gets adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
Twin haptic touchscreens control the SQ8’s infotainment system, while Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit displays other vital statistics behind the wheel. A 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D audio system pumps out 730 watts, with front and rear USB ports supporting auxiliary inputs. There’s also wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto support, navigation, and wireless device charging and signal boosting. The Prestige trim adds a head-up display.
Given its price, you’d expect the entry-level SQ8 Premium Plus to be groaning with features, and it does a good job of living up to its name. Premium Plus models feature 21-inch wheels, LED headlights, quad exhaust outlets, and a power tailgate.
Rear occupants benefit from heat-insulating side and rear windows, and four-zone climate keeps everyone cool as the sun beats down through the panoramic sunroof. Valcona leather seats with contrast diamond stitching are heated and ventilated in the front.
For $6,300, the Luxury Package extends the leather across the door armrests, center console, and sun blinds. It also delivers dual-pane acoustic side windows with side and rear window sunshades, a black Alcantara headliner panel, massaging front seats, and memory for the passenger seat.
For $5,500 more, the Prestige receives the extended leather portion of the Luxury Package as standard. HD matrix LED lights and a head-up display makes the driver’s life easier, as do adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition. Heated rear seats are standard.
Prestige buyers can add a 23-speaker, 1,920-watt Bang and Olufsen audio system for $5,000, or a $2,500 night vision assistant with thermal imagery of the road ahead including large animal and pedestrian detection.
The standard 2021 Audi SQ8 is so luxurious that there’s no need to upgrade to the Prestige trim, or spend even more money adding the Luxury Package for that matter.