2019 Audi Q8

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2019 Audi Q8 Test Drive Review: Wonderful SUV Boasts Style And Substance

In a world where coupe-styled SUVs have become the norm, Audi needed to go big on its range-topping Q8. Designed from scratch, as opposed to taking a normal crossover and giving it a raking rear roofline, it's stylish and chunky with frameless doors, sitting on massive wheels housed in puffed-up wheel arches. As you'd expect from the German carmaker, the interior is to die for, laden with tech and plenty of space for five passengers. I spent two weeks and 1,250 miles with the Q8 driving from London to the west coast of Ireland and back again, with two kids and plenty of luggage. Throughout that time, the Q8 was a joy to live with. More expensive, less practical than the Q7 it might be, but the Q8 is a complex animal that ticks every box in the book.

Read in this review:

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2019 Audi Q8 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 Q8?

The Audi Q8 is a brand new model and takes its place in the Audi lineup one spot above the Q7. The flagship Audi SUV is assembled at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant in Slovakia and is the first Audi SUV to be designed by Marc Lichte, Audi's new head of design. Built on the Volkswagen MLBevo platform it shares underpinnings with the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, and the Porsche Cayenne.

Pros and Cons

  • Futuristic interior design
  • Loads of tech
  • Balanced ride quality
  • High levels of practicality from a coupe SUV
  • The Q8 comes at a big price premium
  • Middling fuel economy estimates
  • It can't shake its heavy curb weight

What's the Price of the 2019 Audi Q8?

Clearly priced at the top of Audi's SUV range, the base model Q8 Premium starts with an MSRP of $67,400, which places it next to the $65,700 Porsche Cayenne, but costs over $6,000 more than the 2019 BMW X5. The mid-range Premium Plus Q8 goes for $71,400, and the range-topping Prestige will cost you $76,550. Audi has priced its new flagship SUV to compete with the traditional leaders in the premium luxury SUV category. A brand new design and generous features list should place it at the top of its class in terms of value. Our test vehicle was priced at just over £85,000, the equivalent of around $110,000, but budget for around $70,000 - $75,000 to get all the features you really need.

Best Deals on 2019 Audi Q8

2019 Audi Q8 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Premium 55 TFSI quattro
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Premium Plus 55 TFSI quattro
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Prestige 55 TFSI quattro
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Audi Q8 Trims and Specs

2019 Q8 Exterior

2019 Audi Q8 Front Angle View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Rear Angle View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Side View CarBuzz
See All 2019 Audi Q8 Exterior Photos


  • Length 196.6 in
  • Wheelbase 117.9 in
  • Height 67.2 in
  • Max Width 78.5 in
  • Front Width 66.1 in
  • Rear Width 66.6 in

Exterior Colors

  • Cobra Beige Metallic +$595
  • Samurai Gray Metallic +$595
  • Florett Silver Metallic +$595
  • Glacier White Metallic +$595
  • Daytona Gray Pearl Effect +$595
  • Navarra Blue Metallic +$595
  • Orca Black Metallic +$595
  • Galaxy Blue Metallic +$595
  • Dragon Orange Metallic +$595
  • Carrara White
  • Night Black

2019 Q8 Performance

2019 Audi Q8 Side View 1 CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Badge CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

To hear that the Q8 is a competent, comfortable, and effortless highway cruiser won't be a surprise, but where the big SUV shines is on twisty, uneven terrain. With the sports steering wheel in hand, if it wasn't for the high riding position, you'd think you were in a car half its size when tackling switchback roads. With a car that measures almost five meters long and two meters wide, it feels odd calling the Q8 agile. But it darts around the corners and changes direction with such swiftness, the narrow country lanes of south Wales and Kerry in south-west Ireland never felt daunting. Aiding that agility is the optional four-wheel steering, which came in very handy when making a three-point-turn out of a Soho side street the SatNav had failed to detect was a dead-end.

With a range of dynamic modes, the Q8 adapts to different tasks with aplomb. The soft 'Comfort' mode gave me a chance to relax when driving on motorways, while in 'Dynamic' the car drops by 40 mm (1.6 inches) and becomes more responsive, and an off-road mode raised the suspension by 50 mm (2 inches), which proved useful down some dirt roads. Even with the 22-inch wheels that come with the top-of-the-line Vorsprung trim (the top trim on Audi's premium models in the UK), the SUV remained consistently composed.

Steering isn't overly communicative, but the Q8 goes exactly where you put it, providing further confidence when threading down a lane wide enough for two European-sized hatchbacks built in the 1950s. In fact, inspiring confidence is arguably the Q8's best trait. An imposing car from the outside, but a sweetheart from behind the wheel.

2019 Q8 Interior

2019 Audi Q8 Dashboard CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Steering Wheel Controls CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Gear Shifter CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.6 in
  • Front Head Room 37.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 40.2 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.1 in

2019 Q8 Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Audi Q8 Rear View CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Front Seats CarBuzz
2019 Audi Q8 Dashboard 1 CarBuzz

2019 Q8 Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    8 Years \ 100,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2019 Audi Q8 A Good SUV?

SUVs have become so dominant that even in the niche luxury coupe-style SUV market there are a few options to consider, most notably the BMW X6 and Porsche Cayenne Coupe. None, however, are as well styled or easy on the eye as the Q8. On top of that, it has plenty of space for both rear passengers and cargo, a class-leading interior, and offers a breadth of performance. You couldn't ask for a better companion on a long journey while it has the agility and composure of a sports car for when you want to have fun. With the recent reveal of the RS Q8 we can't wait to see what the chassis can do with 600 horsepower to play with. That Audi Sport-fettled super SUV will be for those that demand their SUV to be a proper driver's car. For everyone else, the Audi Q8 is one of the best luxury SUVs you can buy.

What Audi Q8 Model Should I Buy?

Having driven the top-spec Q8 Vorsprung in the UK, packing very similar features as the Prestige line in the US, we'd suggest the Premium Plus would be more than sufficient for most people's needs. At just $4,000 more than Premium, it also represents excellent value for money, with additional goodies including the B&O sound system, the top-view camera - extremely useful when maneuvering the large unit in tight spaces - bigger wheels, four-zone climate control, and perforated front seats. Buyers looking to maximize the Q8's practical side will want the Towing package for $750. However, once you start considering the adaptive air suspension for almost $3,000, it might be worth biting the bullet and going for the fully-loaded Prestige trim.

Check out other Audi Q8 Styles

2019 Audi Q8 Comparisons

Audi Q7 Audi
BMW X7 CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Audi Q8335 hp18/23 mpg$72,800
Audi Q7 261 hp19/25 mpg$59,200
BMW X7 375 hp21/25 mpg$77,850

2019 Audi Q8 vs Audi Q7

The Q7 has officially been dethroned by the Q8 as the king of the Audi Q lineup, but what are the major differences between the two Teutonic SUVs? The most obvious is the fact that the Q7 is a seven-seater, whereas the Q8 only makes space for five. The Q7 is available with two engine choices; a 2.0-liter four-pot turbo and 3.0-liter supercharged V6. The larger power plant can achieve 19/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined, and produces the same 335 hp as the turbocharged V6 in the Q8, but offers over 30 lb-ft less. Size-wise the Q7 shares a lot its exterior dimensions with the Q8, and both roll on a 117.9-inch wheelbase. The Q7 offers less legroom overall, but more headroom space. The Q7 can also carry more stuff, but can't match the Q8 for tech. Larger families will love the Q7 for its spacious interior and cargo capacity, but the Q8 is a technological tour-de-force that deserves its place as the best Audi SUV around.

See Audi Q7 Review

2019 Audi Q8 vs BMW X7

The BMW X7 and Audi Q8 have more in common than you'd expect: both are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both produce 335 hp, but the Audi comes out on top with 369 lb-ft of torque versus the BMW's 330 lb-ft, although the BMW is more fuel-efficient, achieving 20/25/22 mpg city/highway/combined. The BMW is a bigger car, and outclasses the Q8 in most measurements, even seating seven occupants. Both cars are stacked with technology, but the Audi gets cutting edge features such as matrix LED headlights and head-up display technology. The brand new Q8 does almost everything the BMW X7 does, but the X7 feels more tied down dynamically, is more efficient, and is more spacious. Even though it's $6,000 more expensive, the X7 presents better value for money, making it our pick.

See BMW X7 Review
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