Audi Q8 review: Audi Q8 review: Does the new flagship stir emotions?
The Q8 is enormously large, measuring just under 5 meters. The 8, however, is smaller than the 7 in all quarters. Design is also a paradigm shift. The front houses an all-new hex grille with a legitimate mix of chrome, without being over the top.
Now, don’t judge the new flagship just by its face. Upcoming models like the new generation Q7, Q3 and most of the others will carry the new Audi theme. Unique to the Q8 are the customization options, so much so that Audi claims that no two Q8s on the road look identical.
The 20-inch alloy curtains are precision cut and a pleasure to watch when they roll. Synchronized matrix lighting was always there, just made to look more premium for Q8. Frameless doors, something I’m a huge fan of, remind you and viewers of the super luxury that the Q8 brings to the table.
The coupe-SUV’s squat is more pronounced from the rear. There is a rich interplay of lights on the chiseled tailgate.
Unlike the Q7, it has five seats inside the cabin and a huge 600-liter boot. 11 upholstery options and 9 inlay colors can be serious brainstorming to get your desired combination.
The exterior is dramatically different and exudes the Quattro feel. The interior, on the other hand, is rich and luxurious as well. That said, the lump in the Q8’s throat has to be the dash. The exact triple screen configured with piano black insert is also present in A6, which is in fact half the price of Q8. Really difficult to justify.
That said, 90 percent of key controls are accessed through these large panels on the center console. The displays lack physical buttons and work via tactile feedback, which in my books isn’t the best thing to have if you don’t have a front occupant to regulate the temperature or listen to music.
For Rs 1.36 crore, enjoy quite a few amenities inside the Q8. Features like panoramic sunroof, four-zone climate control, B&Q hi-fi sound system, ambient lighting, front seat heating, ventilation, massage and more are there to pamper you. On the other hand, the address does not show that you are driving an Audi flagship. The buttons on the pilot wheel are minimal and not designed to hold.
The space and comfort of the rear seat are also commendable. The room on offer is huge, and thanks to the luxurious ride quality, I’d rather choose the rear seat of the Q8 rather than drive it.
On the move, what strikes me the most is the ride quality. Air suspensions with gigantic 20-inch wheels in most cases send the ride quality for a launch. On the contrary, Audi Q8 does a great job of understanding the comfort of each occupant. The swaying of the body is minimal to disturb. The Q8’s frameless windows seal well against door jams, with wind noise from the road successfully controlled.
It’s good to note that handling hasn’t been compromised either to present a luxurious feel inside the cabin. The agility of the 2-ton SUV is quite encouraging.
The VW Group’s decision to divest from diesel means the Q8 is only available on 55 TFSI.
The 3-liter turbo petrol engine is extremely refined and powerful, however, in fact, the Q7’s diesel engine is a big mistake here. The gasoline engine, with 340 horsepower and 500 Nm, is fast and attractive. Power delivery is leisurely and there is a sharp increase in start-up and then rev band. The engine grunts a bit near the red line, but the excellent cabin insulation keeps it filtered. ZF’s 8-speed automatic transmission is a timeless transmission, continuing to evolve as a better team with each passing year.
The Audi Q8 looks like a flagship should look, it drives with a lot of heart, but the interiors can divide opinions. Will Q8 fill the shoes with Q7? It seems very, very unlikely. That being said, Q8 is something most of us can hardly afford. If you can, the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7 present greater versatility. In case you’re striving for Audi, the RS Q8 is here to captivate you.