Audi SQ8 review

Category: Sports SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Audi SQ8 2021 interior infotainment
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RRP £83,810What Car? Target Price from£80,374
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

If you’re already considering a high-spec Audi Q8, the SQ8’s price premium actually looks fairly slim – although the similarly fast BMW X6 M50i and Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupé are priced a bit lower. It’s then quite a leap to range-topping Vorsprung trim, but you get a lot of extra kit for your money so this is still worth considering.

It brings additional high-tech features, such as the active anti-roll bars we mentioned earlier. Plus, you gain a Bang & Olufsen premium stereo and safety kit such as lane-keeping assistance and a system that warns you if it senses a car approaching from either side while you’re reversing out of a garage or driveway.

We have yet to receive predicted residual values for the 2020 SQ7, but if it’s anything like its predecessor, it should hold onto its value better than its rivals, including the premium Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupé. 

We are also yet to receive WLTP-verified official fuel economy figures, but from our experience you can expect to see around 20mpg in mixed conditions, with fuel economy dropping into the low teens when you start to work the engine hard. In other words, you will be spending a lot of your time at the fuel pumps, but the same is also true for the SQ7’s closest rivals.

The petrol-powered SQ8 is too new for specific reliability data to be available, but in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, Audi as a manufacturer placed 22nd out of 31 manufacturers surveyed. That’s some way behind BMW in 9th, tied with Porsche in 22nd, but ahead of Mercedes in 26th. Anyone also considering a Range Rover Velar, meanwhile, might want to note that Land Rover finished last.

Euro NCAP awarded the Q8 a five-star safety rating. It does a fantastic job of keeping rear-seat child occupants safe in a frontal accident, but the Porsche Cayenne does a fractionally better job of protecting front passengers from chest injury in the same type of crash.

To help you avoid an accident in the first place, the SQ8 comes with active safety equipment including low-speed automatic emergency braking (AEB), which alerts you to potential frontal collisions with cars or pedestrians and applies the brakes if necessary. The Vorsprung variant adds heaps more standard safety aids, including high-speed automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and active lane-keeping assistance.

Audi SQ8 2021 interior infotainment

Overview

Despite awesome acceleration and impressive handling, the SQ8 is almost as relaxing to drive as the regular Q8. It’s also impressively well equipped, makes a great noise and is confidence inspiring to drive – it makes you wonder why you’d ever need the range-topping RS Q8. Just bear in mind that the Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupé is more fun than both the SQ8 and RS Q8.

  • Effortless performance
  • Composed ride and handling
  • High quality interior
  • Cayenne Coupé is more involving
  • Distracting infotainment system
  • Cheaper SQ7 is even more spacious

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