What's the used Audi Q8 4x4 like?
Isn’t it amazing that when someone comes up with a good idea, everyone copies it immediately afterwards. You see it in fashion, cooking, music and cars. The Audi Q8 is a prime example of the latter, having been created to take on the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupé in the burgeoning market for luxury high-riders with coupé-inspired styling.
Engines choices are a little limited, with only a 282bhp 3.0-litre diesel (badged 50 TDI) or a 335bhp 3.0-litre turbo petrol (55 TFSI), plus the bonkers 427bhp 4.0-litre diesel in the sporting SQ8. The standard diesel is discerning enough, with smooth running at idle and under full acceleration, plus plenty of performance. The petrol offers punchy acceleration, but you'll pay for that at the pumps.
Entry-level S line Q8s have near enough everything you could ever wish for, including 21in alloy wheels, LED headlights, Audi's Virtual Cockpit digital display, heated front sports seats and adaptive air suspension. Pushing the boat out a little further are Black Edition cars, which have slightly larger 22in alloys, a black exterior styling package, a panoramic glass roof, four-zone climate control and Virtual Cockpit Plus (the same as the normal system but with a couple of extra views). Finally, the top-of-the-range Vorsprung has cooled front seats, plusher leather, a Bang & Olufsen stereo and all-wheel steering.
The Q8 has a sportier edge than the Q7, and this is reflected in its ride. It’s never uncomfortable, but you feel lumps more, even when the adaptive suspension is set in its most compliant Comfort mode.
Handling is really rather good for such a hefty vehicle, with minimal body roll through the corners. Mind you, the Q8 is a not-too-distant relation of the Lamborghini Urus, which perhaps explains why it's able to carve through turns with little fuss. SQ8 models are even better, because it has active anti-roll technology that helps keep the car flat through bends. Vorsprung models go one stage further by introducing all-wheel steering, which noticeably tightens the Q8's turning circle.
The Q8 has a beautifully finished interior featuring all the finest soft-touch plastics, leathers and metal finishes in the Audi parts catalogue. The only difference with the Q8 is the introduction of Audi’s new dual-touchscreen layout. This replaces all the physical buttons and dials with touchscreens that give haptic feedback. It isn’t as easy to use as the old rotary dial setup, however, and shows up fingerprint marks really badly in direct sunlight.
Space isn’t an issue for passengers in the rear seats, unlike similarly styled rivals. The lower roofline of an SUV-coupé can eat into the head room, but the Q8 is good for even tall adults, plus it has a massive amount of leg room. The boot betters the X6's for overall capacity but trails that of the GLE Coupé. There shouldn't be any complaints from anyone in the front, though.
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