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Does the Audi Q8 live up to expectations?

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The Audi Q8 is several notches above its peers, and we’re not just talking about its appearance. This vehicle provides a comfortable ride, with spacious interior and sleek controls. It also offers more power than the Audi Q7 and more importantly, offers a lot of bang for your bucks.

Comparison to the Q7

The biggest difference is the engine. The Q7 base engine has a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four, while the Q8 has a 3.0 liter 335 hp turbocharged V6, which is slightly more powerful than the upgrade engine option for the Q7.

The Q8 also has only two rows while the Q7 comes with three, but it’s not really a big issue since the Q7’s third row seats aren’t nothing to write home about anyway. The cargo space for the Q8 is also smaller than the Q7 but only by 15% or so. Overall the Q8 is more compact than the Q7 and the roof is lower too. So with all that in mind, what makes this a good buy?

Design

The Q8 scores points for using high quality suspension systems and an aluminum heavy structure. Its platform is based on the MLB Evo and the ones used by the Porsche Cayenne, the Lamborghini Urus and the Bentley Bentayga. The fact that this uses the same structure platforms as those quality vehicles says a lot.

There’s also a touch of the Ur-Quattro on the Q8: the box-like wheel flares and the black piece on the taillights are definitely Ur-Quattro. Even so there’s no question the Q8 is a unique vehicle with its own identity.

Compared to the Q7, the Q8 has a wider grille, and it has 20, 21 and 22 inch tires available.  Style wise the Q8 doesn’t take as much risk as its rivals, but this pays off since it resembles a cool SUV.

The Q8 has the adjustable-height air springs available as an option, and one would do well to avail of them. Dampers with full adjustability are included and there is an option for air springs that allows you to raise the body up to 10 inches.

Interior

The Q8 has a good sized interior, airy and with a decent amount of head and leg room. Go to the front and you’ll see the 2-screen infotainment display and the overall cleanliness and lack of clutter in the interior.

The infotainment display is a departure from the control knob and single screen of other models, once trademarks of Audi. While the new look may take some getting used to, there is no question they respond quickly to your commands.

Performance

The Q8 is not the fastest vehicle out there but it packs power. The Q8 launch route was at the Andes Mountains over 14,000 feet high, and really there are few vehicles that can provide a good performance when at that level. The Q8 does and that says a lot about its quality.

Driving on regular roads shows the kind of power and capability of the Q8. Torque is delivered on time and it handles curves, passes and turns with ease. With 3 liter turbocharged V6 the driving experience is smooth and reliable. There’s a bit of noise when driving at top speed but that’s to be expected.

All the Q8 models are connected to an 8 speed automatic transmission with full AWD. The all season tires are built into the models and they handle sandy surfaces, smooth pavement and rugged terrain equally well.

With a high ground clearance and air springs, the Q8 becomes well suited for high altitude drives, off road excursions and crisscrossing desert roads. The Q8 also offers a surprisingly good amount of dexterity given its size. Even on rough roads and narrow turns the vehicle acquits itself well.

The pace is good on smooth pavement and the steering is comfortable. All in all the Q8 rides better than other vehicles in its class. There will be some differences depending on the tire size you go for, but overall the experience is consistent.

The Q8 is certainly good enough for shopping, driving around town and just cruising. But it also has a sporty look and feel. Even when you strap on the 22 inch tires the feeling is remarkably consistent.

And this holds true not just for smooth city roads. Even when you’re broken pavement, undulating roads, gravel and so on, the Q8 just keeps chugging along. There are not a lot of models in this range can deliver this kind of experience.

Conclusion

Audi describes the Q8 as a cross between an SUV and a 4 door luxury coupe. After this review we can say that it lives up to the hype. Is the Q8 stylish? Yes, but it doesn’t compromise functionality and is one of the most efficient Audi has come out with.

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