Auto Express Test: Audi Q8 vs Porsche Cayenne vs Range Rover Sport

Now that the Audi Q8 is here, the four-ringed brand finally has a horse in the large sporty SUV race. It’s always had cars like the Audi SQ5 and SQ7 but they’ve always been sporty versions of regular SUVs. The Q8 is designed to be a sporty SUV from the get-go, putting it in the same segment as the BMW X6, Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover Sport. In this new comparison test from Auto Express, the Q8 takes on the latter two.

Unfortunately for Audi, the test is done in the UK. Nothing against the UK, of course, but the only engine available in the Q8 there at the moment is the 3.0 TDI, a turbocharged V6 diesel. And while it’s a good engine, it isn’t exactly sporty. But, then again, neither is the Porsche Cayenne’s hybrid powertrain in this test, nor the 3.0 liter turbo-diesel V6 in the Range Rover. So, the test is pretty fair, actually.

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So which one is best?

In third place is the Range Rover Sport. It’s a great car, the ‘Rover, with awesome looks, the best off-road capability of the trio by far and the most luggage space. However, where it falls down a bit is in driving dynamics. While the Range Rover Sport is a lovely car to drive, it’s still not exactly sporty and it’s the worst handling car of the trio. In a test of sporty SUVs, that’s sort of important.

Second place goes to the Audi Q8. With sharp new looks, a great blend of comfort and handling and impressive interior passenger space, the Q8 is an awesome all-around package. It also has the most modern interior of the bunch and is fun to drive. Still, it’s not as fun to drive as the Cayenne, nor does it ride as well.

So that leaves the Porsche Cayenne in first place. The Cayenne is still the unquestioned king of large, sporty SUVs. Its steering is the sharpest and the best, its handling is the best and even its ride is the best over broken pavement. It also features a handsome interior with slick technology and good interior space. So it’s the winner here and it’s an easy choice.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.