With the coupe-like SUV craze in full force, customers are trading in their traditional SUVs and sedans for SUVs with sharp roof lines and “coupe” styling. Cars like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Coupe have cannibalized their traditional SUV siblings’ sales. So Audi’s hand was basically forced into make a car to compete — the Audi Q8. Car and Driver recently took it for a spin to see if it’s any good.
On the outside, the Audi Q8 certainly has much more presence than any of its more traditional siblings. For instance, an Audi Q7 basically blends into the background. The Q8? That stands out. It’s large, aggressive and imposing. Its massive wheels and angry face make it seem like it’s ready to punch every other car in the mouth. For someone looking for a bit more style and wow-factor, the Audi Q8 is definitely going to be more appealing than the Q7.
However, is it actually better than the Q7? Well, yes and no. If you’re looking for a sportier experience with more style, then yes. If you’re looking for a practical, comfortable experience, then no.
The Audi Q8 is the more athletic car of the two, with sharper steering, more agile moves and better performance. Its 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, helping the 5,100 lb SUV get from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. That’s quick for something as heavy as the Q8. It’s also quicker than the Q7.
It also sports a newer interior, with Audi’s newest Touch Response MMI system and the latest Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel. It’s a really slick and good looking interior that’s far superior to the one in the Q7. C&D was also rather complimentary of the new touchscreen-based infotainment system, which is usually criticized for being difficult to use while on the move.
Overall, the Audi Q8 seems to be an SUV that’s worth its price tag if you’re looking for something slightly sporty and stylish but also need an SUV. If you just need the latter, the Audi Q7 is probably the better bet.