Audi Q8: A Minor Facelift for a Major SUV
As a model that was created about five years ago to spearhead Audi’s coupe SUV range while also competing with SUV stalwarts such as the BMW X6, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, we feel like the Q8 wasn’t in dire need of a refresh.
It still holds its own as a coupe SUV with good road manners and superb refinement. Also, it's a model that is packed with superb levels of technology. Audi, though, decided to give it a midlife update to keep it competitive in its respective segment.
The front end adopts an upright single-frame grille with an octagon design, new prominent air intakes, innovative headlights with optional HD Matrix LED technology, and digital daytime running lights placed on the upper horizontal edge.
The rear has been subtly tweaked and now features digital OLED rear lights for the first time in the Q8. The LED light strip remains with black high-gloss trim as well as integrated Audi rings.
Audi offers a choice of five new wheel designs with sizes that range from 21 to 23 inches, as well as three new metallic paints: Chili Red, Ascari Blue, and Sakhir Gold.
The interior remains familiar but now comes with a selection of nine decorative inlays as well as new upholstery choices to choose from. These include Fine Grain Ash Natural Silver for the standard model, Carbon Twill Matte, and an aluminium-based silver grey for the S Line sport package, as well as for the SQ8 TFSI.
The refreshed Audi Q8 range features a pair of diesel engines and two TFSI units, all with a mild hybrid system. The oil-burners include the 45 TDI, which houses a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine with 170kW and 500Nm, while the latter uses the same powerhouse but ups the ante to 210kW and 600Nm.
Both models perform exceptionally well and boast high efficiency, making them strong model options. On the performance front, the 45 TDI can propel the substantial SUV from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds before hitting V-max at 226km/h. The 50 TDI performs the same task in 6.1 seconds before maxing out at 241 km/h.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Q8 55 TFSI packs a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine that pumps out 250kW and 500Nm enough for a 5.6-second sprint to 100km/h en route to a 250km/h top speed.
Sitting at the top of the range, well before the RS Q8 comes, is the SQ8, which now uses a 4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine with cylinder deactivation. With 373kW and 770Nm produced by the unit, the SUV hurtles from 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds, and it will continue to accelerate all the way to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
The range uses a swift 8-speed tiptronic that channels power to all wheels via the quattro system.
The Audi Q8 remains a flagship model in the range, and while many assume that the bigger the number, the bigger the car, that’s not necessarily the case here. The Q8 seats five, while the Q7 offers space for seven. Consider this when making your decision.
If you opt for the Q8, you'll get a superb coupe SUV with a spacious, classy interior and commendable on-road manners. We will have the 45 TDI, please, simply because we’ve experienced the engine in the pre-facelift model and thoroughly enjoyed it.