2019 Audi Q8 First Drive Review

First Drive: 2019 Audi Q8

I’m here to tell you, that if Audi built its Ur Quattro for today’s world; it would look like the 2019 Q8. This is a car-buying realm filled with the crossover obsessed. That might not be you, but it is the majority and automakers are paying attention. In fact, for Audi specifically, crossovers accounted for 60% of the automakers volume in the 2018, in North America. So for them to ignore that and give us the wagons, coupes, and sport sedans we all desire would be foolish. Thankfully, the Q8 is actually quite good.

A 335-horsepower turbocharged V6 under the hood helps with that. As does the comfortable interior, rear passenger volume, and top-notch onboard tech. This Q8 employs Audi’s latest infotainment system and it’s both slick to use and crisp to the eye. Cars have edged closer to mimicking the UI of your standard smartphone, and Audi currently does that the best. It all works as you’d expect, so despite a high level of complexity, the learning curve is not steep. You already know how to use this stuff, you just need to learn the menu paths.

Out on the road, the Q8 drives better than the Q7, with which it shares a wheelbase and platform. Standard, you’ll find a set of adaptive suspension under the skin, and an air setup is an optional extra. You don’t need that extra fancy suspension though, because the standard system works really well. Pop the Drive Select system into Dynamic and the Q8 deliver flat cornering, tight steering, and an enjoyable driving experience.

We could use a bit more power, of course. During a section of highway that required a bit of passing, the eight-speed gearbox needed a moment to figure out where it should be and then the engine responded. That’s not ideal during the fleeting moments of passing zone available along a steep alpine driving route. Once the Q8 gets its act together though, the power is more than enough to have you hustling ahead of the lumbering semi-trucks in your path.

Of course, all of this just gets us a bit excited about what’s to come for this Q8. And that would be the likely addition of some badge lettering, an increased cylinder count, and a far more engaging driver seat adventure. Stay tuned for a potential SQ or RSQ8 packing the Audi 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. It won’t be cheap, but it will be pretty awesome. Just slap on some rally tires and head to the dirt…

[Disclaimer: Audi flew me to Utah before we set off on a lengthy road trip that saw us finish up in Telluride. My hotels, food, and drink were paid for along the way, and I even got a day of snowboarding in on the tail end of the trip. My body still aches from that one…]

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2 responses to “First Drive: 2019 Audi Q8”

  1. Monkey10is Avatar

    Given the recent diplomatic spats, do we expect it to be named something other than ‘Q8’ when it begins to be marketed in Saudi Arabia?

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Agreed, they should call it the Fuhrerjihadwagen for lols

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