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2019 Audi Q8 Review

The all-new 2019 Audi Q8 debuts in the middle third of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It has a spacious interior, quality materials, and solid handling, but it comes up a little short in engine power and performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Elegant cabin
  • Ample rear-seat room
  • Poised handling
  • Long list of standard features
  • So-so power and acceleration
  • Below-average fuel economy
  • Slight learning curve for infotainment features

Is the Audi Q8 a Good SUV?

Although it has a middling ranking in the competitive luxury midsize SUV segment, the Audi Q8 is a good SUV. The cabin is impeccably assembled, with plenty of wood, metal, and leather touches. A new dual-screen infotainment setup dominates the dash and center stack, and though it may take a little longer to learn than previous Audi interfaces, it gives the Q8 a space-age feel. Passenger comfort is excellent in both rows, especially in the rear.

You might look at the Q8 and think it’s sporty, but performance is a mixed bag. The only engine option does its job just fine, but don't expect to be overcome with power. Handling is more tuned toward comfort and balance, but the Q8 can still take turns with a little bit of enthusiasm.

Should I Buy the Audi Q8?

The Q8 is worth your consideration, but with a starting price of more than $67,000, it's not a decision to be taken lightly. If you prioritize performance, you'll want to take it for a test drive and see if it tickles your fancy. Shoppers who want an engaging drive and who are willing to sacrifice utility will probably be happier in the BMW X6. If you're on more of a budget or if you need three rows of seats, consider the Audi Q7.

Compare the Q8, X6, and Q7 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Audi Q8?

The 2019 Audi Q8 is an all-new model, so used models will be hard to find.

We Did the Research for You: 7 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed seven Audi Q8 reviews – along with performance data, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2019 Q8 is the right new car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Audi Q8 Cost?

The 2019 Audi Q8 starts at $67,400, which is one of the highest starting prices in the luxury midsize SUV segment. Two higher trim levels start at $71,400 and $76,550. Equipping the range-topping Q8 Prestige with most major options and packages pushes its price to almost $100,000.

Consider other SUV options in the Audi lineup if your budget doesn’t stretch this far. The seven-seat Audi Q7 starts at just under $54,000. There’s also the five-seat Audi Q5, which starts at just $43,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

Audi Q8 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Audi Q8 or BMW X6?

The BMW X6 was one of the first vehicles to discard a lot of the practicality of an SUV (think cargo and passenger space) and replace it with the shortcomings of a coupe (like poor visibility and a small cabin). The Q8 is Audi's first foray into this segment. The X6 trounces the Q8 in overall performance thanks to its nimble handling and meaty engine options. These range from a standard turbocharged 300-horsepower offering to a 445- or 567-horsepower twin-turbo variant. The latter comes in the hellacious and ultra-expensive X6M. Purists might appreciate that the X6 comes with rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. Both of these German SUVs have a classy and upscale interior, along with a long list of modern and user-friendly features. If you want everyday utility, the Q8 is the clear pick, as it offers more passenger space than what the X6 can muster with its cramped second row. You'll also get more cargo room with the Audi.

Which Is Better: Audi Q8 or Audi Q7?

The Audi Q7 is a 3-row luxury SUV that's better than the Q8 in most ways. The Q7 starts at around $54,000, which is average for the class but about $14,000 cheaper than the Q8. Families should prefer the Q7 to the five-seater Q8, even if the former's third row is only big enough for kids. There's also more cargo space in the Q7. Both SUVs have a refined interior quality with a lot of the same materials and design cues. However, the Q8 has a newer, all-digital infotainment system, while the Q7 still uses the central physical controller. The Q7 ranks among the best in the class for performance, with sports car-like handling. Its standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine gets the job done, but an optional supercharged V6 should really satisfy your craving for power. The Q8 is a good SUV, but there's little reason to spend more money for it over the more utilitarian Q7. 

Compare the Q8, X6, and Q7 »

Q8 Interior

How Many People Does the Q8 Seat?

The Audi Q8 seats five people. Up front, there's plenty of leg- and headroom for taller drivers and passengers, and outward visibility is excellent. Standard heated and eight-way power-adjustable front seats make it easy to find a relaxing driving position. Available seating features include 12- or 18-way power adjustments, ventilation, and a massaging function.

The back is almost as nice as the front. Despite the Q8's coupe-like sloping roof, rear headroom is ample. Second-row seats slide and recline to give long-legged passengers room to stretch out and get comfortable as well.

Q8 and Car Seats

The Q8 has two complete sets of rear-seat LATCH connections on the rear outboard seats. These seats have not been evaluated for ease of use at the time of this writing.  

Q8 Interior Quality

The 2019 Q8's interior is dressed to the nines, with standard ash wood and aluminum trim pieces. Leather seats come standard, and you can outfit the Q8 with premium Valcona leather, a leather-wrapped dashboard, leather coverings for the door panels and armrests, and an Alcantara suede headliner. Audi's new dual-screen infotainment setup flows seamlessly with the cabin design and gives a futuristic vibe to the Q8.

Q8 Cargo Space

The Audi Q8 has 28.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second row and a maximum of 67.5 cubic feet with the back seat folded down. A 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat comes standard. This features a pass-through in the rear seat so you can haul long and skinny items while still maintaining two full rear seating positions.

By comparison, the BMW X6 has 26.6 cubic feet of space with both rows in use and a maximum of 59.7 cubic feet with the back seat down. The 3-row Audi Q7 has 37.5 cubic feet behind its second row and a total of 71.6 cubic feet with both rear rows down.

Q8 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The new Q8 represents a giant leap forward for Audi in terms of in-car technology. Instead of a single-screen infotainment setup with a central control knob, the Q8 houses nearly everything in a dual touch-screen layout. The top screen measures 10.1 inches and sits flush in the dash, directly in your line of sight to the right of the steering wheel. An 8.6-inch screen sits below that and creates a clean transition right into the center console. You change climate controls and other comfort functions on this lower screen, and it has handwriting recognition as well.

Both screens utilize haptic touch and audio feedback when you push a virtual button, though it may require a little harder poke than how you might tap your finger on a smartphone screen. The system responds quickly to your commands and there likely won't be much of a learning curve for the whole interface.

The Q8 comes standard with niceties like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as the brilliant 12.3-inch virtual cockpit digital instrument display. Some infotainment features like navigation can be transferred to this screen for easier viewing. Other optional amenities include wireless device charging and a 17- or 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Read more about interior »

Q8 Performance

Q8 Engine: Good, But Not Great

Under the hood of the Audi Q8 is a 335-horsepower V6 engine. It hustles the SUV around pretty well, but you might notice some sluggishness when loaded with cargo or people. The standard eight-speed automatic transmission functions smoothly, though it can sometimes hold gears too long. You can remedy both of those minor inconveniences by putting the Q8 into Sport mode, which improves throttle response and shifts. The Q8 also features a mild-hybrid system, which primarily works to smooth out a standard stop-start feature.

Q8 Gas Mileage: No-Help Hybrid

Don't expect any benefits to fuel economy from this mild-hybrid setup – the 2019 Q8 returns just 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Those figures are unimpressive for the class. By comparison, the Audi Q7 manages 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, while the BMW X6 gets up to 18/24 mpg city/highway.

Q8 Ride and Handling: Beautifully Balanced

The Q8 comes standard with Audi Quattro all-wheel drive. That gives it poised grip through curvy roads, even if you can't whip it around like other more athletic SUVs. The Q8 rides smoothly over broken pavement or other imperfections in the road.

A standard Drive Select mode includes configurations like Dynamic, which tightens and weighs down the steering, and a Comfort mode that softens things up for an even plusher driving experience. Performance options include an adaptive air suspension and all-wheel steering. The latter upgrade helps with maneuverability when going slow and adds stability and confidence at higher speeds.

Read more about performance »

Q8 Reliability

Is the Audi Q8 Reliable?

As of this writing, the 2019 Audi Q8 doesn't have a predicted reliability rating.

Audi Q8 Warranty

Audi covers the Q8 with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty. Many luxury vehicles receive similar coverage.

Read more about reliability »

Q8 Safety

Q8 Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the Audi Q8. That's common for luxury and performance vehicles.

Q8 Safety Features

The Q8 comes standard with a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and Audi pre sense city. Pre sense consists of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, and it can also detect pedestrians in the path of the car. Optional active safety technologies include a 360-degree camera, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a night vision assistant with pedestrian detection.

Read more about safety »

Which Audi Q8 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Audi Q8 comes in Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige trim levels. All models come with a V6 engine and Quattro all-wheel drive. The base model comes standard with tech and comfort amenities like an infotainment system, smartphone integration, leather and heated seats, and a few collision prevention technologies. It's a good choice for those who may find that the Q8 already stretches their budget, but the extra $4,000 for the midrange Premium Plus is worth it. You'll get several more driver assistance features, a better stereo system, and access to a few additional options and packages.

Audi Q8 Premium  

The 2019 Q8 Premium starts at $67,400. Standard features include leather seats, heated and eight-way power-adjustable front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a panoramic sunroof, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. The standard MMI infotainment system consists of 10.1- and 8.6-inch touch screens with Bluetooth, four USB ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, a ten-speaker stereo, navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

The Convenience package ($850) adds wireless device charging, Audi pre sense rear, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. For $600, the Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

Audi Q8 Premium Plus

The Q8 Premium Plus retails for $71,400 and comes with 12-way power-adjustable and ventilated front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, a 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, wireless device charging, proximity key entry, push-button start, a hands-free power liftgate, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera.

The Driver Assistance package costs $2,750 and adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition. The Cold Weather package is also available. Other options include an adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering for $2,750, upgraded LED headlights and taillights for $1,200, and a leather-wrapped dashboard for $1,250. The available Year One package upgrades the Q8's appearance with larger wheels, sporty exterior design pieces, and a black grille and trim.

Audi Q8 Prestige

The range-topping Audi Q8 Prestige costs $76,550. It includes unique LED headlights and taillights, power soft-closing doors, rear-side-window sunshades, a leather-wrapped dashboard, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition.

For $5,950, the Luxury package includes an Alcantara headliner, 18-way power-adjustable contoured and massaging front seats, premium Valcona leather, and a leather center console and door armrests. Additional options include a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system ($5,000) and a night vision assistant with pedestrian detection ($2,500). 

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Audi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Audi deals page.

See 2019 Audi Q8 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The all-new Audi Q8 has good handling and outstanding interior quality, but it doesn't stand out against a very competitive class. Because of this Audi’s higher-than-average starting price, you'd be smart to shop around. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "If you find yourself drawn to the 2019 Audi Q8, be prepared to trade some of the Q7 SUV’s haul-loading practicality for some more alluring attributes like emotional styling and sporty handling." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Now, buyers can choose between coupe-like crossovers from all three of the big German luxury brands. And of those three, the Audi has the most technology, the most stylish interior, and even the healthiest dose of practicality." -- Autoblog
  • "For buyers who have no use for a three-row SUV but still want something with impeccable curb appeal that's quite sizeable and stylish, the 2019 Audi Q8 is as good as it gets this side of a Lamborghini Urus or Bentley Bentayga." -- Automobile Magazine
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2019 Audi Q8

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