MSRP
$68,200
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2020 Audi Q8 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.2

The 2020 Audi Q8 has surefooted handling and a relaxing ride. Its V6 engine accelerates the Q8 up to speed without issue, but it isn’t exactly heart-pumping performance. Gas mileage is mediocre.

  • The V6 powerplant generally feels up to the job of moving the big 4,700-pound SUV around, but, on our drive route that briefly crested 15,000 feet in elevation, there were times that the turbo mill was left huffing, puffing, and forcing the transmission to hold gears for an uncomfortably long time. While most owners will never feel the effects of that kind of elevation, the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 just doesn't have the kind of muscle to make the heavy Q8 any more fun to drive than the family-focused Q7. It's merely adequate for a vehicle of this price and positioning in the marketplace." -- Autoblog (2019)
  • "The peppy engine doesn't disappoint at high altitudes and got us moving quickly. The Q8 didn't seem to suffer as much as I did from the high altitudes, and the air suspension did a great job keeping the vibrations to a minimum inside the cabin." -- Motor Trend (2019)
  • "Our S-Line Q8 rode on a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, allowing the driver to cycle through comfort, auto, dynamic, and off-road settings. It's not an SQ5, but it hustled through dirt and tarmac with more than enough confidence." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Audi Q8 is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine, which produces 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive are standard.

This V6 hauls the Q8 around with sufficient punch, and it supplies adequate muscle for climbing hills and passing vehicles on the highway. However, it doesn’t excite like many competitors do, and fuel economy trails a number of luxury midsize SUV class rivals. The Q8 gets just 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

  • A 48-volt hybrid-assist system aids stop-start operation, which was smooth and quiet during our experience. … While the Audi had deliberate passing power on the highway, it felt hesitant around town unless we crushed the gas pedal. The transmission had mostly dutiful reactions, but it and the engine best cooperated in Dynamic mode, which provoked snappier responses. We only wish the engine and exhaust made gutsier sounds." -- Car and Driver
  • Though power from the new V6 offers adequately entertaining driving dynamics, the Q8’s throttle response felt a bit mild -- something which, admittedly, might have been due to the fact that our driving route covered elevations from 8,000 to 15,000 feet." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "Between the electric assist and the engine's forced induction, I found there to be plenty of power, even at extremely high altitudes. We ascended mountain roads to a (literally) breathtaking 15,000 feet at speed -- up into the sort of thin air that would wilt a naturally aspirated engine -- and I still found plenty of power, particularly in sport mode." -- CNET (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Audi Q8’s driving dynamics blend comfort and sportiness in a way that should please most drivers. The steering is quick and lightly weighted, and the Q8 feels balanced though tight turns. The brakes provide fine stopping power as well. The adaptive suspension yields a smooth ride, soaking up bumps and dips in the road.

  • While it swiftly changes directions and obediently hustles around corners, it's less engaging than Audi sedans, such as the sleek A7. The Q8's steering has light effort and linear feedback, which was relaxing on long trips but boring on switchback roads." -- Car and Driver
  • While not engaging to drive aggressively, the Q8 remained calm and collected even when pitching its bulk more abruptly than its size might otherwise allow." -- New York Daily News (2019)
  • "While no sports car, it's easy to drive the Q8 with confidence, thanks in part to its strong brakes and good steering accuracy." -- CNET (2019)
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2020 Audi Q8

MSRP: $68,200

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