The car in our photo is the Audi Q8 and itís basically the sporty coupe version of their mammoth SUV the Q7. Just think of the BMW X6 or Mercedes Benz GLE and youíll be able to place it better in your mind. Strangely, these are cars for people who donít want their SUVs to look too much likeÖan SUV.
When you first look at the Q8 itís actually quite hard to believe that itís basically a Q7 though we think Audiís design team have done a brilliant job of making this car look completely different. The styling wonít be to everyoneís taste but we think this car will gain a generally positive response and probably prefer it over the more divisive look of the BMW X6. The Q7 is shorter, wider and lower to the ground than the Q7. Along with it slim lights, Audiís new 8 sided grille and slim roofline the Q8 is pretty sleek looking. The flared wheel arches are reminiscent of the brandís Audi Quattro rally cars. We think the wheel arches and the big 22 inch alloys look absolutely great though our small gripe is that when the Q8 is fitted with the standard 20 inch alloys the gap between the tyres and the arches are just too big. This will really push car buyers into having to upgrade and spend more money to get the better look. Another thing we really like about the exterior of the Q7 are its frameless doors. These look great although if we put on our sensible hat then these might actually be a bit of a safety hazard as the sharp edge could really hurt your eye.
Step inside the Q8 and itís pretty much what youíd expect. Itís refined, elegant and incredibly well-built. In fact, itís just like being inside their luxury saloon the Audi A8. Weíd have to say that it would be incredibly difficult to find any fault with the build quality in here as itís simply excellent. However, if we have to say something negative about the cabin is that it might feel a little bit too bland for some. The dual-screen looks great but they may be a bit too fiddly to use while youíre on the move. Those drivers with a slightly OCD nature might be offended by the screens as they tend to leave a fingerprint mark every time you touch them. One thing we do absolutely love is Audiís Virtual Cockpit digital display. You can control it from the steering wheel and the graphics are absolutely superb. What it means is that you have everything youíll need right in your line of sight. Another thing weíre massive fans of inside this car are the leather quilted seats. Weíre not exaggerating here but as soon as you sit in them you wonít want to get out as theyíre so darn comfortable. The only downside is that the seats are on the extras list so donít expect them on the standard range. When it comes to storage there isnít a huge amount. You get a couple of cup holders, a slim storage compartment hidden under the central armrest, a great sized glovebox and also really good-sized door bins.
The Q8 is actually wider than the Q7 which means that even though there isnít the option of a third seat youíll easily fit three adults across the back seats. You get a couple of IsoFix child seat points on the outer seats and the storage is really good too. Despite the rakish roofline itís actually very spacious in the back. The headroom is very good and as for your legroom youíll find stacks of room here too. When it comes to rear luggage space the Q8 is actually a little disappointing. It just isnít as practical as the Q7 although on sheer boot size it does actually trump the BMW X6. Unfortunately, the boot isnít the most useable of shapes because of the sloping roofline. So, you can expect to struggle to fit in a small bike which we would have expected youíd be able to do. Another thing that you might find really annoying is that in order to reach to the back of the boot most owners will have to push up right against the boot of the car. This isnít too bad on a nice sunny day when the car is clean but can be very annoying when itís muddy or wet.
While the setup of the Q8 is pretty much the same as the Q7 the Q8 definitely has a sportier feeling about it. The lower stance undoubtedly plays a huge role in this and it feels more like a hatchback and less like an SUV behind the wheel. What we were really impressed with is what a brilliant job the air suspension does in smoothing out any bumps and lumps in the road which really help make this car such a comfortable Cruiser. If you do want to personalise things then you can play around with the suspension setup. Itís got everything from off-road to comfort to dynamic which all help to raise or lower the ride height appropriately. Thereís no doubt that youíll have more fun in the Q8 on twisty roads than you would in the Q7. However, you just donít get an awful lot of feel from the steering. The BMW X6 is without a doubt a more engaging car to drive. Whilst visibility is generally good the chunky B-pillar does obstruct your view when youíre trying to turn.
At the time of tying, the fast Q8s on sale are only fitted with a 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine though there will be a less powerful version of the same engine coming later along with a 3.0 litre V6 petrol. The 50 TDi car weíre testing uses a 48 volt electrical system to support a mild hybrid system which means that it shuts the engine down when it doesnít need much power. Apparently this helps to make the Q8 capable of delivering acclaimed 42 miles to the gallon (mpg).
Donít let the sleek looks fool you into thinking that this is a sports car along the lines of itís stable-mate the Lamborghini Urus with which incidentally it shares a fair bit of its structure. What this car can offer you is a lot more fun and make far more of a statement than a standard SUV. If you like the look of the Q8 then take a look at what used Audi A8 cars for sale we have on DesperateSeller.co.uk right now.