Audi enters the sporty, coupe-like SUV market with their new flagship – the 2019 Audi Q8.
The Audi Q7 has long held the torch as Audi’s big daddy SUV. Smaller variants have come along since: the Q5 and the Q3 in the U.S. That said, the largest model is normally what springs to mind whenever I think about an Audi SUV. Audi has a new range-topping crossover now, however, and here it is. The 2019 Audi Q8 takes on a sportier, coupe-like appearance, but is that worth nearly $90,000?
All Audi Q8 models are powered by the same 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. Under the hood, you get 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, similar to what you’d get in the Q8. Paired to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system, that power is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. But there’s more: The 2019 Audi Q8 also packs a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
Audi claims the Q8 will hit 60 in 5.6 seconds. Testing a few thousand feet above sea level, Roman nearly manages that time in an impromptu 0-60 run.
Design and technology
What really hits home in the 2019 Audi Q8 isn’t so much the powertrain, but the design. This flagship crossover wants to take on the likes of BMW with the X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe with more coupe-like styling. With that sloping roofline, you do lose some rear headroom over the Q7, as you’d expect. The 2019 Audi Q8 loses 0.7 inches in the second row against its more conventional Q7 counterpart. Unlike the Q7, you also only get two rows of seats, rather than three.
The 2019 Audi Q8 comes packed with the sort of technology we’ve come to expect in modern Audis. Namely, you get the MMI Navigation Plus system and Virtual Cockpit on all trims. Matrix LED headlights, a Head-up display come standard on the top-end Prestige trim.
Then there’s the matter of price. While the 2019 Audi Q7 starts at $53,550 before destination charges, the Q8 is nearly $14,000 more. The base Premium model starts at $67,400 before destination and options. Prestige models start at $76,550, but you can quickly hike up the price from there. Add all available options, and it’s easy to spec a 2019 Audi Q8 at around $100,000.
Roman’s particular Audi Q8 came in around $90,000. Let’s circle around to that question again: Is it worth the money? For some, it always will be. However, while the Q8 showcases all of Audi’s latest technology, it doesn’t push the envelope beyond styling. As a technical showcase, the Audi A8 may serve more as Audi’s flagship car than the Q8. Nevertheless, it’s a striking, quick crossover that’s loaded to the brim with technology, and you wouldn’t expect any less from the brand’s top-end crossover.