The 2019 Q8 is the latest and greatest from Audi, a so-called four-door coupe that was inspired by models like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe. These models trade in a little utility for a heavy dose of style, though the Audi is the least compromised of the trio when it comes to useable space.
Like most Audis, the Q8 shares a lot with other Volkswagen Group models, namely the Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus. Our tester was the mid-level Premium Plus model. It’s $4,000 more than a base Q8 Premium but includes features like 21-inch wheels, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, illuminated door sills, four-zone climate control, ventilated front seats and wireless charging.
Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Q8 is stylish and offers a large-sized take on the ‘coupe’ crossover mashup segment. I like it. The six-cylinder is strong and capable. The interior is an elegant evolution of Audi’s upscale cabin treatment. It’s quiet at highway speeds and the chassis nicely dampens Michigan’s cratered roads. The steering is light yet responsive when you want it. With lots of creases, a prominent grille and the appearance of an off-road style front fascia (it’s the angle), the Q8 has more presence than its competitors from BMW and Mercedes. I was able to jam three large plastic tubs and a huge cardboard box in the back, too, so there’s fewer compromises with Audi’s more conventional design. The Q8 seems like a winner for the Four Rings.
Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder: This is an attractive vehicle. Seeing it in the parking lot for the first time, it looks athletic, imposing and aggressive yet sharp and clean, especially in this Daytona Gray. I’ve always thought the Q5 and Q7 look a little pudgy, but not this. I wanted to get in it as soon as I saw it.
I was greeted by a spacious, comfortable interior with Audi’s signature architectural styling. Also there are a lot of digital displays here, including the instrument panel, the infotainment touchscreen, and the HVAC control screen. While they all look very nice, I found the touch controls a little finicky. Sometimes I had to press extra hard to get the touchscreen to recognize my input.
This feels like a glimpse into the future for Audi, and I can only help but wonder how the German brand translates this aesthetic and dynamics into its E-Tron lineup in the years ahead. If Audi can continue to do right by consumers with its clean styling and fine-tuned driving dynamics while appealing to those of us who crave electric power, it should be a fun ride.