2022 Audi Q8
2022 Audi Q8
The Q8 is Audi’s five-seat flagship crossover SUV. It’s exceedingly quick and fantastically plush, and handsome but not too adventurous in its styling.
For 2022 the Q8 gains standard rear side airbags, and its available adaptive cruise control system adds traffic-jam assist. The rest of the changes are mostly in trim; Premium models now get 21-inch wheels with all-season tires and rear side airbags, while the Premium Plus gains adaptive cruise with traffic-jam assist, and the Prestige version gets a standard adaptive air suspension, with optional all-wheel steering. SQ8 SUVs can be trimmed with red brake calipers as a stand-alone option, and a Carbon package gets dark exterior trim and 22-inch gray wheels. The Executive package adds cooled front seats.
The base engine is a 335-hp twin-turbo V-6, with all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic. It can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The twin-turbo V-8 models have scorching acceleration, with 0-60 mph coming in 3.6 seconds. The cornering is flat and handling unflappable, even up against the Q8’s hefty curb weight.
The Q8 earns EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 23 highway, 20 combined. The SQ8 checks in at 15/21/17 mpg, while the RS Q8 merits a rating of 13/19/15 mpg.
The five-seat Q8 cabin offers an optional Executive package with fancy chairs for four-person seating. It’s a big SUV for not having a third row, with a 117.9-inch wheelbase and 196.6-inch length.
The NHTSA gives it a five-star overall rating, and the IIHS says it’s a Top Safety Pick with the LED headlights in the Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The standard headlights in the Premium and Premium Plus were “Poor,” and thus don’t earn the award.
Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, rear side airbags, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. An available safety package adds adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system. Audi’s driver-assistance suite works well to reduce fatigue on long highway drives and in stop-and-go traffic.
Made In Slovakia, the Q8 comes as Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.
The $70,345 Q8 Premium comes with a panoramic sunroof, 21-inch wheels, leather upholstery, wood trim, wireless Apple CarPlay, navigation, and a trio of digital displays: a 10.1-inch central touchscreen, an 8.6-inch ancillary function touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
The $74,245 Q8 Premium Plus adds premium audio, LED headlights, four-zone climate control, and a surround-view camera system. An air suspension is optional.
The $91,045 SQ8 comes only in Premium Plus and Prestige trim.
The optional Executive package adds cooled front seats, and the Prestige version gets a standard adaptive air suspension, with optional all-wheel steering.
The top-gun RS Q8 costs more than $120,000.
Free maintenance doesn’t come with the 4-year/50,000-mile warranty.
The Q8’s styling is simple, a coupe-like silhouette with a sexy roofline and details that make it look like it’s totally capable of its 150 mph-plus top speed. It works best at the nose, where wide air intakes announce huge 23-inch wheels tucked under muscular fender arches, giving it Olympic haunches.
The cabin is elegant and tranquil, trimmed in wood and brushed aluminum and bathed in ambient lighting in a rainbow of selectable shades. Touchscreens for Audi’s excellent infotainment interface brighten the space, and are framed by piano-black trim. At the Prestige level, special color combinations create visual pleasures, from silver headliners to gray leather dashboards to brown leather seats.
The seats are soft quilted leather, including fire-engine red in the most expensive models, with a steering wheel in optional stitched suede. The heated front seats have great support and adjustments, with available cooling and massaging. The SQ8 and RS Q8 have sport seats.
In the rear, there’s plenty of head room under the sleek roofline, and more than 40 inches of leg room. Three adults can fit in reasonable comfort in the rear. Behind the seats there’s more than 30 cubic feet of cargo space, and when they’re folded there’s more than 60.
If the thick roof pillars darken the cabin, the panoramic sunroof opens to counter that.
Despite its curb weight of about 5,000 lb, the Q8 outfitted with its 335-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 can launch to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Gear shifts from the 8-speed automatic are quick and seamless, while the all-wheel-drive system with rear bias helps make it feel surefooted. With the optional air suspension and grippiest tires, it steps to another level.
The thrills come fast and furious with the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 in the SQ8 and RS Q8, making 500 and 591 hp, respectively. The 0-60 mph sprint takes just 4.3 seconds in the former, 3.6 seconds in the latter. The air suspension smothers bumps for a luxury ride, even with those 23-inch wheels. The handling enables the Q8 to haunt Dodge Hellcats and challenge Chevy Corvettes on back roads. With electronically controlled anti-roll bars, the confidence of the RS Q8 is unshakable.
The 2022 Audi Q8 takes the seven-seat Q7 SUV and remixes it into fighting trim. Performance ranges from swift to scalding. It’s not the SUV for skinflints or wallflowers—and the price tag proves that.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions from The Car Connection