Audi, Reviews, SUV
Jan30

Specification, Price & Review: 2019 Audi Q8

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2019 Audi Q8

The 2019 Audi Q8 four-seat luxury crossover is the logical answer to: “What’s the first thing you’ll do when you don’t have to pay for the kids to go to college anymore?”

Perched atop the brand’s mountain of luxury crossovers, the 2019 Audi Q8 took the long way.

We didn’t mind the ride.

With the Q8, Audi went in a different direction for its luxury flagship crossover SUV. First, it skips the on-trend racy roofline that deeply cuts into available head room. The Audi Q8 also doesn’t pack a fire-breathing V-8 under its hood, or trick out with a holodeck infotainment system complete with “Minority Report” gesture controls.

Instead, the Q8 sticks to Audi’s MO: capable and quiet, but also conservative. We give the Q8 a 6.6 with the caveat that if crash-test data were available, that score would likely rise. The related Q7 rates 7.3, but also seats more people. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Our preference for the Q8 bends toward the baser of the trim levels, which are Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The Q8 Premium starts at more than $68,000 but feels hardly spartan: 20-inch wheels, leather seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment, an 8.6-inch touchscreen for climate and vehicle controls, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, panoramic sunroof, and real wood trim.

Prestige models heap on matrix headlights, a head-up display, driver-assistance features, and leather dashboard, but keep the same powertrain.

That engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that’s common among many Audi cars and crossovers. In the Q8, it’s teamed with an 8-speed automatic and a full-time all-wheel-drive system that’s capable and time-tested, but not necessarily efficient. The Q8 gets a 48-volt power system that cuts the engine at stop lights for better mileage, but the 19-mpg combined rating from the feds is lower among competitors.

The Q8 steers toward comfort, rather than outright performance, anyway. The standard steel suspension is supplemented with adaptive dampers that tame the big rolling 20-inch wheels (although available 21- and 22-inch wheels spoil it somewhat) for a supremely comfortable ride. An optional air suspension goes further, can raise or lower the Q8 by fractions of an inch, and adds rear-wheel steering for better maneuverability around parking lots—the Audi’s natural habitat.

Even though the Q8 sprints up to 60 mph in less than six seconds, the more important figure is the crossover’s prodigious 5,000-pound weight. It’s the first cue that Audi has built the Q8 for comfort, not speed.

Four people will fit inside the Q8 with ease. Five are fine, too. If we’re driving, we’ll take the optional in-seat massagers that can be heated or cooled, with plenty of stretch out room up front with a good view.

We wouldn’t mind a chauffeured ride, either. The Q8 gets more leg room in the second row, compared to the Q7, and the outboard seats are bigger for wider, adult bottoms.

The Q8 is equipped with good standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking and first responder notification. Solid spend-up safety extras include blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and adaptive cruise control that can make long-distance drives or daily commutes in traffic a relative snap.

The Q8 heaps on available luxury features such as a concert-grade sound system, designer interior, 22-inch wheels, and Valcona leather. Sign us up for the last one, which adds dual-pane glass that hushes the outside world like sound-canceling headphones.

2019 Audi Q8, Park City to Telluride

– 2019 Audi Q8 –

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