Audi Q8 E-tron Sportback Review: Best EV Luxury SUV For Our Roads?

Audi Q8 E-tron Sportback Review: Best EV Luxury SUV For Our Roads?


We have earlier said that the e-tron remains one of the most balanced luxury EVs for our conditions because of its ride quality plus its useful ground clearance. Now, Audi has updated the model and added the Q8 moniker. The Q8 e-tron as before is available with Sportback SUV coupe styling and the standard. The Sportback is what we drove and that is the more aggressively styled version with a sloping roof while that does not really eat into the rear seat headroom. Styling wise the exterior looks more purposeful now with a new grille with black surrounds while Audi Digital Matrix LEDs now also spread across the grille.

Plus you cannot miss the new sleeker chrome free Audi 2D logo. There are also sequential turn indicators and projector lights. The rear also gets a full width light bar plus there are 20-inch alloys with the self levelling wheel caps. Compared to rivals it is not over styled but has the right amount of aggression dialled in.

The interior is more conservative in design but the fit and finish is fantastic as you expect from an Audi while it gets the twin screen centre console along with a neatly done digital instrument cluster which is still the best one amongst rivals in terms of adjustability plus simplicity.

The feature list is long and expansive with an Air ionizer and aromatization, 360 degree camera, panoramic sunroof, 4-zone climate control, B&O Premium 3D Sound System, Power latching for the doors, Power Adjustable front seats with memory function with massage/heating/ventilation etc. Sense of space is also there and you do not feel the battery pack into the rear seat space.

The bigger change is the increased density of the battery pack and that results in a 114kwh battery pack with a claimed range of 600km. That is a lot more than the earlier e-tron. Power comes via twin electric motors with 400bhp and 664Nm with all wheel drive Quattro. Acceleration is brisk and smooth with effortless ease as you see triple digits on the digital speedo. The Q8 e-tron Sportback is a heavy SUV but the way it accelerates is quite alarming but in a smooth fashion.

With the lack of noise and the compliant suspension, the sense of luxury with utmost silence is what defines the Q8 e-tron. The ride is comfortable and handles our road imperfections quite well. The steering is light and it does not take any effort too. With the adaptive air suspension, you can raise the ground clearance by a huge margin but even in the standard setting you will not find any problems on our roads.

That remains the highlight of the Q8 e-tron in being a fuss free luxury SUV at first and then an EV with no issues like low ground clearance or lack of space. Audi has also tweaked the steering and it feels sharper in the bends while being controlled. It somehow is not too firm or sporty but just right.

Audi has also made sure charging times remain fast hence, with a 170kW charging capacity, the Q8 e-tron will juice up in only 6 hours with a 22kW AC charger. Of course, it is only 31 minutes with a DC charger. Notably you get a charging flap on both sides.

We expect prices to slightly increase with these updates but now with the increased range plus sharper styling, the Q8 e-tron is perhaps the most complete electric luxury car right now due to its practicality, ride comfort and useability.

What we like — Styling, quality, increased range, ground clearance, performance

What we do not like — Interior design is a bit on the conservative side

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