Friday, 28 August 2020

2021 Audi Q8 Review

2021 Audi Q8


The 2021 Audi Q8 has one less row of seats and a lot more style than the three-row Q7 SUV that it is based on. 

With a coupe-like profile and bolder bodywork, the two-row Q8 kicks off the company's line of ultimate crossovers, which also includes the separately reviewed SQ8 and RS Q8. 

Although the regular Q8 is less powerful than those sportier counterparts, it still boasts a potent 335-hp turbo V-6 and standard Quattro all-wheel drive. 

2021 Audi Q8

The Q8 also provides a car-like driving experience that is both athletic and refined. Its cabin is beautifully appointed and solidly put together in typical Audi fashion. 

While it holds fewer people and has less cargo space than its three-row sibling, the 2021 Q8 is best suited for those who prioritize sportiness, luxuriousness, and style.

2021 Audi Q8

What's New for 2021?

For 2021, Audi gave the Q8 newly standard features and revised option packages. All models now have blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. 

The Convenience package on the Premium trim adds a heated steering wheel and a top-view camera. A heated steering wheel is standard on the Premium Plus trim too, and its optional Executive package now has even more content. 

This includes adaptive cruise control, heated rear seats, lane-keeping assist, Matrix-design headlights, and armrests covered in leather.

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2021 Audi Q8

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  •  Premium: $69,195
  •  Premium Plus: $73,045
  •  Prestige: $78,845

    The Q8 is considerably more expensive than the Q7, with a price tag that starts about $13,000 higher. But, as they say, that's the price of fashion. And the 8 is undeniably more stylish than the 7, which is most likely its biggest draw. 

    To offset the price discrepancy and maximize the crossover's value, we'd stick with the base Premium trim and load it with options, which would still be cheaper than choosing the Premium Plus.

    2021 Audi Q8

    Standout standard features on our recommended model include a fully digital gauge cluster, built-in navigation, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a power-operated tailgate. 

    To that we'd add the enhanced appearance that comes with the Black Optic package (21-inch wheels and black exterior trim), the Convenience package (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, wireless charging, and more), and also the Towing package. The latter unlocks the Q8 maximum tow rating of 7700 pounds.

    2021 Audi RS Q8: All Performance, No Bull - Motor Illustrated
    2021 Audi Q8

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    Audi provides every Q8 with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. A 48-volt hybrid-assist system aids stop-start operation, which is smooth and quiet. 

    While the Audi had deliberate passing power on the highway, it felt hesitant around town. The transmission has mostly dutiful reactions, but it and the engine best cooperated in Dynamic mode, which provoked snappier responses. 

    2021 Audi Q8

    I only wish the engine and exhaust made gutsier sounds. The Q8 can also tow up to 7700 pounds when properly equipped. Following the guidelines established by other crossover "coupes," the Q8 provides high-riding capability with sporty driving responses. 

    While it swiftly changes directions and obediently hustles around corners, it's less engaging than Audi sedans, such as the sleek A7. The Q8's steering has light effort and linear feedback, which is relaxing on long trips but boring on switchback roads. 

    The optional air suspension and wore 22-inch wheels—20-inchers are standard. These large rollers are mostly quiet even on uneven surfaces. With adjustable ride heights and four-wheel steering (included with the Adaptive Chassis package), the Q8 is agile in tight spaces and capable of tackling choppy terrain. 

    Its brake pedal was easy to modulate at highway speed but suffered from inconsistent reactions in traffic. Still, it hauls the hefty crossover from 70 mph to zero in a competitive 170 feet during emergency-braking.

    2021 Audi Q8

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    The Q8 has mediocre EPA estimates that are lower than some all-wheel-drive rivals. The government estimates the Audi gets 17 mpg city and 21 highway, which is identical to the six-cylinder Q7.

    2021 Audi Q8

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    In typical fashion, Audi has crafted a sophisticated and sturdy environment inside the Q8. The materials are premium, and the panels are expertly aligned. 

    While the base model misses out on upscale features such as four-zone climate control and a leather dashboard with contrast stitching, it has standard heated front seats and a panoramic sunroof. Only the top-of-the-line model offers massaging front seats, upgraded leather surfaces, and quieter dual-pane glass. 

    2021 Audi Q8

    Our test vehicle had all that plus a head-up display and customizable ambient interior lighting. Not only is the Q8 visually impressive, it has more than enough passenger space. 

    The driving position remains sporty despite its elevated height, and two adults can leisurely stretch out in the back. 

    Although the two-row Q8 has less cargo volume than the three-row Q7, we managed to squeeze eight carry-on bags behind its back seat. That number increased to 23 (two less than in the Q7) with the split-folding rear bench folded nearly flat. 

    2021 Audi Q8

    Our test vehicle had the optional air suspension, which can lower the rear end to help with lifting luggage in and out. Inside, the Q8 has limited cubby storage. 

    Its shallow center-console bin and narrow door pockets left us with few spots to store small items.

    2021 Audi Q8: 27 Interior Photos | U.S. News & World Report
    2021 Audi Q8

    Infotainment and Connectivity

    With a pair of vivid touchscreens integrated into the dashboard and center console, every Q8 boasts a cutting-edge infotainment system. Instead of the intuitive rotary controller found on other Audi models, the displays respond to touch inputs with haptic feedback. 

    I quickly assimilated to its logical menus and large icons, but distractions were unavoidable. Thankfully, receptive voice commands and handy steering-wheel controls provide alternate operation. 

    Standard features include a Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless charging and two different Bang & Olufsen audio systems are optional. 

    I'am particularly fond of the standard digital gauge cluster (called Virtual Cockpit), with its configurable settings and superb navigation.

    2021 Audi Q8

    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    The 2021 Q8 hasn't been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the previous model year earned a five-star rating. 

    Likewise, the 2020 model was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). While the base model is available with several driver assists, more advanced options, such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology and night vision with pedestrian detection, are reserved for higher trims. 

    Our test vehicle had the optional 360-degree camera system that helped us navigate narrow drive-throughs and avoid scratching the massive rims. 

    Key safety features include:

    •  Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
    •  Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
    •  Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist

    • 2021 Audi Q8

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    Audi provides the same limited and power-train warranty as BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The Q8 also includes a brief complimentary scheduled maintenance period.

    •  Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    •  Power-train warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    •  Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles.

    • 2021 Audi Q8


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