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In-depth reviews

Audi Q8 e-tron SUV review

"The Audi Q8 e-tron is the new name for what was previously just the e-tron, and it’s more hi-tech than ever"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • High-tech interior
  • Impressive comfort and refinement
  • Long range and fast-charging support

Cons

  • Feels cumbersome
  • Heavy and inefficient
  • No seven-seat option

Verdict - Is the Audi Q8 e-tron a good car?

The Audi Q8 e-tron is one of the German maker’s most prestigious models and the evolution of its first truly impressive electric cars. It’s better than ever thanks to more tech, excellent driving range and superb performance, but you’d expect all that with the high price. Rivals including the BMW iX mean that the Q8 e-tron isn’t the ultimate premium electric SUV, but it’s a fantastic choice for practicality and long-distance driving.

Audi Q8 e-tron models, specs and alternatives

This is the Audi Q8 e-tron, a large premium SUV that replaces the previous e-tron in the Audi range. The original model launched in 2019 without ‘Q8’ in the name, and given that all Audi’s electric cars now use the term ‘e-tron’, you can see why the brand felt the car needed a new name to make it easier to understand where it sits in the range.

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The Q8 e-tron also received a round of updates and improvements as part of this update. Although it uses the Q8 name, it actually sits somewhere between the Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 in terms of size, although it’s a flagship car (sitting at the top of the range) when it comes to price. Smaller electric SUVs include the Q4 e-tron and the upcoming Q6 e-tron, too.

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There are loads of rivals from other makers too, as the market has grown a lot since the original e-tron arrived. The main ones to consider are the Jaguar I-Pace, Genesis Electrified GV70, BMW iX and the upcoming Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3. Thanks to bigger batteries the new Q8 e-tron has a longer official range than the model it replaces, so it’s more competitive than ever with these rival cars.

Every model in the Q8 e-tron range offers at least 261 miles of range, while the most efficient versions with the bigger battery pack offer up to 330 miles, which is more than almost all of its rivals. You can also make use of 150-170kW charging, so getting topped-up while out and about is easy and fast.

The Q8 e-tron has two versions at the moment, the 50 and the 55. The former has a smaller battery but still has plenty of range, while the 55 is faster and has a larger 114kWh battery pack – see the battery section of our review for all the details. There’s also a Sportback version that we’ve reviewed separately with a different look. While this full-on SUV model we’re reviewing here doesn’t have seven seats like the petrol or diesel Audi Q7, it has a huge boot and is more than practical enough for most families. Plus, it has an incredible interior with all of Audi’s latest in-car tech.

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Five trims became four when the e-tron was facelifted in 2022, with the range now comprising Sport, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung. All cars get at least 20-inch wheels, Matrix LED lights, dual screens for the infotainment system, plus Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit digital dials. Wireless phone charging and heated leather seats are also included. You get more kit the further up the range you go, with the Vorsprung trim leaving no option box unticked.

Whichever version you go for though, the Q8 isn’t short on pace. All models will do 0-62mph in six seconds or less, with the flagship triple-motor SQ8 e-tron capable of the same sprint in just 4.5 seconds – despite weighing more than 2.5 tonnes. 

It’s still not the most dynamic car in its class, however. The Jaguar I-Pace remains our top choice for keen drivers, but the Q8 e-tron feels solid as a rock in day-to-day driving. Unless you absolutely want all the bells and whistles, the Audi Q8 e-tron is at its best in one of the cheaper trims; top-spec cars are very expensive.

Thankfully, the changes Audi has made to the Q8 do enough to elevate the flagship e-tron back to where it belongs. It's a very impressive all-rounder. Its approachable, familiar nature will doubtless appeal to Audi fans who are looking to make the switch to zero-emissions electric motoring. It's a capable alternative to the I-Pace that offers Audi's classy blend of technology and style in place of the Jaguar's more sporty nature, and many families will find it slots seamlessly into their daily routine. It remains an incredibly refined, cosseting SUV, that with the bigger battery, is now capable of longer journeys without stopping to charge. 

Trim levels

Power options

  • Sport
  • S Line
  • Black Edition
  • Vorsprung
  • 50 e-tron (362bhp)
  • 55 e-tron (402bhp)
  • SQ8 e-tron (496bhp)

Audi Q8 e-tron alternatives

Large electric SUVs

Hybrid SUVs

Large premium SUVs

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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