Sitting atop the luxury-crossover mountain is the Q8. All models are well-equipped with opulent technological features, so which is the best year Audi Q8?

Being a top contender on a luxury automaker's list is a difficult spot to achieve. But the Audi Q8 meets and exceeds most expectations of delivering premium-level comfort and luxury.

Although the 2020 model might sound newer, we think that 2019 is the best year Audi Q8. It comes at a lower price without significant differences in features. The vehicle focuses on luxury and comfort above all else and is an excellent choice for those who put comfort above performance.

At first glance, the Q8 looks like a large coupe. But coupes have limited space inside, and the Q8 offers plenty of room in the cabin. It is filled with luxurious materials and high-end standard features. It balances well between comfort and driving pleasure.

Our car experts believe that the Audi Q8 is built more for comfort and luxury than for speed and performance. The vehicle is targeted at older buyers who are not too enthusiastic about getting the quickest accelerations. Although the crossover does not disappoint in performance, it is par excellence in the comfort category.

Best Year Audi Q8

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2019 Audi Q8

The Audi Q8 was launched in 2019 and came across quite differently from other crossover SUVs. Gone are the swooping rooflines that take a toll at the headroom in the cabin. Similarly, the Q8 does not hide a V8 under the hood like many other flagships.

Like other Audi crossovers, the Q8 comes in three different trims, Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige.

Design Features

Many critics feel that the 2019 Audi Q8 is essentially a Q7 with sportier looks; some even rename it as the Q7 Sportback based on its appearance. It looks like a Q7 with a stylish roofline and a sporty rear end. However, the Q8 looks much more futuristic and sportier than the Q7. Although it is years old, it still seems pretty futuristic even today.

The Q8 stands out amongst the Audi crossover lineup from all angles. The broad octagonal grille and the stylish, sleek headlights give the vehicle an imposing, respect-demanding stance on another level above other Audi crossovers. The grille flows well into the headlights, which flow into the front fenders.

Looking at the Q8 from the sides, you might not notice the rather large rear doors. They are so vast that they take along a portion of the rear wheel arches when they are opened. Audi has added innovative creasing on the doors to make them appear smaller than they are, due to which you might have noticed their actual size. But now that we have told you, you cannot unsee it anymore.

The doors have frameless windows, and there are neat creases above and below them. These lines make the vehicle look very sporty and athletic. The Q8 wears flared sides, large pillars, wheel arches, and of course, large doors.

Towards the vehicle's rear is an integrated spoiler mounted with the third brake light. The LED taillights have a thin bar interconnecting them, which gives a nice look to the vehicle's rear. They are equipped with Audi's sequential turn signals that add to the aesthetic appeal.

Step inside, and you find that the cabin is covered with premium leather, which fully covers the door panels and dashboard. You are greeted by soothing, customizable LED ambient lights.

The dashboard is well laid out and is mostly flat with a hump over the instrument cluster. The screen is integrated into the dashboard and is not retractable like other Audis. The controls below the screen wear a black piano look, which feels very premium, but can take a little time to get used to.

Performance Features

The 2019 Audi Q8 is oriented towards comfort above all else. This means that speed is not the best selling proposition of the colossal 5,000-pound vehicle. However, it houses many technologies that make it more comfortable and fun to drive around.

Like many other Audis, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine powers the Q8. It produces 335 hp and 369 lb-ft torque coupled with an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The powertrain gives the Q8 quite a push; sixty miles per hour comes in just 5.7 seconds on the heavy vehicle. It crosses a quarter-mile in just 14.1 seconds.

The Q8's purpose and weight keep it from feeling too sporty and keep the scale tipped towards the luxury side. Instead of providing neck-breaker accelerations, the Q8 keeps things less dramatic and more progressive. Hitting three-digit speeds is no problem for the vehicle, but it does not feel very vivid, nor is it a chore.

The all-wheel drive on the Q8 is different from other vehicles. Instead of the sometimes connected, sometimes disconnected type, the Q8 features a full-on all-wheel drive. The system uses sixty percent of the power to turn the rear wheels, and the remaining turns the front wheels in normal conditions. But if the conditions demand, the rear wheels can receive up to eighty percent of the power, and the front wheels can go up to seventy percent. This feature ensures excellent traction and grip on all kinds of surfaces. It makes the Q8 feel confident, and the occupants hardly notice the switching of power between the wheels.

As you would now expect, the suspension and steering of the Q8 are also geared for comfort. The adaptive suspension allows the user to switch between comfort and sport modes, but both are comfort-oriented. You can speed through corners or twisty roads without experiencing a scary body roll, even with its tall structure. The five-link independent rear suspension and the standard front suspension keep the vehicle stable and consume most road imperfections.

For those who need more comfort, an optional air suspension is available that makes the Q8 one of the most comfortable crossovers out there. It also allows raising and lowering the car by a few inches to improve ride quality.

We, however, are against throwing extra money towards larger wheels. As the wheels get bigger, the sidewall height needs to be reduced to keep the diameter of the wheel and tire the same. A shorter sidewall means there is less rubber between the vehicle and the road, which results in a stiffer and firmer ride.

Comfort Features

Traveling with the whole family is a pleasure. But if you are done paying your kids' colleges and need some time for yourself, there is nothing better than the Audi Q8 to celebrate.

Unlike the seven-seat Q7, the Q8 is suited for four passengers and a max of five. You will expect the king of Audi crossovers to be comfortable, quiet, and luxurious, and rest assured that the Q8 is all three and hides more in its sleeve.

The front seats are spacious, comfortable, well-bolstered, and accommodating to nearly all body types. Individuals over six feet will have ample headroom to spare even with the moonroof. There is also sufficient legroom for the passenger.

Opt for higher trims, and you will get front seats that are ventilated, heated, and even have massaging functions in them. These features help make long commutes fatigue-free and enjoyable.

But if you are not too fond of driving, you will enjoy spending your relaxing weekend in the rear seats. These have more legroom than the Q7 and even have sliding capabilities of up to four inches for added comfort.

The Q8 is a crossover and rides low, requiring a tunnel in the cabin for the all-wheel-drive shaft. This tunnel runs through the middle of the cabin, making the middle portion of the rear seat limited to children or adults for short trips. But the outboard seats are considerably wider than the ones found on the Q7. One focuses on letting family travel together, while the other focuses on comfort and luxury.

Behind the rear seat is a cargo compartment of 30 cubic feet. The space can be doubled to over sixty cubes by flipping down the second-row seats. If you have the optional air suspension installed, a button in the cargo can lower the vehicle's rear end to make loading and unloading cargo easier. We are still trying to understand its usefulness, but it is a stylish perk.

All trim levels come with premium-quality materials and leather hides inside the cabin. The Prestige takes it further by flaunting a leather dashboard and capacitive touch controls.

Safety Features

As expected, the 2019 Audi Q8 is stacked with excellent safety features. Many features found on top trims or even as options on other crossovers come standard on the Q8. However, there are some advanced optional features as well. Following are the standard safety features that are found on the Q8.

  • There are six airbags around the cabin, which include:
  • Two frontal airbags to keep the driver and front passenger safe in a frontal crash.
  • Overhead airbags for front and rear passengers to prevent severe head injuries during a rollover or strong side impact.
  • Side impact airbags for the front and rear passengers to limit movement and reduce upper torso injuries.
  • The Q8 also has advanced antilock brakes with brake assist, which keeps the wheels from locking up during hard braking. The brake assist increases the braking force to make the vehicle stop faster.
  • Traction control looks for any wheels losing traction and can take correcting measures to regain traction.
  • Electronic Stability Control ensures that the vehicle remains within safety limits and can override driver input if it senses danger.
  • Blindspot monitor alerts the driver of vehicles that the driver cannot see in the parallel lanes.
  • Auto-leveling headlights ensure that the headlights always hit the correct place on the road irrespective of the incline.
  • A rear traffic cross alert informs the driver of any approaching vehicles when backing out of a box parking spot or a garage.
  • Frontal collision detection with automatic braking for speeds up to 52 mph.

Among the more advanced and optional features is the Driver Assistance package. This option can take complete control of the vehicle when running on long highway cruises. It can also control the Q8 during traffic jams that require frequent stops. However, the vehicle asks for driver input, and if you leave it to itself for too long, it will slow down in its lane, turn the hazard lights on, and notify emergency services. In short, stay alert and don't let go of the steering wheel if you want the car to know you have not passed out.

The NHTSA awards the 2019 Audi Q8 with five stars for overall safety. The vehicle gets five stars for frontal and side crashes and four for rollover.

The IIHS awards the 2019 Q8 with the Top Safety Pick rating. The vehicle scores "Good" for all its crashworthiness tests, and the crash prevention systems are rated "Superior."  

Trim Features

The Q8 virtually sits above all other crossovers sold by Audi and thus comes with a buffet of standard and optional features and accessories.

The 2019 Audi Q8 can be found in three trims, Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. The base variant is also well-equipped and comes with the following:

  • Audi's Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch instrument cluster
  • 10.1-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB support, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
  • An 8.6-inch touchscreen for setting the climate control, and other vehicle settings
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Power-operated tailgate
  • Parking sensors
  • Power-adjustable and heated front seats
  • Automatic rain-sensing wipers

Move up a level to the Premium Plus, and it adds the following to the Premium:

  • Four-zone climate control
  • 17-speaker Bose audio system
  • 12-way power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation
  • Surround-view camera system
  • Automatic high beams

You can find some models with the following features added to the standard Premium Plus:

  • All-wheel steering
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Lane keep assist

The top-of-the-line Prestige trim goes all out with the following:

  • 23 speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system
  • 18-way adjustable front seats
  • Power soft-closing doors
  • Heads Up display
  • Massaging front seats
  • Valcona leather upholstery
  • Night vision camera that can detect pedestrians

Fuel Economy Features

The 2019 Audi Q8 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 and has some hybrid technology assistance. It gets EPA ratings of 17 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined.

Price Range of 2019 Audi Q8

The 2019 Q8 starts at $66,000 and can go upwards of $73,000. The average price is around $69,500. Due to location, trim levels, mileage, and optional features installed, prices vary.

About THE AUTHOR

Matt Meurer

Matt Meurer

Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.

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