• Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Audi Q8

We discuss Audi’s brand-new competitor for the BMW X6

After years of rumors and a couple of concept cars, Audi finally unveiled the Q8 in June 2018. Developed specifically for the tiny coupe-style SUV market, the Q8 is here to tackle the popular BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE. The Q8 is a brand-new idea for Audi, which joins this segment 11 years after BMW created it with the X6. As it is the case with all brand-new models, the Q8 is loved by some enthusiasts and hated by others. The TopSpeed staff also had a few arguments about this crossover, and we decided to give it the "love it or leave it" treatment, much like we did with the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Check out what everyone had to say about it below.

Continue reading for the full story.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Audi Q8 Exterior
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Before I say my opinion, I’d like to point out that I’m not a fan of SUVs. I think they ruined the station wagon market and that most of them look boring and are useless. I’m also not a big fan of Audi’s current design language. It’s far from exciting, and this "same sausage different length" strategy ruined almost the entire lineup. But despite this, I actually like the Q8.

It’s not as boxy as the Q7, and that front fascia looks incredibly cool with the massive "Singleframe" grille, the slim headlamps, and the big fender vents. I also like the muscular yet subtle fenders and the way Audi incorporated styling cues from the Quattro Sport of 1939 into the roof and the rear section. The interior looks surprisingly luxurious and I’m satisfied with the amount of work Audi has put into it in order to set it apart from the Q7. It also has the biggest trunk in its segment, and rear headroom is superior to the cramped BMW X6.

I really can’t find any flaws. I never thought I’d say this, but the Q8 is perfect. At least when pitted against the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE, anyway.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Audi Q8 Exterior
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I came out and decided that I wasn’t a fan of the Audi Q8’s front section, particularly that massive grey surround on the front grille. I thought it was a little too tacky for the SUV and that it would’ve been better if it was left out, or at least made smaller. But even that isn’t going to take away my appreciation for the Q8.

I think Audi did a great job with the SUV’s whole package. The overall look of the Q8 is in line with my expectations. It blends sportiness, masculinity, and a splash of luxury into one SUV. The lined up LEDs are a nice touch, too, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give Audi some shouts for its careful placements of the body lines. Inside, the Q8 looks like a technological wonderland with big displays found seemingly everywhere. It may be a little distracting for some, but it works for me.

There’s no word yet on powertrain, but I’m optimistic that the Q8 is going to get a good number of engine options that are in line with what the Q7 has. If that ends up being the case, I’m going to be very happy with it. Oh, Audi can never go wrong in giving the Q8 its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Overall, it’s a solid SUV with one little misstep. Either that or I’m just picking a little too nit-picky.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Audi Q8 Interior
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Oh, joy of joys. Another big, dumb SUV stuffed to the gills with promises of doing it all. Exactly what the world needed.

You’ll have to pardon the sarcasm, but this is not a segment I’m particularly fond of. In the rush to make a vehicle comfortable, luxurious, practical, fast, and capable, automakers often end up with an overpriced compromise that does nothing well.

Unfortunately, that’s the trajectory I’m seeing for the Q8. It’s only got five seats, it’s totally out of place on any surface that isn’t perfectly paved, and at over 6 seconds for the 0-to-60 mph sprint, it isn’t even all that quick.

So then - who’s this thing for? Simple - someone who doesn’t care about the reality of what the car can do, but rather the idea of what it can do. The Q8 looks like it should be practical, capable, and fast, and that’s really all that matters in this segment.


Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Audi Q8 Exterior
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The Audi Q8 is, well, it’s yet another SUV. Does it have a place on the market? Sure. But, I think Audi could have done a lot better. First, on a positive note, the Q8 does carry a lot of DNA from the original concept, and it doesn’t look that bad at all. That big grille up front is a bit of an eyesore, but we can get used to that. I even love that it’s packed to the brim with technology. But, I have to admit that I think this is a move by Audi to get a little more money out of people that would buy a Q7 instead. I know, it’s supposed to be more upscale, and it is, but Audi should have just put all of that good technology and styling into the Q7 and called it a day.

My other big bone of picking is that it’s being passed off as a “coupe” SUV. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t look much like a coupe-styled SUV to me at all. It looks like all other Audi SUV’s with an extra inch shaved over the rear pillars to lower the roof a bit. Line this thing up next to the vehicles it competes with – the Mercedes GLE Coupe and BMW X6 – and you’ll see it just doesn’t have the same proportions. Sure, both of those are ugly, but at least they actually have a coupe-style roof. The Q8 is nothing more than an SUV with a slightly sportier roofline that’s passed off as a coupe – just because Audi wanted to compete in this niche. To me, it just doesn’t work, but then again, I’m just a lonely automotive journalist, right?

If you want to learn more, check out our full review of the 2018 Audi Q8

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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