The Audi SQ8 is best described as a progressive design, a powerful TDI engine, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and high levels of comfort for all occupants vehicle.
Does it represent just enough of a step up from the rest of the Q8 range, or is it simply a piecemeal derivative for those who can’t afford the RS Q8 flagship? Let’s find out.
Dynamic driving experience
Innovative suspension technologies give the Audi SQ8 a stable, sporty stance on the road while also improving your driving comfort. The standard electronic sport air suspension automatically regulates the vehicle’s ride height. The optional all-wheel steering allows for easier manoeuvring and sportier handling.
A whole host of S-specific elements show off the sporty exterior of the Audi SQ8. The powerful front end is characterised by the S bumper in full paint finish.
In the octagonal Singleframe grille, the vertical double slats catch the eye; the progressively shaped side air inlet grilles are finished in matt titanium black.
Viewing the vehicle from the side really emphasises the dynamic, coupé-like silhouette. S-specific side sills and 21-inch wheels further enhance the sporty character of the Audi SQ8.
You can also opt for up to 23-inch wheels, while sporty red painted brake calipers ship as standard equipment.
Horizontal design language dominates the rear with the continuous light strip, the S-specific diffuser and the four tailpipes.
What’s the interior of the Audi SQ8 like?
The latest-generation Audi interiors are sensational. Not only do they look futuristic, but they feel luxurious. There’s plenty of top-quality leather and metals on display – and then there is the tech!
The SQ8 comes standard with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard and there are another 2 screens in the fascia; one controls the car’s infotainment and the other deals with the climate control settings.
The ambient lighting package plus makes for an atmospheric experience.
Thanks to its impressive dimensions, the Audi SQ8 also offers generous luggage capacity. And there are practical loading and unloading features to lighten your everyday load, for instance the rear seat bench plus and the rail system with load-securing kit.
What’s the Audi SQ8 like to drive?
AutoTrader took the SQ8 for a spin and had the following to say:
Driving the SQ8 is quite an experience. On startup, you know this SUV means business with a throaty V8 burble from the twin exhaust exits at the rear. The SQ8 is equipped with Dynamic Drive which allows for adjustable ride height from the air suspension.
You get Off-road, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual setups that make the SQ8 very easy to handle in a number of driving situations.
Power delivery is smooth and linear, and you barely feel the hulk of the vehicle reaching speed at a rapid pace.
In Comfort, the 8 wafts along in silence isolating you from the outside world, flipping it into Dynamic sees the vehicle hunker down, firm up and attack corners unbelievably well. It is a very strange feeling to have a luxury SUV of this size behave in such a manner and this is due to the active all-wheel steering system (20k) and the power delivery, it sounds so good at full tilt!
How much does the Audi SQ8 cost in South Africa?
The Audi Q8 range starts at R1 586 000 and the Audi SQ8 retails for R1 848 500. The vehicle is available in limited numbers and is sold with a 5-year/100 000 km Audi Freeway Plan.
- Model Reviewed: Audi SQ8 TDI quattro
- Price: R1 848 500
- Engine: 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 diesel
- Power/Torque: 310 kW and 900 Nm
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Fuel efficiency: 8.3 L/100 km
- Load space: 605-1755 litres
Should you buy the Audi SQ8?
The Audi SQ8 is an amazingly tactile experience. It balances luxury and aggressive sportiness quite well.
When shopping in this segment if you don’t want the craziness of a Lamborghini Urus or the outright luxury of a Bentley Bentayga or don’t want the same Porsche Cayenne that the neighbours have, you can save on the purchase price and get the best of all worlds in an Audi SQ8.