Audi Q8

The Audi Q8 made its debut in 2018 as the flagship SUV for the brand. Fast forward five years, and one might anticipate a substantial update, but what we have instead is a relatively modest one. The new Q8 retains the same Volkswagen Group MLB Evo platform and bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor. 

It maintains the option of diesel and petrol engines, aligning with Audi India’s strategy, which excludes diesel for the local market. It’s important to note that there is also an electric Q8, known as the Q8 e-tron, but it’s essentially an updated e-tron SUV with the Q8 designation introduced during its facelift, which marked a more substantial update.

So the question arises now is this update too minimal, or is the Q8 already sufficiently capable?

Audi Q8 Facelift Exterior Design

The Q8 was already an aesthetically pleasing vehicle, and those fond of its appearance will be pleased to know that the facelift maintains its attractiveness without introducing a disjointed new face. Even subtle elements like the bumper and grille remain largely unchanged.

While the overall grille shape persists, the pattern is now hexagonal, with L or J inserts (depending on the side of the grille), which may be painted in an offset color on certain trims. Notable changes include the adoption of HD Matrix LED laser lights in the top-spec models. 

The headlights offer different designs to choose from, allowing for a unique appearance for each Q8. The laser high beam activates at speeds above 70 kph, enhancing the high beam range, and the matrix beam ensures individual LED adjustment to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.

The side profile remains largely unaltered, with the model name discreetly inscribed on the B pillar and new alloy wheel patterns ranging from 21 to 23 inches, depending on the model you choose. At the rear, familiar territory is maintained, with OLED rear tail-lights featuring a customizable signature pattern and a proximity indication function.

Audi Q8 Facelift Interior and Features

Interior changes are minimal, with new decor options in wood, aluminum, or carbon-fiber finishes and the integration of new onboard apps like Spotify into the Q8’s operating system. The Audi virtual cockpit display now presents warnings, lane change, and traffic light information in full HD quality. 

Despite not featuring Audi’s new electronics and infotainment system showcased at the Munich Motor Show, the Q8 remains well-equipped with features such as four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, head-up display, B&O music system, and heated, ventilated, and massage seats. Safety features include eight airbags and an ADAS suite.

Space remains generous, with ample head and legroom, a large 605-liter boot, and top-notch quality in materials and controls. However, the MMI system’s twin-screen setup may pose challenges as it requires attention away from the road for adjustments.

Audi Q8 Facelift Engine and Performance

The powertrain remains unchanged, featuring a 3.0-liter turbo petrol engine delivering 340hp and 500Nm of torque, paired with an 8-speed auto and all-wheel drive. The engine maintains strong performance, achieving a claimed 0-100kph time of 5.6 seconds. The mild hybrid system supports functions like shutting down the engine between 55-160kph while coasting.

Audi Q8 Facelift Ride and Handling

The Q8 continues to offer a well-balanced ride and handling experience. The air springs effectively absorb bumps without sacrificing a sporty feel, even in Sport mode. The air suspension, coupled with adaptive damping, ensures stability around corners, defying the vehicle’s size and weight.

The steering provides ample weight at higher speeds, instilling confidence, and the ride remains comfortable even during enthusiastic cornering.

Audi Q8 Facelift Price and Verdict

Judging the Q8 facelift involves considering its updates in the context of its predecessor. While disappointment might arise from the lack of substantial updates, it’s crucial to consider it as a sensible buy, given that prices are expected to remain similar to the outgoing model. 

The Q8, set to launch in the second half of the next year, is likely to start at around Rs 1.2 crore. When evaluating the car independently, it excels in performance, ride quality, build, and features, making it a well-rounded choice. Therefore, the decision hinges on individual buying priorities, whether prioritizing a sensible purchase or a more whimsical one.

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