The bmw x6 is technically the og of this segment. However, if you guys don't want the same car as your neighbor, what if you want something a little bit different, well that's? What this vehicle behind me is designed to do. This is the 2021 audi sq8 audi's answer, of course, to the bmw x6. This car is based off of the same platform as the q7, which is essentially based off of the same platform as a porsche cayenne, bentley, bentayga and lamborghini eras. However, this is the sq8 model, which means it has a 500 horsepower, 4 liter twin turbocharged v8, and it also has the sleek looks that you expect from an suv without some of the weird angles that we see on some of those really really sleek. Roofline suvs. Like, of course, the x6 or the mercedes benz gle coupe. So if you guys are in the market for a fashion forward suv with the same kind of power that you might expect to find in a lamborghini or porsche, how does the new sq8 stack up stay tuned to find out so audi's cupified suv may have been A little bit late to the party, this car first came onto the scene back in 2019, and this is my first time finally getting to test this vehicle out. I'Ve tried out the q7, of course, with the same three liter turbocharged v6. This one here is the one that i've been waiting to test and i find it to be kind of the sweet spot in the lineup, because this is the 500 horsepower.
Sq8 audi also has an rs q8, which offers another 91 horsepower. However, it's, like another 25 000, this one here starts at around 89, 000 and it's, essentially a porsche cayenne and lamborghini urs, underneath because this rides on the same mlb evo platform, which is not the same of course, as the volkswagen atlas cross sport, which is the Front drive, oriented mqb platform now approaching the sq8 design you can see. This is one seriously attractive. Looking suv and i'm really happy to say that, because audi has kind of been a little bit stagnant, their designs have looked a little also ran over the last couple of years. The sq8 model, of course, has its own unique styling elements. This particular one here that i'm showing you is painted in their signature, navajar blue metallic it's, like a 600 option up charge, and i really like this dark blue. The sq 8 model also includes the black accents, of course, in the audi single frame grille. I like how the black accents kind of carry over into the headlights, where it looks like it's, almost one, continuous piece. This is, of course, the full led headlights, although my tester is a premium plus model, so it doesn't have the full matrix design led headlights. You have some functional vents down here, but no fog lights instead there's an all weather light that's built into the headlight and overall, let me know what you think of the styling of the sq8.
I think this is one seriously good looking car and it may actually be better looking versus something like an audi s7 to me, at least in the front fascia. Now, looking at the rest of the side profile, the sq8 and the q8 is again the flagship suv of audi's lineup. However, it is a tad smaller than the audi q7 at 196 inches long. This is about three inches shorter. It rides on the same 117.9 inch wheelbase. This is bigger than a porsche cayenne and a little bit smaller than the lamborghini urs and, of course, the bentley bentega. Now an air suspension, four corner air suspension comes standard on all sq8 models you can see. These are the up: optional 22 inch wheels that you get riding on 285 with tires. You can see. My tester is missing the sport package, which would include upgraded brakes and red painted calipers, but you can see the rotors are pretty large, the rs q8 and the eris has some of the largest production rotors with a 10 piston caliper. You can find this, of course, doesn't have that i have the car jacked up in its off road suspension, setting right now, which does raise the vehicle up about two inches based on when you're, whether you're in dynamic or whether you're in the off road setting. Now my tester, of course, has a standard panoramic. Sunroof uh you'd expect that at this price point there's also these accessory roof rails.
That audi will also sell you to you from the dealership and really unlike the x6 and the mercedes benz gle coupe the sloping roof line of this vehicle isn't, quite as noticeable, which means you have much more space on the inside more headroom, more cargo space versus Its other german competitors, i really like the sloping roof of this vehicle. It looks better to me versus the lamborghini earth. To be honest and again, you can kind of consider the sqa to be an eris on a budget it's even less expensive than the rs q8, but it offers pretty similar performance. Now you can see at the back here the led tail lights. Have a very signature. Look to them they're a full length design. You also have the sequential turn signals that's, an audi signature thing: there's, a nice subtle, sq8 badge and really there's, no indication that this is a performance suv aside from the big wheels and tires and of course, the quad exhaust now audi has been guilty of doing. Quad exhaust over the years – and this one here is also a fake quad exhaust, although it doesn't look quite as bad as what you find on the sq5. At least the mufflers do kind of sit behind that, although i just wish audi would just do a traditional, genuine, fake or quad exhaust system now opening the cargo area, the power liftgate, of course, is included and, like i said earlier, because this vehicle doesn't have that Sloping roof.
You get around 30.8 cubic feet of space. This is pretty generous for the segment. If you fold down the second row seats audi says you get around 60.8 cubic feet of space, so that's a little bit more than what you're going to find in something like the x6 and the mercedes benz gle coupe. So now that we stopped oogling over the exterior of the sq8 let's talk about the interior, because audi typically does very well in this particular category and, as you can see, the navajar blue exterior of my tester is augmented by these really nice gray leather seats. With some carbon fiber, some real aluminum trim the seats themselves adjust in like 15 different ways, 16 different ways and they are super comfortable, supportive, they're, heated and cooled, and they offer two person memory on the driver's side now getting inside the interior of the sq 8. If you guys have been in some modern audi's, this is going to look very, very familiar. The seats again have a very nice sport. Look to them. They have some diamond quilted leather, heated and cooled. They also offer massaging seats. If you guys go for the prestige package and add a luxury package that my tester is missing, but again this is a very, very nice looking cabin at a glance. I also really like the steering wheel that you get high quality. Leather. Surprise is not a flat bottom. You have this little s badge there to show.
This is the performance version and you can see the door panels. Have a very nice look to them. A nicely finished look with the genuine carbon fiber and the nice suede on the door panel. When i shut the door, the door has a nice solid bank, vault sounding funk to it, which is what i expect. Even though this is a frameless door, you can tell the platform of this vehicle is very stiff. This is the same one that underpins again those fancier cars now here's the key fob for the vehicle you can see. This is the corporate audi key it's, a nice. Smaller design, it also feels pretty high quality. No remote start on the fob. I believe you can use audi's app to access the remote start system. Audi puts the button here to fire up the engine down here by the shifter, oh, and that engine will constantly remind you every every minute. You start this card or every time you start it up, why you decided to buy an audi sq8, of course, over the regular q8. Now, when i put the chance or the suspension or the drive mode selector into dynamic, this is what's going to automatically lower the car's suspension to its lowest setting, and you can hear the exhaust got a little bit louder, pretty soft limiter, but man that v8. That is so amazing sounding that's music to my ears, i'm gon na miss that noise, of course, because electrification is still coming, that's still the future.
But if you guys want a traditional v8, this is one of the best ones that you can buy and it sounds phenomenal now, looking at the rest of this cabin, you can see, audi has definitely started to fall and behind in terms of an all out luxury Feel they still do the tech very well. You can see my tester has this genuine stitching here on the dash, which is nice. It accentuates all the way up to that part of the dash it's missing a heads up display which you'll get on the prestige model, which my tester, of course, doesn't, have it's a premium plus the baser trim over here on the door panel. I wish this was stitched leather and i wish it was softer. It is slightly padded, but it feels a little bit too hard plasticky for a vehicle that has this kind of price tag. I love the carbon fiber love the aluminum trim. I love this suede alcantara here again this could be softer and stitched. I believe audi will do that for you, if you guys get the luxury package that you get on the prestige model, but my tester here doesn't have that feature. The window switches have this very nice high quality click feel to them, which makes the interior again feel high quality there's some beautiful ambient lighting here on the door panels. It kind of goes over on the dash this also glows up at night. You can change the color here of this interior multiple times at night, which is nice.
The steering wheel is a power tilt and telescoping function, it's also a heated wheel, which is really nice. You have these paddles on the wheel, which control the eight speed, although they feel a little cheap and plasticky again could be nicer. Considering this car's price tag, this is, of course, the latest version of audi's virtual cockpit display you can see you can kind of customize and adjust this to your liking. You can also put your radio information there phone and then, of course, you can put your gps, which, when you put the gps that's the way it looks when you have it in full map screen mode which looks fantastic. I think this is one of the best systems in the industry. This is now, of course, an oled display. No other manufacturer really comes close to looking quite as nice as this mercedes and bmw. Try and volvo try, but it still doesn't look as you know, fancy as what audi is doing now over here you can see this is the mmi touch infotainment system, you have a 10.1 inch screen here, an 8.3 inch touchscreen here this essentially just controls climate. You can also access a couple things like your heated wheel. This is where you could also access the perfume that was a scent into the cabin which my tester is, of course missing. This is the primary screen you're going to interact with, because this is always stays over in climate, which is nice.
Your heated and cooled seat is over here again you have some dedicated heart buttons here for your drive mode, selector stability, control off parking, sensors and camera, and then you have a volume knob and a tuning like knob that you can kind of click over to the Left and the right um over here you can see this vehicle does include wireless apple, carplay and android auto, which is nice on the 10 inch display very vivid, very bright screen, very quick response, easy to use love this, the audi gps. Of course you can put that down here and you can have it over there, so you can have two gps functions essentially, which is nice going over here back to your home display. These are all your usual options going into vehicle. Here you can adjust all your usual settings, your seat settings your driver system settings. This is really easy to use and i, like this system, more versus, bmw and mercedes. I just think that the two screen layout – i know some of you – have criticized me because i i don't like it in accurate, infinities, the older ones. However, i think this is implemented very very well. This is better than what jaguar land rover is doing just because the processor is faster and the screen itself is very beautiful. When i put the vehicle into reverse, you can see full top down 360 camera, which is nice one of the best resolution in the industry.
Although i did find that sometimes the camera didn't always turn on when i put the vehicle to reverse, sometimes i had to put it back into park and then reset it. Otherwise, i didn't want to actually turn on for me, which was slightly frustrating and annoying. But again, this is you know technology. Sometimes it doesn't always work so perfectly. This shifter here controls, of course, the eight speed automatic it's, the typical audi shifter, where it has this little kick or a little button here that you have to constantly push and hold to select a gear. Uh push forward to go to reverse and then park is enhanced or engaged by pushing on the p button. You have an electronic parking brake there, which is nice um. Some of the plastics in here like right here, don't feel quite as high quality, but some of the piano black plastic does show fingerprints, so that's going to be kind of annoying. If you guys don't like to see that storage is a little bit lacking in this car, you have cup holders here a nice phone holder right there and there is a wireless phone charger here, but you can see this is pretty shallow it's, not very deep. So i would have preferred to have something a little bit nicer. This is nice and padded, and you can kind of adjust this armrest in typical vw audi fashion, which is nice the seats i think they're comfortable and supportive.
I drove this vehicle on a two hour. Road trip – and i found them to be really really nice to sit in for that time period. Opening the glove box. You can see it's on the bigger side, it's, damped and it's lined with felt and then above me, you can see. There are some led lighting in here, which is nice, and then this panoramic roof, which is standard it's, one of the larger ones in the industry, which is nice so overall, this cabin, if you guys, like audi's you're, going to like this cabin, it doesn't feel quite As luxurious still as the mercedes, but this is nicer to me versus the bmw and about as nice as the porsche and significantly less expensive so compared to a regular, q5 or sq5. The q8 sq8 is larger by about 10 inches, which means you do have more space. When you look at the second row, this, of course, does not have a third row buy an audi sq7 or q7. If you need a third row, but because the roof line isn't terribly sloppy, i can kind of get into this vehicle and i actually can get in pretty well at five foot seven. I have plenty of headroom, of course, i'm, not the tallest person, but the legroom back here is very plentiful. This is more spacious versus the last x6 and gle coupe that i drove, and you can see the legroom here audi quotes it at 40 inches, which is again a couple inches more than what you find in some of its european competitors.
When i shut the door, the door has that same solid, sounding thunk. The materials back here could be nicer. Although the carbon fiber look trim looks good uh, my tester is missing the fully upgraded bang olufsen stereo, but this is still the bang and olson which sounds nice. There is looks like an tray over there and then the window switch is still filled, pretty high quality. Over here you can see there's quad zone automatic climate control, which is really nice there's, a hump here that kind of intrudes on the middle passenger. But if you're looking for heated rear seats, my tester is missing that option. Again, you got to go to the higher prestige trim, but i like the fact that you have this touch sensitive panel here, which looks really expensive, rear seat, air vents, two map pockets as well, which is nice, and then you have this armrest here that folds down The seat back itself also has a nice little lever here, where i can push that and it actually reclines forward and back or you can also kind of recline or fold the seat down to expand the cargo capacity. But overall, if you're, looking for one of the biggest back seats in the cooper, fied suv space that's a mid sizer, the q8 is one of the largest, and i think it also doesn't have that silly roof line that plagues some of its competitors. Now, of course, what makes an sq8 is what you find underneath the hood, unlike the standard q8, which has a turbocharged v6 with a mild hybrid system, which is perfectly fine, this has the motor that a lot of enthusiasts will love because it's, essentially a detuned version Of the corporate volkswagen audi porsche four liter twin turbocharged, v8, of course, augmented by two turbochargers and a mild hybrid system, a 48 volt mile hybrid system and this engine may be detuned, but it still makes a pretty impressive 500 even horsepower.
That'S right 500 horsepower makes this 165 more ponies versus the regular q8. This is essentially the the motor that this car and the q7 really needed. It also makes 568 pound feet of torque. Those numbers actually make this more powerful than a porsche cayenne. Gts the gts cayenne starts at 20, 000 more. It has essentially the same engine, but it only makes 453 horsepower so that's very impressive. That audi, of course, is giving you all those extra ponies for less money. If you guys also compare to the audi rs q8, that offers the same motor juiced up to 591 horsepower that expensive lamborghini, which is almost a quarter million dollars, has 641 horsepower. So you essentially get a lot of the sound, the performance and the noises that you expect from a v8 for considerably less money. This vehicle will essentially sprint to 60 in around 4.3 second seconds. The quickest i've, seen from some magazines, is around 3.6 as a car and driver got last year when they tested this vehicle. It all goes out through a standard. Eight speed, zf automatic it's, the best transmission in the business audi's quattro all wheel drive system is of course standard uh. This vehicle does come standard with rear wheel steering and if you guys option in that sport package, it'll also give you a torque vectoring limited slip. Differential which my tester is missing. It also gives you the upgraded brakes now, if you guys plan to do suv.
Things it'll also tow a maximum of 7 700 pounds, which is pretty impressive and fuel economy is not too too bad. It'S rated at 15 in the city 21 on the highway be sure to put premium gas in it. It has a 22 and a half gallon gas tank. So this thing is going to be pretty thirsty. As this car sits, it weighs around 300 pounds more than a regular q8 at around 5324 pounds, all right so it's, my first time, finally being behind the wheel of the audi q8 i'm, really happy to also get my time behind the wheel of the audi sq8. Remember this car shares a platform with the lamborghini urus and bentley bentega. This, of course, is the new sq8 model, which has a 500 horsepower 4 liter v8 engine, and what that means is basically, oh, my god i mean. I know this is just a detuned version of the 4 liter and the rs q8, but holy crap. Does that sound good and that pulls really hard? Let me try this one more time. This time we'll try the launch control – oh my god, that's literally the first time that i tried the launch control in this car wow. Is that quick, wow audi says 0 60 in 4.3 seconds. That feels more like 3.9 seconds. That is just comical to the way that thing sounds and it shifts it makes those burbles and crackles. Oh, you cannot beat a v8 wow.
This just blows my mind, it's amazing, to me, because i've driven the the audi q7 with the three liter turbo v6 we've tried that, of course, in the sq5 as well. I haven't driven the q8 with just that engine, but i wasn't really impressed with it. In the regular q7, but this god this just pulls for days. Oh, if this is so fast for an sq8, i can't imagine what the rs q8 would be like and, of course, there's. The audi rs6 avant, which has the same power chain. Oh and this eight speed auto, is this the perfect partner for this vehicle it's, just such smooth crisp shifts it just puts the engine right in the meat of its power band, it's, just so good at what it does and i'm just i'm really really happy with The way this powertrain feels now, when you guys have it in its regular drive mode, so i'll put it into just its automatic drive mode selection. Here, you'll notice, the the suspension gets a little bit softer the exhaust quiets down a little bit, it's still not overly aggressively loud, but you do notice a difference when the vehicle is in its comfort setting versus uh it's dynamic, setting it's a little bit softer, which Is good you want it to be a little softer. I would never get tired of that power. That power is just awesome. This thing feels like a sports sedan when it drives which doesn't surprise me.
I mean this is based off of the lamborghini eris platform. It'S a great place to start uh if i ever get an opportunity to drive in urus i'm, probably gon na be really impressed, even though this is a relatively big and heavy suv. It glides and goes down the road like a much smaller sports sedan. The steering also has amazing feedback, it's really really heavy as well. Audis typically don't have great steering that just is very numb and that's, not the case with the r with the sq 8. It feels like it has very direct communicative steering. I almost know like what the front tires are doing, which is nice. Visibility in this car is also really good. I can see out of the front well, this pillar here is a little bit on the thicker side, but i do have the audi advanced driver assistance, tech. Although this premium plus model, you do have to pay extra for a couple of smaller things, but i really like the overall package. This feels like a just right sized suv, whereas the q7 can feel a little bit too minivan like the q8. The sq8 feels more like you know that right, sized suv, if you don't, need a third row. This is probably where you know i would go in terms of comfort. I also find the seats to be really comfortable and supportive. These are the sport seats that you get. My tester is uh heated and has heated and cooled seats with like the 16 way, adjustments, which is nice, no massaging seat.
My tester is missing that option for the massaging seat uh, but the leather feels really plush. It feels really high quality everything about this car, just kind of operates with precision that's. What i expect from audi everything here is relatively easy to use. I, like the tech in this car as well in terms of fuel economy, it's rated to get 15 in the city 21 on the highway. I averaged 15 mpg and mostly around town driving on the highway. I did get 22 mpg, so pretty good gas mileage premium, of course, is required. If you guys are planning to get this car you need to get premium. I mean overall, my tester is missing some big ticket options that i probably would look into getting like. The heads up display the prestige package, the uh massaging seats, but you really can't deny it with this engine. This engine is just an absolute joy, we're gon na try the launch control one more time, just because we can. Oh, this just pulls for days days. I can't believe how fast this is. I was not expecting the sq 8 to put this big of a smile on my face so i'm really happy with how this car drives it's. Just absolutely insane very few faults with this car really responsive transmission, good ride, quality, quiet interior like it is. It feels like the perfect sized suv for today's modern families, so i've been waiting a long time to test out the audi q8, let alone the performance versions, and i have to say, after spending a week with the sq8 model, i'm pretty impressed with this vehicle.
It is by very definition for myself the sweet spot in the lineup and i also think it's one of the most well rounded vehicles in the koopa fide suv segment. As you guys know, i've tested the x6. I liked it didn't love the styling. I didn't love the ride quality quite as much and the interior didn't feel quite as spacious and the interior design isn't as quite nice. The mercedes to me is just really ugly, looking especially from the rear, with the new updated gle coupe there's, the porsche cayenne coupe, which is really nice. However, it is significantly more money and then, of course, if you guys really want to go extravagant get the lamborghini um eris, which is double the price of this vehicle. Now, if you guys, are looking to buy a just a regular q8, those are a lot less expensive versus the sq 8. They start at around 68 500, roughly 3 000 more expensive than an x6. I think it's worth it for the more well rounded interior. With more space and the better tech in this car versus the bmw, this is about ten thousand dollars less expensive than a gle coupe. Although it does come with less horsepower, you have to kind of compare it to um the sq 8, which again is a little bit less expensive uh, depending on how you equip the mercedes. The porsche is also a lot more expensive, so the audi is kind of the bargain of the segment and it doesn't surprise me, because this is one of the best selling audi sold around 12 000 of these last year, uh, whereas bmw did around 7000 x6s my Tester here, of course, is pretty lightly.
Optioned and sq8 starts at around 89 000. uh. My tester here with the options, puts it in around 94 000. You can spec up an sqa to be a little over a hundred thousand dollars. If you guys choose the options. Like the massaging seats or you go for a prestige, model, i'd actually say it's, probably worth the money and again, if you think of it as a porsche cayenne, gts or lamborghini urs for a significant discount. The sq 8 certainly makes sense, as you guys saw it, handles and rides like a sports sedan, but it gives you way more space in the back seat and the trunk area, and i also think it's one of the best looking of the koopa fight suv. So i think audi did a phenomenal job with the sqa and it's one of my top choices out there. If you guys are looking for a koopa fide sleeker suv, that's a little bit different, of course, than your neighbor's x5, a mercedes, benz jelly or an audi q7. But all that said, i hope you guys have enjoyed my full overview on this 2021 audi sq8. If you're also looking to see the latest cars, i'm testing be sure to follow me on instagram at redline underscore reviews like us on facebook and as always guys, please keep subscribing to the redline reviews youtube channel for all the latest reviews. Thank you.