Design | Comfort | Tech | Performance | Safety | Fuel Economy | Pricing | FAQs
The internet loves to hate on SUV "coupes" for their ridiculous styling and cramped cabins. I will admit that I do find the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE's humpback shape to be a bit ungainly, but overall, I don’t despise coupe-UVs as much as the vocal minority on Twitter does.
The 2022 Audi SQ8 is the least offensive of the bunch thanks to its refined shape. In fact, Audi made its coupe-UV actually look really great, similar to Porsche. Thanks to its normal-ish roofline, the back seat is big enough to shove two adults into without the worry of ruining friendships, and the amount of technology inside is impressive. The cherry on top is an excellent twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with 500 horsepower and a 0-60 time of just 4.3 seconds.
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|Quick Stats||Audi SQ8 Prestige|
|Engine||Twin-Turbocharged 4.0-Liter V8|
|Output||500 Horsepower / 568 Pound-Feet|
|0-60 MPH||4.3 Seconds|
|Base Price||$70,800 + $1,195 Destination|
Gallery: 2022 Audi SQ8 Review
Again, the SQ8 doesn't look as ridiculous as some of the alternatives. Although the rear end is definitely more angular than the Q7, it doesn't go so far in the other direction that it might turn off most shoppers. My biggest issue here is that Florett Silver is such a bland color for this otherwise very sporty SUV. Pay extra for Dragon Orange – it's so much cooler.
Up front, the elongated octagonal grille has shiny black inserts with a matching black surround as part of the $2,200 Black Optic package, which gives the SQ8 an angrier face and sharper 22-inch V-spoke wheels. Standard matrix LED headlights occupy the upper corners of the fascia while two huge corner vents live at the base.
The gorgeous Arras Red Valcona leather inside offers a much-needed reprieve from the boring silver exterior. The quilted and perforated sport seats look lovely alongside Alcantara door accents and carbon fiber trim, while Audi uses weighty aluminum for fixtures like the shifter and portions of the steering wheel.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Audi SQ8
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Cargo Capacity: 30.5 / 60.7 Cubic Feet
The SQ8’s seats are sublime. Like a lot of Audi S and RS models I’ve tested, it feels like someone poured me into the front buckets; the seating position is perfect, the bolstering is excellent, and the leather feels of the highest quality. Having heating, ventilation, and a massage function (the latter as part of the $2,900 Luxury package) certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
The ride quality falls somewhere between firm and too firm. The adaptive air suspension keeps the SQ8 feeling amenable in Comfort mode; the ride is soft and supportive enough that you won’t need to see a chiropractor afterward. The one big downside, obviously, is that passenger and cargo space is limited compared to a normal-roofed SUV.
- Center Display: 10.1-Inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: 12.3 Inches
- Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes/Yes
With three screens inside, the SQ8 is feature-rich. The central touchscreen has a robust home layout with crisp graphics, which makes most things easy to access with one touch. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The lower climate control screen is less likable given that you have to look down low on the console for certain functions; a bank of buttons or dials would be better here. And the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster offers countless customization options, including things like full-screen navigation, which makes the optional head-up display almost feel like overkill.
- Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 4.0-Liter V8
- Output: 500 Horsepower / 568 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: Eight-Speed Automatic
Here’s where things get really good. Although the 591-horsepower RS Q8 is still the top dog of the group, the SQ8 is an exceptional performer. Its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is only 91 horsepower shy of the hot-pot RS model, which means the SQ8 launches off the line and on to 60 miles per hour in just over four seconds. This SUV is ferociously quick.
Tick the drive mode dial over to Dynamic and everything tightens up; the eight-speed transmission is quicker, the adaptive air suspension is stiffer, and the steering gains some artificial heft. The SQ8’s corner-carving abilities would be impressive for a vehicle half this size, let alone a 5,200-pound luxury SUV.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
- IIHS Rating: Not Rated
Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and lane-centering all come standard on the SQ8. Audi currently doesn’t offer any Level 2 hands-free driving systems, but the combo of adaptive cruise control and lane-centering means you can cruise comfortably for hundreds of highway miles while the vehicle brakes, accelerates, and keeps within the lane for you.
- City: 15 MPG
- Highway: 21 MPG
- Combined: 17 MPG
|Audi SQ8||15 MPG||21 MPG||17 MPG|
|Mercedes-AMG GLE 53||17 MPG||21 MPG||19 MPG|
|BMW X6 M50i||16 MPG||22 MPG||18 MPG|
|Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe||15 MPG||19 MPG||17 MPG|
- Base Price: $70,800 + $1,195 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $96,695
- As-Tested Price: $111,340
The gulf between the base 2022 Q8 and the SQ8 is an eye-watering $25,200. That means you really have to want the performance trim if you’re willing to spend that much extra cash. Going for the full-bore Prestige model adds an extra $6,200 on top of that, but it includes dual-pane glass everywhere, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition, and the Executive package, which adds heated rear seats, power window shades, and more.
But assuming you don’t really need some of those fancy options, the Executive package is also available for a cool $2,400 on the base SQ8 Premium Plus and it comes with all the same features. That includes heated rear seats, ventilated front seats with four-way lumbar support, and upgraded ambient lighting.
The Luxury package included on this car is worth the $2,900 splurge for the Alcantara headliner alone, but also adds more leather and a front massage function, while the $2,200 Black Optic package adds those awesome black accents and upgraded wheels. All told, this tester costs $111,340 – which is indeed pricey. The base RS Q8 costs just under $120,000, by comparison.
|Base Price||Trim Base Price||Competitive Spec|
|2022 Audi SQ8||$71,995||$96,695||$111,340|
|2023 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53||$82,350||$82,350||$94,290|
|2023 Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe||$82,150||$117,250||$129,690|
Photo Credit: Jeff Perez For Motor1.com, Audi
- Mercedes-AMG GLE 53: Not Rated
- BMW X6 M50i: Not Rated
- Porsche Cayenne GTS Coupe: Not Rated
2022 Audi SQ8 Prestige