What used to be the Audi E-Tron is now the Audi Q8 E-Tron. And if you want the sleeker version of that SUV, ask for the Sportback. Whatever you call it, the 2024 Audi Q8 Sportback E-Tron is a solid option in the electric SUV space.
Compared to more conventionally styled EVs like the BMW iX or the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV, the Sportback adds some visual spice to the lineup. It has the ubiquitous Audi face with a big ol' Singleframe "grille," slim headlights, and gloss black accents as part of the $2,000 Black Optic package. A set of 20-inch wheels comes standard on the S-Line trim, and when combined with that trimmed-down tail-end, it makes the SUV look a lot sportier.
|2024 Audi Q8 Sportback E-Tron Prestige
|114.0-Kilowatt-Hours (106.0-kWh Usable)
|482 Horsepower / 489 Pound-Feet
|$77,800 + $1,195 Destination
The interior is awash in dark chrome trim pieces, orange accents, and in this case, solid black leather. There's nothing visually stunning about the cabin, but the layout is lovely, the seats are comfortable, and every piece feels premium – per typical Audi standards.
Even with that dramatic roofline, the back seats don't feel cramped. There's a ton of legroom (39.1 inches) and splenty of headroom for your 6-foot-tall author. And the Sportback only loses 1.3 cubic feet of room compared to the normal Q8 E-Tron. By comparison, the traditionally shaped BMW iX has less rear legroom than the Audi (38.9 inches) but 39.5 inches of headroom – two more than the Q8 Sportback.
Powering the Q8 is a bigger battery pack with 114.0-kilowatt-hours total, a usable 106.0-kilowatt-hours (compared to the previous 95.0-kWh usable) and two electric motors that dole out 402 horsepower and 489 pound-feet of torque. The Q8 E-Tron has 296 miles of range in Sportback form while the standard Q8 E-Tron has 285 miles. While both of those figures are much improved over the outgoing model (218 and 222 miles), the BMW and Mercedes both go well over 300 miles at their most efficient.
Pros: Stylish Design, Comfortable Cabin, Extremely Quiet
The Sportback's sleek styling and 0.27 drag coefficient, though, do yield improved efficiency numbers. The MPGe rating jumps from 77 combined last year to 87 this year. It's not just capacity that improves, but charging, too. The new battery structure means the Q8 can accept 170-kilowatt DC fast charging rates as opposed to 150 kilowatts previously. So juicing from 10 to 80 percent takes just 31 minutes at a DC fast charger.
While impressive on paper, that improved battery chemistry and motor technology doesn’t translate into more driving fun. The Q8 Sportback won't wow you with its acceleration; power delivery is smooth but unremarkable, and it takes about 5.4 seconds for it to hit 60 miles per hour. Some buyers might prefer the subdued acceleration, while others should look to the 496-horse, 718-lb-ft SQ8 for more thrilling speeds.
The same can be said of the Q8 Sportback in corners: It's unremarkable but good. The standard four-corner air suspension is well-damped and body roll is barely noticeable when you flick it hard into a turn, but it doesn't feel sporty. The steering ratio improves from 15.8:1 in the previous generation to 14.6:1 here, which makes it quicker. But there still isn't a ton of feedback.
Cons: Below-Average Range, Middling Acceleration
As a highway cruiser, the Q8 E-Tron Sportback excels. The air ride soaks up bumps like a sponge and the cabin is ultra-quiet – and not just for an EV. You can whisper to your rear passengers at 70 miles per hour. The lightly upgraded technology also makes the Q8 more enjoyable to live with with a 10.1-inch center touchscreen joined by a lower 8.6-inch screen for things climate control functions, and a head-up display standard on this Prestige model. More buttons for basic controls would be nice, but the simple functionality of those two screens makes it easier to bear.
You will have to shell out $78,995 (with destination) for the Q8 E-Tron Sportback, but that makes it one of the more affordable options of the group. The BMW iX costs $88,095 for 2024 while the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV starts at $105,550. The Rivian R1S and Tesla Model X are pricier still. This Prestige trim here is even pricier with the $595 Glacier White paint and the $2,000 Black Optic package, bringing the total cost to $92,390 as tested.
The Verdict: The 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron Sportback won’t wow you in any one respect, but it does everything well. It’s stylish without sacrificing comfort and premium without feeling overpriced. Although the powertrain doesn’t pack a huge punch and the range is just okay, the Q8 E-Tron Sportback should tick most boxes for the majority of shoppers. If only it could get over that 300-mile range hump.
Gallery: 2024 Audi Q8 Sportback E-Tron Review
2024 Audi Q8 Sportback E-Tron Prestige