Audi Q8 SQ8 TDI Quattro 5dr Tiptronic [C+S]
We’ve spent most time in the 50 TDI and it’s a rapid, comfy cruiser with a surprising ability to go around corners. Even on the 22-inch wheels.
It’s not an exciting car to drive, but it disguises its size brilliantly (0–62mph in 6.3 seconds is very respectable), and has a decent stretch of dynamic change from the seven different (selectable) modes.
Yep, deep breath: you get Comfort, Efficiency, Auto, Dynamic, Individual, Off-road and All-road. ‘Comfort’ really is leggier and softer, ‘Dynamic’ noticeably firmer and more responsive with a 40mm suspension drop. This sounds obvious, but it isn’t always the case. The off-road mode raises the suspension 50mm from the Comfort/Standard position in case you need to potter down a track.
Claimed MPG is 33.2mpg – a figure we pretty much matched bang on – and as ever the all-wheel drive is clever and subtle, with torque-vectoring on the rear axle, and a torque split that can shove up to 70 per cent to the front or 85 per cent to the rear, depending on conditions.
The steering isn’t the last word in communication, but this is a big car that doesn't make you wince trying to thread it down a back lane. It goes where you put it with the minimum of fuss, feels lighter than it is and can three-point turn with the best of them. For which we thank the four-wheel-steering option.
It’s wide – over two metres with the mirrors as mentioned – and has some fairly hefty blind spots, but there’s a suite of systems (though we quickly turned off the over-sensitive collision avoidance assist) to deal with the issues.
Overall, it’s a ‘doing’ car rather than something you’d choose to take out for the hell of it, but the general feeling is that Audi has got the air-ride nicely sorted in this one: you really can cruise efficiently and well, and it demands very little in the way of concern, even though it’s a big old thing.
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