What is it like on the inside?
Refreshingly clean and simple. You get a good-sized steering wheel, five comfortable seats, plenty of useful stows and cubbies (particularly within the large centre tunnel), USB sockets front and rear for all your gadgets; it’s as practical as they come and features everything you need in a big family wagon.
The piano black wraparound dash – running from the front doors across the instrument panel – looks particularly smart, as does the interior ambient lighting, but the quilted grey leather wouldn't be our first choice so it’s well worth playing around on the configurator. Still, lovely and comfortable all the same.
It feels premium, then?
Absolutely – the standout feature has to be the wide-screened, high-def, slick-graphic’d central display, consisting of a 10.1-inch upper screen, used for controlling the infotainment and navigation system, plus a secondary lower 8.6-inch display, used to manage the heating, air conditioning, comfort functions and suchlike.
It’s clever and useful and there’s been a lot of thought put into it, even down to the clicky haptic feedback on the touchscreens. It’s a little intimidating at first and takes a bit of getting used to, but you soon get your head around divvying up the functions and relegating the stuff that you don’t use as much.
Our only real negative was the position of the wireless charger located under the central armrest, which we found resulted in our phone losing signal, meaning Google Maps kept losing where we were when using CarPlay. Annoying.
How much space is there?
There’s acres of space in the back and a decent boot (505 litres in the plug-in hybrid, 605 litres in the ICE model), though slimmed slightly by the beetle back (i.e. not hugely brilliant for dog owners). The rear seats split, too, so there’s every possibility that you can actually make use of the space to do practical things.
Yes, a blocky Q7 is bigger with its 770 litre boot and has seven seats, but you don’t buy a Q8 for that – it’s just more practical and useful than you might think on first appraisal. Oh, and for reference, the standard model’s boot is still 25 litres bigger than a BMW X6, though a little shy of the Mercedes GLE Coupe’s 655 litres.