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2019 Audi Q8 55TFSI quick performance review

By Chris Thompson, 01 May 2019 Reviews

2019 Audi Q8 55TFSI performance review

Audi wants to tempt you into its new flagship SUV, and it’s shooting fish in a barrel

Does anyone need an SUV as big as the 2019 Audi Q8? Of course not, but it exists, and Audi has positioned it in a rather tempting position for an SUV-hungry market.

At a starting price of $128,900, and just a smidge under $140,000 as tested, the premium SUV is almost $100,000 cheaper than its equivalent in the Audi A8 range.

The car we tested was fitted with optional adaptive air suspension and rear wheel steering as the primary elements that changed its characteristics, but even the black exterior accents are a cost option.

Down to the technical details, the Q8 55 TFSI comes bearing Audi’s 3.0-litre turbo V6, which boasts 250kW and 500Nm allowing a 0-100km/h dash in a relatively spritely 5.9 seconds. Spritely for 2145kg, at least.

Unfortunately, the Q8 feels slower than it is, and getting to 100km/h quickly seems like going against the big SUV’s wishes. Weight shifts noticeably, even in its Dynamic drive mode, and the turbocharged V6 could, dare we say it, do with some diesel torque.

Related: Audi plans performance SUV onslaught

Once up to speed, the 55 TFSI feels more than powerful enough, and becomes a comfortable cruiser capable of soaking up even rather rough bumps. The adaptive air suspension option is a must, and the four-wheel steering makes the rather large Q8 feel almost nimble in traffic and when parking.

A twisty road will undo that sense of ‘nimbleness’, where weight becomes apparent and the limits of the Q8’s grip becomes apparent. More than two tonnes can only stop so quickly.

With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine anyone buying the Q8 as a car to go driving in for the sake of it. Its cabin is spacious and packed with features, making it a perfect get-around for a few people.

There’s also a new haptic touch screen which requires a little pressure to interact with – so no more bumping things accidentally.

The dash design itself is also rather sleek, until you turn off the screens and all you can see are your fingerprints smeared across the black panels.

Tested and rated on MOTOR car reviews

Engine: 2995cc, V6 DOHC, turbo
Power: 250kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 2900-5300rpm
Drive: all-wheel drive, 8-speed automatic
 5.9sec (claimed)
Weight: 2145kg
Price: $128,900