Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Superb cabin dominated by high-res touchscreens
  • Driving position slightly lower than the Q7
  • Reasonable all-round visibility

Despite the Q8 sharing its underpinnings with the Q7, its interior will be far more familiar to anyone who has sat in an Audi A6, A7 or A8, all of which share the same style of cabin. Not that this is a bad thing, with Q8’s cabin easily one of – if not the – most impressive in its class.

Superb interior quality

Every material feels carefully chosen and nicely trimmed, with a real sense efficient luxury permeating through the soft leathers and unpolished woods. The Q7 has an excellent cabin, but the Q8’s is a cut above.

Audi S Q8 (2020) interior


Sitting in an unmistakably raised-up (but not quite as high as a Q7) driving position, the driver gets an excellent view out of the front and shouldn’t have any problem getting comfortable thanks to standard-fit electrically adjustable seats.

Passenger space in the Q8 is mostly excellent. Up front, there’s ample room for two occupants and their belongings thanks to a good spread of storage space. Door pockets are commodious enough for your average water bottle, while the glovebox and centre console are a decent size.

In the back, you’ll find excellent legroom suitable for even the tallest of passengers. Headroom, meanwhile is good – especially considering the sloping roofline – but those over six foot (or with a particularly lanky upper body) may find the top of their head sits rather close to the rooflining.

Heated outer rear seats, four-zone climate control and rear seat power sockets are also available.

Three large displays dominate the cabin

Casting their eyes lower, meanwhile, reveals a cabin dominated by the three primary displays. These range from the Virtual Cockpit display that replaces traditional dashboard dials, to the dual central screens.

The lower of which is an 8.6-inch touchscreen display that allows the driver to control climate control and driver-assist functions, while the 10.1-inch upper screen controls sat-nav, media, telephone and settings.

Both touchscreens help to create one of the best infotainment systems around, yet this reviewer can’t help but think that many customers will miss the rotary dial controller method found on older Audis. Regardless of how slick the touchscreen is, it usually feels harder to hit exactly the right icon on the move than it is to twiddle a physical dial between options.

Reasonable all-round visibility

The driver has a good view out of the front – thanks to a large windscreen and respectably sized A-pillars – yet the rear C-pillar is rather chunky. Still, with front and rear parking sensors, plus a rear camera as standard, manoeuvring the Q8 into tight spots should be reasonably painless.

  • Air suspension as standard
  • Excellent all-round ride comfort and refinement
  • Supportive leather seats

Unlike the Q7, the Q8 comes as standard with adaptive air suspension, controlled via the vehicle’s drive select system. The upshot is that, even on massive 22-inch wheels, the Q8 rides smoothly over all but the most pockmarked surfaces.

It can be a little slow to respond over larger potholes (creating a noticeable jolt), but the cabin is well-isolated nonetheless.

Refinement is excellent regardless of engine

You’ll hear significant road noise from the large wheels if a Q8 ever drives past you, but rest assured the level of sound deadening means the cabin is a tranquil place to be at motorway speeds. Noise from the petrol engine is predictably less than the diesel, but not by as much as you’d expect. The 286hp 3.0-litre diesel is in one of its most refined guises in the Q8.

Audi S Q8 (2020) driving

Wind noise is all but eradicated, yet there is a squeak from the door mirrors at 65mph and above; a trait shared with the A8.

Other trinkets to improve passenger comfort include heated and ventilated electrically adjustable front seats (plus heated rear seats on Vorsprung models), ambient lighting and a panoramic glass sunroof (also on Vorsprung models).

S Line spec models get Nappa leather sports seats and alcantara upholstery as standard, while Vorsprung versions upgrade to Super sports seats in Valcona leather. Both are exceptionally comfortable on long journeys and supportive in tight bends.

SQ8 and RS Q8 interior

Audi RS Q8 steering wheel RS button

The SQ8 gets a largely familiar cabin with standard sport seats, complete with S logos and contrast stitching.

These have integrated headrests and a good amount of bolstering to hold you tight when cornering hard, plus you can add heating, ventilation and a massage function as an option.

Elsewhere you can specify grey or red trim flashes, plus carbonfibre or oak dashboard inserts.

The RS model gets a few bespoke bits. The front of cabin receives sports seats with Audi RS’ honeycomb design, with contrasting stitching. The starter button is pleasantly firm, the RS1 button well-placed, but the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel feel decidedly cheap for a £100,000 plus car.

There are eight driving modes – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, allroad, offroad, RS 1 and RS 2. Transmission, steering, suspension, and engine sound are all affected. For instance, offroad has the highest suspension setting while RS 2 has the lowest. The RS Q8 gets a suite of RS-related displays in the MMI – with tyre pressure, torque, output, lap times, and g forces all covered.