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Audi Q8 interior, tech and comfort

2018 onwards (change model)
Comfort rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by CJ Hubbard Published: 8 November 2023 Updated: 8 November 2023

  • Mostly very high quality inside
  • Cheap-feeling paddleshifters a low point
  • Too many touchscreen controls

How is the quality and layout?

There was a moment in time when we regarded the Audi Q8’s interior extremely highly. Material quality – with one exception – verges on the impeccable, and those dual central touchscreens once had the sleek look of the future.

Now, while the quality unquestionably remains, our opinion of the control layout has shifted. There are too many functions assigned to those screens as Audi has dramatically reduced the button count. So although there is at least a permanent set of controls for the climate system – many other modern cars have these buried in a sub-menu of the main infotainment screen – it’s still more difficult to use than it could be. It’s a shame that looks have overtaken functionality so completely.

As for the exception to the overall interior quality, that comes in the form of a cheap-feeling set of paddleshifters fitted to the back of the steering wheel. These are the same as you’d get on a basic Audi A3, and seem very out of place in a range-topping SUV with an asking price that extends beyond £100,000.

Infotainment and tech

The actual infotainment system is relatively easy to get to grips with, with plenty of modern functionality and a relatively straightforward interface. But for some reason, the screen for both this and the lower climate control panel, Audi has chosen to use a technology that requires a firm prod to activate rather than the gentle touch almost every rival requires.

Audi Q8 review - infotainment and climate control touchscreens
Dual touchscreens look great but are hard to use.

This makes activating items within the screens even more difficult on the move, taking your attention away from the road more than seems necessary. Fortunately, Audi also provides a clear set of digital dials in the instrument cluster ahead of the driver that can be customised and controlled by buttons on the steering wheel. More expensive versions of the Q8 also come with a head-up display.

The HD matrix LED headlights are also worth mentioning. These create maximum driving light at all times by only shutting off elements that will blind on-coming traffic. They also have a laser light for an extended-range high-beam. They come on top-spec Vorsprung models only, combined with digital OLED taillights, and further off owners a choice of four sets of daytime running light signatures to choose from.


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. Those in the rear are treated to generously proportioned and well-finished accommodation, too. Four-zone climate control is available.

Audi Q8 review - rear seats, rear legroom
Rear legroom is generous.

Refinement is generally good, though you will get some rustling around the windscreen and door mirrors on a windy day, and the even bigger tyres of the SQ8 do generate extra road noise. All of the engines are cultured and fun to listen to, without ever becoming intrusive. In fact, we would have enjoyed a little more V8 rumble from the SQ8 model than it delivers.

We’ll deal with suspension comfort in the driving section of this review.