Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Audi - SQ8


Audi’s new SQ8 nudges into a whole new league of performance-focused luxury SUVs

4 Nov 2022

AUDI has injected more grunt, better dynamics and even more luxury into its updated SQ8 performance SUV.


Yes, the RSQ8 sits above the SQ8, but as a hyper SUV the RS is really more about downright performance than offering a balanced luxury option. 


Audi’s shift to the 4.0-litre twin turbo petrol V8, a detuned version of the engine in the manic RSQ8, offers better driving dynamics and more pace than the outgoing diesel V8.


In the SQ8, more than 100kg has been pulled out of the front end thanks to the lighter engine, which has transformed the handling prowess of the SQ8.


The new V8 offers up 373kW/770Nm, mated to an eight-speed torque converter auto and all-wheel drive, a combination Audi says will propel the burly SQ8 to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds. 


For perspective, the 0.7-second reduction in sprint time over the old model puts the SQ8 just three tenths off the RSQ8’s 3.8-second triple-digit sprint.


Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, all-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension are all standard and we couldn’t fault their operation or the seamless coherence of all these sophisticated systems working together.


What Audi will do, though, is offer to make the SQ8 even better with the optioal dynamic package that includes electromechanically active roll stabilisation and a sports rear diff. The optional extra, at $10,900, seriously elevates the driving experience. 


What’s particularly interesting about the electromechanical active roll stabilisation is that it features electric motors front and back which operate off a 48-volt system. The electric motors rotate each half of the stabiliser bars in opposite directions, creating torque that counteracts body roll. Fascinating, even if the engineers had to explain it a few times.  


The old SQ8 was well appointed, with loads of standard inclusions, and the new model is no different.


It isn’t, however, quite as ‘handy’ as its SQ7 sibling in that it doesn’t have seven seats, but in every other way the SQ8 is still a compelling all-rounder. 


Like the old model, it retains a 3500kg braked towing capacity and more cargo volume than most will use.


Behind the second row, there’s 605 litres of space, and behind the first row a full 1755 litres – a little down on the SQ7 but given its sleek body shape they’re respectable cargo volumes. 


The new SQ8 is an even more visually appealing example of an already desirable model, with loads of ‘S’ body styling elements, a more aggressive front grille treatment, guard-filling 22-inch wheels, and hands down the best-looking SUV rear end. In our opinion.


A subtle roof wing, quad-tip exhausts, and sharp lines hint at its performance pedigree while privacy glass, a huge panoramic sunroof, and Audi’s fancy Matrix LED headlights further add to the new model’s luxury appeal.


Inside the SQ8, there’s no shortage of S badging, Valcona leather and if you tick the ‘inlays in carbon vector’ extra, lashings of carbon-fibre feature across the dash. 


Much like its SQ7 twin-under-the-skin, the seats are exceptionally well bolstered, comfortable, and feature electric adjustability, heating, driver memory, and four-way lumbar support. 


The SQ8 has a virtual cockpit, consisting of a 12.3-inch screen with various view modes available – our pick being performance mode.


Front and centre, a 10.1-inch screen with haptic feedback serves infotainment duties, while a smaller 8.6-inch screen below offers ‘digital dials’ for climate control and other in-car functionality.


Audi’s infotainment system is top tier, with the typical smartphone integration, Audi Connect Plus software, a roof-mounted SOS call function, and epic 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system that positively pumps. A Friday afternoon highway run to the airport offered better audio than any set of headphones we’ve experienced. 


The SQ8 is safe, too, with all of Audi’s standard driver assist tech, but it’s by no means an irritating system. The safety features, like pre-sense front and rear, active lane assist, side and cross traffic assist, are as good as any. The parking cameras and 360-degree view are particularly useful when parking, because those 22-inch wheels wouldn’t look too good rashed up.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new SQ8

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here