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- Highs Respect-inducing turbo V-8, posh interior environs, sporty-but-tasteful exterior styling.
- Lows Middling braking performance, forget about fuel economy.
- Verdict The SQ8 offers heightened performance and increased street cred over the Q8 without compromising on luxury or usability.
The 2022 Audi SQ8 shares a chassis and powertrain with the Lamborghini Urus, so does that make it a bargain Lambo? Not exactly. Although it offers 500 horsepower and is dressed up like a performance SUV, the SQ8's demeanor skews more toward the standard Q8's than the raucous Urus' or the mechanically similar RS Q8 model (reviewed separately). For some buyers, this middle ground will be perfect, as it delivers sporty optics and outrageous straight-line performance without compromising comfort or every-day usability. Other performance-oriented SUVs, such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Mercedes-AMG GLE-class, offer similar results but the Audi's chopped-roof look gives it mega curb appeal.
What's New for 2022?
Audi has made more driver-assistance features standard on the SQ8 for 2022, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. All models now come with carbon-fiber interior trim as standard, and a new Executive package adds heated rear seats, rear-window sunshades, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery on more surfaces, HD matrix LED headlamps, and an ambient interior lighting system with multiple color choices. Buyers can also choose new red-painted brake calipers as a standalone option as well as a new Carbon Optic package, which includes unique 22-inch wheels and black exterior accents.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
All SQ8 models come with the best performance-enhancing features Audi can throw at them, so no matter which one you choose, you're getting the same driving experience. Still, we'd upgrade to the Prestige trim, which adds a host of driver-assistance and luxury features that include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a head-up display, fancier LED exterior lighting elements, soft-close doors, heated rear seats, and power rear sunshades.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 will power the SQ8, and it will provide 500 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. The model comes standard with Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. At our test track, the SQ8 blasted to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, just 0.4 seconds behind the more powerful—but mechanically similar—Lamborghini Urus. The SQ8 provides agile handling and an athletic demeanor, but when switched into comfort mode it exhibits a family-friendly ride quality, making it a true dual-purpose vehicle.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
According to the EPA, the SQ8 is good for 15 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 17 mpg combined. However, we can't evaluate its real-world mpg until we run it on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. For more information about the SQ8's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
As is typical of Audi's S models, the interior gains more standard features and fancier materials than the base vehicle. This includes black accents in the cabin and diamond-stitched seats as well as carbon-fiber trim and contrast stitching. With seating for give, the spacious back seat and capacious cargo area are useful on road trips. Unfortunately, interior cubby storage is subpar.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Audi decks out every SQ8 with a dual-touchscreen infotainment system and the brand's Virtual Cockpit reconfigurable gauge display. The almost completely digital cabin will appeal to tech-conscious buyers but not those who value physical controls for things like climate control. A Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard fare.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Audi offers a suite of driver-assistance features as standard on the SQ8 which includes basics such as automated emergency braking as well as more advanced adaptive cruise control functions. For more information about the SQ8's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2020 Audi SQ8
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$107,490 (base price: $89,995)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
244 in3, 3996 cm3
500 hp @ 5500 rpm
568 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 15.8-in vented disc/13.8-in vented disc
Tires: Hankook Dynapro HP2 Plus, 285/45R-21 113H M+S AO
Wheelbase: 117.9 in
Length: 196.6 in
Width: 78.5 in
Height: 67.2 in
Passenger volume: 105 ft3
Cargo volume: 31 ft3
Curb weight: 5469 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.6 sec
100 mph: 9.5 sec
130 mph: 14.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.3 sec
1/4 mile: 12.2 sec @ 112 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 129 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 173 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.92 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 16 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 17/15/21 mpg