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2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron Prestige review: Big enhancements make this SUV one of the best

The Audi Q8 E-Tron received a raft of significant enhancements for the 2024 model year, not the least of which is a new name. This all-electric SUV used to just be called the E-Tron, but like a dash of pepper flakes on a slice of pizza, Q8 was added to spice things up. More importantly, though, the driving range has been vastly improved, this EV fast charges appreciably quicker, the battery pack got re-engineered and the Q8 E-Tron is even more engaging to drive than its predecessor thanks to an updated chassis.

Modest visual enhancements for 2024

Despite those impactful technical enhancements, this updated electric utility vehicle doesn’t look radically different. Up front, the brand-signature singleframe grille has been reworked and looks better than before. There’s also a new light bar under the leading edge of the hood to add some visual interest at night. The automaker’s four-ring logo has also been updated, sporting a flat, 2D look opposed to being rendered in chrome. This particular Q8 E-Tron also features the $2,000 Black Optic Package, which includes black exterior trim (surprise, surprise!) and 21-inch wheels wrapped in all-season tires.

Also new for 2024, the vehicle name is laser-etched on the exterior B-pillar trim, an embellishment that will make its way to other Audis. Our tester also wears optional Glacier White Metallic paint, which contrasts starkly with the Black Optic Package. All colors except for Magnet Gray cost extra on this vehicle, a modest upcharge of $595.

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Most of the Q8 E-Tron’s exterior changes are found front front and center. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Unlike many other EVs, the Q8 E-Tron is available with a second charging port. The $1,850 AC Charging Package includes a 19.2-kilowatt/80-amp onboard charger for speedy AC charging at home, though it also adds a second port on the passenger side front fender. This is a brilliant feature to have because you can simply pull up to a charger and not have to think about what side the port is on or how long the cable is.

Big updates to the battery pack

Of all the things Audi did to enhance the Q8 E-Tron compared to its predecessor, the most important changes were made to the battery. Better utilizing available space, engineers figured out how to fit more cells into the same size pack, which increased the battery’s gross capacity from 95 kilowatt-hours to a generous 114 (the usable capacity is 106 kWh).

In addition to that, the lithium-ion chemistry has been changed, which appreciably increased this SUV’s DC fast charging performance, bumping it from a satisfactory 150 kilowatts to 170. That’s enough to take the pack from 10% state of charge to 80% in around 31 minutes.

As for range, the Q8 E-Tron seen here is EPA-rated at 285 miles on a charge, much improved over its predecessor. If you want more, a properly equipped Sportback version of this SUV — the four-door coupe variant with a more sloping roofline — should be able to go 300 miles with a full battery.

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This SUV’s battery pack has been comprehensively re-engineered. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Making life a little easier, this Audi comes standard with super-convenient plug-and-charge capability that works with Electrify America. Just click the connector to the vehicle and you’re good to go. You also get two years of free and unlimited EA fast charging, which is fantastic. Other automakers offer similar perks, but there’s often a 30-minute time limit for each session.

An enviable interior

When it comes to interior design and quality, Audi has been a leader for decades. Continuing this tradition, the Q8 E-Tron’s cabin is lovely, though other automakers have caught up. In particular, the Mercedes-Benz EQ models are superb and upstart Genesis is killing it these days.

Inside, this SUV’s dashboard is angular and aggressive, with a somewhat driver-focused layout. Richly textured soft plastics abound, open-pore wood trim brightens things up a little and there’s plenty of soft leather, especially in high-end Prestige models.

The multi-adjustable front seats are all-day comfortable, plus they’re heated, ventilated and will even give you a massage. A power-operated thigh extension is ideal for taller people, while pneumatic leg and side bolsters help passengers of all sizes get comfortable, ditto for the standard four-zone climate control system, which also has a heat pump to further improve vehicle efficiency.

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This Audi’s interior is extremely nice. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

The Q8 E-Tron’s back seat is spacious in all three dimensions, even for lanky adults. The cushions are also firm and nicely angled for admirable comfort. Cupholders in the fold-down center armrest, air vents with dedicated climate controls and a pair of USB type-C ports further coddle passengers.

As for cargo space, this Audi is fairly capacious. The rear offers 28.5 cubic feet of space with the second-row backrests up. Fold those down, which is easy to do either from the back seat or cargo area, and that number grows to a generous 56.4 cubes. Under the hood is a small storage cubby, comparable in size to what you get in a Hyundai E-GMP-based vehicle, basically large enough to hold the standard AC charging cable and that’s about it.

Talkin’ tech

This vehicle’s dashboard is embellished with several screens, including a 10.1-inch main display augmented by an 8.6-inch panel lower on the center stack. The upper touchscreen is where the navigation map lives and is where you adjust many vehicle settings. The bottom panel is home to the climate controls, head-up display adjustments and keyboard for inputting destinations into the navigation system. Of course, the Q8 E-Tron also has Audi Virtual Cockpit, the company’s pioneering digital instrument cluster. In this application, it’s just as crisp to look at and easy to read as it’s ever been.

Audi’s MMI Touch Response infotainment system is highly intuitive and extremely responsive, plus it supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This setup also offers strong haptic feedback, an audible click with pronounced vibration when you tap an on-screen icon, which almost makes it feel like you’re pressing on a physical button.

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Audi’s MMI Touch Response infotainment system is intuitive and speedy. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

The Q8 E-Tron’s interior is quite spectacular, but there are two minor issues. One, the front cup holders are poor, unable to accommodate even modestly sized beverage containers. And two, like Tesla, this Audi has FSD, but no, not Full Self-Driving, rather fingerprints, scratches and dust. The cabin is loaded with glossy piano black trim, a material that looks good but can be challenging to keep clean.

Smart performance, incredible refinement

Every Q8 E-Tron comes with a dual-motor powertrain that provides standard all-wheel drive. This setup is good for 355 horsepower and 414 pound-feet of torque, however, engaging boost mode, which you can do by clicking the gear selector from “D” to “S” or by selecting the dynamic driving mode, increases those figures to 402 and 490, respectively. While not quite warp drive, that’s enough to get this SUV from a standstill to 60 mph in around 5.4 seconds, which feels just about perfect for a vehicle of this size and type.

To provide better handling, engineers quickened the steering ratio, taking it from 15.8- to 14.6-to-1. The front control arm bushings were also made 50% stiffer and the chassis and stability control tuning was adjusted. These changes make the Q8 E-Tron handle remarkably well. The steering is crisp, with unexpected precision for an SUV. It feels agile engaging, something you can’t say about many EVs.

This Audi also comes standard with an air suspension system. This provides around 3 inches of height adjustability as well as an exceptionally smooth yet still well controlled ride. Of course, the chassis stiffens noticeably when you switch to the Dynamic drive mode or if you tweak the Individual setting.

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Overall, the Q8 E-Tron is a fantastic EV. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Aside from strong performance, improved handling and lovely ride quality, what’s perhaps most shocking about the Q8 E-Tron is its refinement. Sure, plenty of EVs are quiet, but this one is almost eerily silent inside. The cabin is so isolated from the outside world you can speak to passengers in whispers while driving at highway speeds.

A solid luxury EV made even better for 2024

The 2024 Audi Q8 E-Tron is an excellent luxury EV, one with plenty of significant advantages. The increased range, enhanced DC fast charging performance and sharpened handling are all welcome improvements for the latest model year. Exemplary refinement, user-friendly technology and a high-quality interior are just a few of this vehicle’s other noteworthy strengths. If you don’t mind the lackluster front cup holders and remember to keep a duster in the glovebox so the black trim stays clean, there’s precious little to complain about.

As for pricing, if you skip every extra, the base Q8 E-Tron will cost you about $76,000. This example, of course, is pricier than that, checking out for $88,990 including a few options and $1,195 in delivery fees. That’s comparable to a Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic SUV, though it is quite a bit more than the Genesis Electrified GV70 I’ve also tested. That figure is by no means cheap, but excellence rarely is. Thanks to its refinement, luxury and innovative features, this is one of the best electric SUVs available today.

At a glance

  • Year: 2024
  • Make: Audi
  • Model: Q8 E-Tron
  • Trim: Prestige
  • Type: All-electric SUV
  • Max horsepower: 402
  • Max torque: 490 pound-feet
  • MPGe ratings (city/highway/combined): 80/83/81
  • Range: 285 miles
  • Pros: Incredible refinement, crisp steering, smooth ride, good DC fast charging performance, comfortable seats, high-quality interior, user-friendly technology
  • Cons: Piano black trim attracts dust and fingerprints, subpar front cup holders
  • Estimated Base price: $76,000
  • As-tested price: $88,990 including $1,195 in destination fees
Written by Craig Cole

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