Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback review
Is the less practical but more stylish Sportback coupe variant of Audi's Q8 e-tron electric SUV worth the higher asking price?
- Classy interior
- Excellent refinement
- Big battery offers good range
- Expensive to buy
- Jaguar I-Pace better to drive
- Not as practical as standard SUV
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|50 e-tron Sportback||266-290 miles||9hrs 15mins (0-100%, 11kW)||28mins (10-80%, 150kW)|
|55 e-tron Sportback||313-342 miles||11hrs 30mins (0-100%, 11kW)||31mins (10-80%, 170kW)|
|SQ8 e-tron Sportback||290-295 miles||11hrs 30mins (0-100%, 11kW)||31mins (10-80%, 170kW)|
Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback verdict
Designed as a sleeker – but ultimately, less practical – alternative to the Audi Q8 e-tron SUV, the Sportback gets the same luxurious interior and a similarly composed driving experience. Thing is, it really isn’t that much less versatile than the conventional electric Q8, so if you like the looks and can justify the price hike, the updated Sportback is easy to recommend. Especially now it has the range and fast charging tech to match its effortless long-distance refinement.
Range details, specs and alternatives
The Audi e-tron was launched in 2019, at a time when big, luxurious, electric SUVs were few and far between. But since then, the market has been flooded with equally premium alternatives – cars like the BMW iX, Mercedes EQE SUV and forthcoming Volvo EX90.
Those new rivals quickly chipped away at the Audi e-tron’s competitive edge, so in late-2022, the German marque completely revamped its zero-emissions range-topper. As well as inheriting the ‘Q8’ moniker, Audi’s high-end EV was given a choice of bigger batteries, plus a subtly updated look and extra standard kit. With a starting price of less than £70,000, it even looks like reasonable value for money.
Alongside the standard Q8 e-tron, Audi also offers the Q8 e-tron Sportback – a sleeker, coupe-style SUV with a little less rear headroom and a slightly smaller boot. In reality, though, it’s one of the more practical cars of this type. The Sportback commands a premium of £2,500 across the Q8 range.
The lineup now kicks off with the Q8 50 e-tron Sportback, which gets a 95kWh battery and a range of up to 290 miles. In entry-level Sport spec you get 20-inch wheels, matrix LED lights, adaptive air suspension and a completely digital dashboard. S line costs a little more and brings 21-inch wheels, privacy glass and sportier styling, plus Valcona leather upholstery with ‘S’ logos.
Black Edition switches out much of the chrome trim for darker flashes, and swaps the S line’s graphite wheels for gloss black rims. As before, Vorsprung tops the range and leaves no option box unchecked. There’s 22-inch wheels, digital lights, soft-close doors and a panoramic roof, plus four-zone climate control, and even virtual door mirrors.
Each of these models is also available in Q8 55 e-tron spec, ushering in a larger 114kWh battery for up to 342 miles of range. The triple-motor SQ8 gets the same big battery, but range drops to just shy of 300 miles.
For a more detailed look at the Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIs the less practical but more stylish Sportback coupe variant of Audi's Q8 e-tron electric SUV worth the higher asking price?
- 2Range, battery & chargingUpdates to the Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback mean it now boasts a longer range and even faster charging
- 3Running costs & insuranceCharging at home is cheapest, but many Q8 e-tron Sportback buyers will want to make use of the car's 150-170kW rapid-charging capability
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback feels quite heavy and cumbersome to drive; it's relaxing, but not that much fun
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentIt's very hard to find fault with the Q8 e-tron Sportback's cabin – it feels beautifully built and there's loads of technology on offer
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Q8 e-tron Sportback is a big car, which means the compromises you have to make inside for that cool sloping roofline are minimal
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe Q8 e-tron is no longer a brand-new car, but Audi doesn’t have the best reputation for customer satisfaction