2024 Audi Q8 e-tron 55 Sportback Review

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron 55 Sportback Review
2024 Audi Q8 e-tron 55 Sportback

Audi's first proper EV in Australia was just called e-tron when it first launched a few years back. But Audi's ever-evolving naming scheme – and growing EV range – has seen the addition of the Q8 badge.

It's an interesting play given that there is a whole range of Q8s that aren't the same car as this one. The "other" Q8s – some of which are reviewed here, one or two of them rather gleefully – feature diesel and petrol V6s and V8s.

Still, it stops the numbering system getting completely out of whack and one assumes the next generation will be all of a piece.

How much is the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron 55 and what do I get?

There are two Q8 e-trons on offer and thankfully there isn't a plethora of powertrains to explain. Basically, there's the SUV which is a more sensible shoes straight-up-and down SUV body with a good-sized boot. That one is $153,900 before on-roads.

For that you get 20-inch alloys, adaptive air suspension, auto LED headlights, auto wipers heated and folding rear vision mirrors, power tailgate with gesture control (foot waving), interior ambient lighting package, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, head-up display, 12.3-inch digital dashboard, Audi connect plus, in-built sat nav, DAB digital radio, 10-speaker sound, around-view cameras and a storage package.

That seems like a fair bit. However...

...and annoyingly, Matrix LEDs are not part of the package, and Audi isn't too shy to charge you a further $3300. Less annoyingly, the camera-based rear vision mirrors aren't standard and probably not worth $3500. I know where I'd rather spend that kind of cash and it's on an incredible set of headlights.

Then there's the inevitable Sportback variant with the swoopy rear end and therefore a smaller boot for $165,900. Added to the SUV you get the S-Line styling package, 21-inch alloys, Valcona leather on the front seats, four-zone climate control and storage and luggage package.

Useful additions but they're all cosmetic or convenience, presumably to make up for the smaller boot. I think it looks pretty good apart from that chintzy, buck-toothed silver grille that should be blacked-out at your earliest convenience please and thank you.

The test car included the 22kW charging package, a B&O branded 3D sound system and metallic paint (Plasma Blue), taking the before on-roads total to $176,850.

Entertainment and Connectivity

The optional B&O 16-speaker system is hooked up to Audi's excellent MMI system which features DAB digital radio, some basic stats for your EV data brain and Audi Connect Plus.

The sound is quite rich in the big cabin, so it seems like a decent system. As ever, I add the disclaimer that I am not an audiophile, so your mileage there will obviously vary.

Connect Plus uses an on-board SIM card to talk turkey to the navigation system, to bring you all sorts of information such as charging stations, servos, toilets and even restaurants. It's all pretty clever and was a long time coming to Australia. It doesn't need data for the sat nav to work, but the other stuff does, so you won't be stranded if you've strayed too far from coverage.

You can also control the car from an app on your phone. You can turn on the climate control, lock and unlock as well as find out where it is if you've lent it to someone or you've forgotten where you parked as well as send sat nav instructions.

Android Auto is via USB and Apple CarPlay is wireless. The latter looks fantastic splashed across the big screen so one imagines Android Auto is similarly lovely.

The wireless charging pad is quite clever - it has a little sprung lever to hold the phone against the Qi pad. My only complaint is that a phone in a cover gets pretty hot.


The Q8 e-tron ships with eight airbags, forward AEB, reverse AEB, lane guidance, blind-spot monitoring, exit warning, front and rear parking sensors, around-view cameras, collision avoidance and reverse-cross traffic alert.

The e-tron as it was known then scored five ANCAP stars in 2019 but it's unlikely to hold on to that score without a front centre airbag.

The forward AEB works at up to 250km/h, has pedestrian and cyclist detection up to 85km/h and will try and stop you turning across oncoming traffic it thinks you will hit.

All the systems behaved pretty well and as with most German-engineered cars, the lane-keep wasn't pushy or overbearing.

Battery and Charging

Battery size: 114kWh (gross)
Max charging speed: 170kW
AC charging speed: 7.2kW
Fastest 10-80% charge: 31 minutes @ 170kWh

The left-hand side AC-onlt charger.

A fair bit happened between e-tron becoming Q8 e-tron. The battery went from 95kW to 114kW, which is a hefty jump. Faster charging is now available too, stepping up from 150kW to 170kW on the CCS2 DC charger on the right-hand side of the car.

Interestingly – and cleverly – the Q8 e-tron has a second AC-only charger on the left-hand side of the car, which makes it a bit easier to charge in tight garages. I'm not sure the weird electrically-operated flap cover is necessary but it's fun to use.

Audi supplies a six-year Chargefox subscription with each Q8 e-tron, which is might fine if you live or work near a Chargefox site and even better if you, you know, it's a working site.

I'm not bitter.

AC charging works at up to 7.2kW so an overnight charge at home is going to be close to 30 hours from dead. A wallbox will halve that and Audi will cheerfully flog you one of those to step you up to 11kW charging.

A 22kW charger will get you down to closer to six hours as long as you have the 22kW package.

At 170kW you'll be in good shape to do a more sensible 10-80 percent charge in about 35-40 minutes, if you can extract that performance from the charger. It's not the fastest gun in the west but honestly, you'll struggle to find a working 150kW charger anyway.

Energy use

Claimed range: 454km (WLTP)
Claimed consumption: 25.6kWh/100km

Consumption on test: 21.5kWh/100km
Mileage on test: 372km
Possible range: 460km

I didn't end up needing to charge, which is nice but it meant I didn't get to test the charge performance. Over the week I had the Q8 e-tron I covered 372km using 80 percent of the 114kWh battery's charge. That translates to a much better than expected overall usage of 21.5kW/100km.

This included a 250km round trip from home to Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains. That means 70-odd km on the M4 at around 100km/h, lots of time at 80km/h in tunnels and arterial roads and the long climb to Katoomba.

Of course that means the drive home means a lot of recharging going down the mountains, but does demonstrate the effectiveness of the energy regeneration and the possibly pessimistic claimed consumption figure.

It's still, high, though, with most machines landing under the 20kWh/100km figure which I think you could equate roughly to 10L/100km in a petrol car. At a conceptual level, at least. I think the only car at this level not to get under 20kWh/100km reliably is the poor, under-loved Jaguar I-Pace.

If you're charging at the going 50kWh rate (60c/kW), 21.5kWh/100km means you're paying $12.90 to cover that distance.

A V6 petrol-engined Q8 would cost about double that. If you got closer to the claimed Q8 e-tron consumption figure, you're still saving money at $15.36 to cover 100km. With free charging, well, there you are. It's free even if the time spent at the charging station is not.


Warranty: Five years/unlimited km
Battery warranty: eight years/160,000km
Roadside assist: six years

Audi offers a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which is substantially better than what was on offer when the Q8 first launched as the e-tron. Servicing is also free for the first three services which are every two years or 30,000km.

Two years is too long between services in my humble opinion, that's a lot of glass and metal (over 2500kg) going unchecked. But from a cost perspective, the servicing is free, so no arguments there, even if the car isn't the cheapest.

Like its compatriot BMW, Audi offers a free unlimited Chargefox subscription but goes longer at six years. So as I said before, if you're near a (working) Chargefox point, you're in great shape.

You don't get any incentives in any state for a car at this price point.


Gosh this is a lovely thing to get around in. You always know it's a chunky boi, but it's just so comfortable. The credit for that goes first to the adaptive air suspension.

Even riding on 21-inch alloys, the air suspension smooths out most of everything unless you're in Dynamic mode, and even then, you're still in good shape. It also drops ride height at speed as well as stiffening up in Dynamic and there are various settings, including towing, to make full use of the bags controlling the body.

The driving position is really very nice indeed, and I am an absurdly huge fan of the shifter.

It doesn't actually move like a traditional shifter – yes I know this is hardy revolutionary – but you select by thumbing the silver section on the end forward or backward.

When you're being lazy and cruising, you can rest your hand comfortably on the leather pad. And pretend you're throttling up a fighter jet or something.


Motors: 150kW/330Nm front and rear
Total power: 300kW
Total torque: 660Nm
0-100km/h: 5.6 sec (claimed)

Which, if I'm honest, it feels like when you floor the throttle. There's a boost mode which I worked out after shooting the video (coming soon) where you shift into Sport mode on the transmission and you get a little more kick.

Honestly, it's not a lot more and it really is quite quick enough without it. The massive torque means easy overtaking. The all-wheel drive means you can punch out into fast-moving traffic with ease and not have to worry about turbo lag or a transmission catching up with your intentions.

It's a lovely thing to drive.

Redline Recommendation

I really liked the e-tron when I first drove it and I really like the Q8 e-tron.

It's a lot of money - that's a bit of a problem. It is a bit hard on the juice - less of a problem if you bash around town, more of a problem if you're out on the open road.

The crux of the issue is that the Q8 e-tron is based on the MLB platform meaning it's not a ground-up EV platform. That means it's heavier than a car like this needs to be and there just aren't enough ways around having to load it up with a big heavy battery.

But as I keep saying, it's lovely. It's punchy, supremely comfortable and perfectly nice to get along with. There are other cars at this price point, but few so elegant (silver schnozz excepted).

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