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The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron earns a spot in my books as the best family SUV you can currently purchase.

Let me explain.

I recently tested the new Q8 e-tron, formerly just the e-tron, for a week. My four-year-old actually fell asleep(!) on two separate occasions in the back seat, undoubtedly thanks to the e-tron’s supremely quiet and supple ride. Any car that causes a small kid to fall asleep, especially one that talks incessantly for 16 hours a day regardless of whether she actually has anything of importance to utter, immediately jumps to the top of the rankings. She rides in the back of a new car nearly every week, and this kind of thing just doesn’t happen.

Some of my fellow parents may not need to hear more. Sure, the Q8 e-tron will only seat five, so if you have more than a couple of kiddos it’s not ideal. It’s spacious for its class but lacks space you might need from a minivan or larger SUV with a larger brood. But if it makes the kiddos sleep on a car journey, we’ll make it work, I can hear you say.

Still, it’s better to review all the characteristics of the 2024 Q8 e-tron.

The most notable update, besides “Q8” on the nameplate, is a new 106-kWh battery pack, which significantly ups the EV SUV’s range. All models are now rated for between 285-300 miles of range, a significant jump from the rather paltry 226 miles offered on 2023 models. Max DC charging power increases from 150kW to 170kW. Audi claims at max rate the Q8 e-tron will recharge from 10 to 80 percent in 31 minutes.

There’s also some styling tweaks, including a revised front fascia and grille and new wheel designs.

Inside remains relatively unchanged. As such, the Q8 e-tron’s cabin will be familiar to anyone making the EV switch from a combustion Q8.

The e-Tron’s larger battery pack pairs with two electric motors on each axle. Total output is 355 horsepower and 414 lb.-ft. of torque, but a boost mode increases those figures to 402 and 490, respectively, in short bursts.

The Q8 e-tron isn’t particularly quick in the EV SUV class, but it’s plenty quick for everyday needs. Acceleration is sprightly, as one expects of an EV. It zips through town, and its giddy up from 55 to 75 mph is impressive.

The e-tron’s overall feel and handling is notable, as well. The steering ratio is quickened over the prior model, providing more direct and responsive performance. Brake feel is excellent no matter what regenerative braking setting is used. One niggle, however, is there’s no one-pedal drive mode. Still, pedal modulation is seamless, even during the switch from regenerative to friction stopping power.

Corner carving wasn’t on the menu much in my time behind the wheel. I did have a wee one in the back, remember. The Q8 e-tron felt composed and taut around bends when I was flying solo, though.

Interior view of the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron
2024 Audi Q8 e-tron | Audi

The cabin provides plenty of passenger space for those in either row. My daughter’s bulky car seat didn’t infringe on front passenger room, for instance. The seats are also quite comfortable and supportive.

The battery pack, er, packaging, also provides a convenient flat floor. Out back there’s 28.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Opting for the Sportback model cuts this figure to 27 cubes, and of course there’s less rear headroom. For reference, the Tesla Model Y offers 30.2 cubic feet.

The dash is dominated by Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, featuring three digital displays — one for the gauge cluster, climate controls and infotainment system, each. It’s a little too screen-heavy for some tastes, including mine, but controlling the latter two is relatively intuitive, and the resolution of the displays is fantastic.

Still, the stars of the show are just how well the Q8 e-tron soaks up road imperfections and mutes outside noise.

The standard adaptive air suspension irons out road lumps with vigor. It’s as if the suspension is angry the pavement was attempting to discomfort those inside the cabin. There is a rather aggressive pavement transition close to my home, and I’ve simply come to expect a jolt whenever I come across it. In the e-tron, I only noticed it because I knew it was there.  

Better still for a father who no longer understands the concept of silence, the Q8 e-tron’s cabin is whisper quiet. Wind, road and tire noise are barely a murmur. There’s no pervasive EV whine, and you can be fooled into thinking all passing cars were silently operating all-electrics as well.

Couple the muted cabin with the sublime ride quality and the recipe is nap-inducing for a four-year-old. And that, above anything else, is why the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron is a winner in my books.