The Most Expensive Luxury Midsize SUV Isn’t Necessarily the Best

When shoppers look at luxury cars, they likely will expect them to be great cars that have great specs and are loaded with features, and they expect them to be expensive. As a general rule of thumb, car shoppers also know that the more expensive a car is, the more likely it is that it’s going to be a good vehicle. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case with luxury midsize SUVs, as the most expensive option may not be the best.

Front angle view of new silver 2023 Audi RS Q8, highlighting how much a fully loaded Q8 costs
2023 Audi RS Q8 | Audi

The 2023 Audi Q8 is going to be very expensive

Luxury cars aren’t going to be cheap, but they don’t have to be expensive either. And according to U.S. News, the 2023 Audi Q8 is currently the most expensive 2023 model in the luxury midsize SUV segment. The Audi starts at just under $72,000, and that makes its starting price tag much higher than most of its peers. 

Furthermore, not only is the Q8 more expensive than luxury SUVs from Asian automakers like Lexus and Acura, but it’s also more expensive than luxury SUVs from European luxury automakers, such as BMW and Mercedes. The BMW X5, for example, starts at under $62,000, while the Land Rover Defender starts at about $52,000. 

On top of that, the Q8’s max price is also among the highest in the segment. The Audi’s max price can be $123,000, which beats out the X5’s $110,000 max price and the Defender’s $115,000 max price. 

The 2023 Audi Q8 isn’t a bad SUV by any means, but it’s not the best

Overall though, the Q8 isn’t a bad car, according to U.S. News. It has an overall score of 8.0 out of 10, but that only makes it the eighth-best midsize luxury SUV. Like many other Audis, the Q8 is a great car in terms of how it drives and how comfortable it is. The Q8 starts with a 3.0-liter turbo V6 that gets 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and that’s more than enough for daily driving.

Audi offers two twin-turbo V8 options that boost the car’s output to over 500 hp, and they both make the car very fun to drive. The Q8 also handles well, and its interior is luxurious and loaded with features. Leather upholstery is standard, as well as two touch screens, one being 10.1-inch and the other being 8.6-inch.

There are two reasons why the Q8 ranks modestly though. The first is its price tag, as it’s significantly more expensive than its peers, but it’s not significantly better than them. The other is its fuel economy. The Q8 gets about 21 mpg combined with the standard engine, and that’s below average for the segment. 

These are the best luxury midsize SUVs on the market

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Is a 2023 Genesis GV80 Really Worth $17,000 More Than a Hyundai Palisade?

In comparison, U.S. News says two of the best midsize luxury SUVs from the 2023 model year are the BMW X5 and the Genesis GV80. The X5’s $62,000 price tag makes it $10,000 cheaper, and the GV80’s $55,000 price tag makes it about $17,000 cheaper. Both luxury SUVs have an overall score of 8.4 out of 10, and interestingly enough, they both have the same small issue.

Both BMW and Genesis offer third-row seats, but both third-row options are cramped. Other than that though, the X5 and the GV80 are great midsize luxury SUVs that can do what the Q8 can do, but at a cheaper price point. The X5 starts with a 335-hp engine, and it drives well while having a luxurious interior. Similarly, the GV80 starts with a 300-hp engine, and it also drives well and has a great interior.