Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 Audi SQ8 Can ‘Party Hard’

If you have deep pockets, you may be looking for a ride that can provide power along with opulent comfort. There are several luxury SUVs buyers can pick from, but these SUVs don’t all offer the luxury and performance experience of the 2020 Audi SQ8. Here’s a look at what this SUV delivers.

The 2020 Audi SQ8

CNET’s Roadshow says, “The SQ8 is mighty comfortable, but man, it can party hard.” While it isn’t as powerful as the Audi RS Q8, the Audi SQ8 still offers plenty of power along with the luxury of the lower Audi Q8.

CNET points to multiple positives for this large luxury SUV: the performance of its twin-turbo engine, its smooth air suspension, and the great tech in the interior.

It did also point out a few negatives: it isn’t that fuel-efficient, its start-stop lurches a bit, and it’s pretty expensive. The EPA has rated the SQ8 for 15 MPG in the city and 21 MPG on the highway. That isn’t great, but it also isn’t a surprise in an SUV with a V8 engine.

The exterior design of the Audi SQ8 isn’t super flashy, although the interior is. The outside is set apart by a large SQ8 badge on the rear along with a set of oval tailpipes. There are 30.5 cubic feet of storage in the back, a good amount compared to the SQ8’s competitors.

The 2020 Audi SQ8’s powerful engine

The 2020 SQ8 brings a lot of power to the party. Its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, which generates 500 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque, creates a nice vibration of sound. CNET says “torque [is] available at nearly every opportunity and every throttle position.” The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. This powerful engine is an upgrade over the Q8’s engine, a 3.0-liter V6.

The SQ8 provides luxuriously smooth handling, thanks in part to its S-specific adaptive air suspension. Its different driving modes help it handle different conditions. There is also an available Sport Package that will add active roll bars, a sport rear differential, and red brake calipers.

Excellent comfort and technology

The Audi logo seen on the front grille of an SUV
The Audi logo on display on the grille of an SUV | CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

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While it’s great to drive, the SQ8 impresses the most on the interior. It features lots of luxury materials and premium finishes, from its piano black high-gloss surfaces to the silver trim and “seamless” vents. Carbon fiber or wood inlays are also available.

There are S sport front seats in red, black, or gray leather with quilted topstitching. CNET says they “look as comfortable as they actually feel.” Despite a sloped roofline, the SQ8 still has good visibility and plenty of headroom.

The 2020 SQ8 comes with great tech as well. The MMI Touch Response infotainment system won CNET’s Roadshow Shift Award for Cabin Tech of the Year when it came out last year. It boots up quickly, responds quickly, and is good at recognizing the finger touches used for handwriting recognition.

The SQ8 has a 10.1-inch screen with built-in haptic feedback. There is also an 8.6-inch screen below the large one, which is used for climate system and other controls. It works with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Virtual Cockpit has a 12.3-inch gauge screen and is a standard feature.

The technology features extend into the safety options. There are two trim levels, and both come standard with automatic emergency braking, automatic windshield wipers, automatic headlights, forward-collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

According to Car and Driver, adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode is also available, as are lane-keeping assist and a head-up display.

A pretty huge price tag for the 2020 Audi SQ8

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The 2020 SQ8 has a starting price of $89,995, including destination charges. The higher Prestige trim starts at $95,494. With added features the starting price can easily slide past $100,000. It’s $595 to have any exterior color aside from black or white. Carbon vector inlays in the interior are an extra $500. The towing package is $550, and the luxury package is $4,000.

While its price may be hard to swallow, the 2020 Audi SQ8 delivers luxury along with performance and handling.