Audi recently refreshed the styling of its large Q8 model. So how does it fare on the road to the forest?

THE new Q8 from Audi is basically a Q7 with a more sloping rear design which enhances its looks but reduces its boot capacity. The recent refresh concentrated mostly on redesigning the front and rear lights.

Prices start at £76,000, but the model tested here is a special Launch Edition priced at £86,795. Yes, that is indeed a lot of money. It comes with a lovely V6 diesel engine rated at 286 hp and has a pulling power of 442 ft-lb of torque. It weighs in at 2,160 kg but still reaches 60 mph in a quick 6.1 seconds and averages 33 mpg. It can tow a 3,500 kg braked trailer and holds 75 litres of diesel and 24 litres of AdBlue.

Quattro permanent all-wheel drive and self-locking centre differential are standard. The standard automatic gearbox has eight cogs and there is electromechanical progressive steering with speed-dependent power assistance.

Forestry Journal: The rear design reduces boot height compared to the Q7.The rear design reduces boot height compared to the Q7. (Image: FJ/EW)

Brakes are powerful, with 375 mm front discs and 350 mm rears.

It is a wide vehicle at 2,190 mm including mirrors, 2,992 mm long and not so high at 1,678 mm. Even though the boot height is restricted by the sloping rear door/window design it is still rated at a large 605 litres (1,755 litres with the rear seats folded down).

Standard wheels are 21 inch 285/45 R21, while this fancier model comes with 22-inch 285/40 R22. Servicing intervals are 19,000 miles or every two years, and the warranty is fairly standard at three years or 60,000 miles, which is not great compared to the likes of Kia or similar.

Forestry Journal: Plenty of piano black surfaces and LED screens. Plenty of piano black surfaces and LED screens. (Image: FJ/EW)

It is a lovely car to drive. It is very smooth and the suspension certainly irons out bumps in the road. It is quiet and the gearing is very tall, meaning the engine is relaxed at higher motorway speeds. The brakes are good and it handles bends very well indeed. 


The dashboard is a fairly busy place with screens and dials giving out plenty of information. This car is very well specified, costing £10,500 over the S Line model.

For your extra money you get various bits of black exterior paint enhancements (if that is your thing), flat-bottomed steering wheel, fancy stereo, head-up display where the vehicle’s speed is projected onto the windscreen in front of the driver, heated front and rear seats, four-zone climate control and numerous minor items.

The permanent four-wheel drive is welcome and gives the car great on-road capability where it is designed to be. It is a comfortable vehicle and one in which you could do high mileages with ease.