2024 Audi Q8 e-tron

For better or worse, Q8 e-tron is the nicest EV you can buy that doesn’t make a big deal about it
For better or worse, Q8 e-tron is the nicest EV you can buy that doesn’t make a big deal about it

by Nathan Leipsig | August 9, 2023


There are two camps of EVs: showy, and stealth. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and 6, Mercedes’ EQ line, and the BMW IX are flamboyantly electric, very visually distinct from their gasser counterparts, and lean hard into futurism. Then there’s the stealthy ones, where you wouldn’t necessarily know at a glance, like the Genesis Electrified GV70 and BMW i4. The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron falls very much into the latter camp, taking the crown of being, for better or worse, the nicest EV you can buy that doesn’t make a show about it.

New-ish for 2024, the Q8 e-tron sort of replaces what used to just be called the e-tron in Audi’s lineup. All their current and upcoming EVs incorporate the “e-tron” nomenclature in some capacity, so they sought to differentiate it by adding the Q8 moniker. Makes sense. Along with the new name, the Q8 also gets a mild facelift, incorporating a revised grille, sharper lighting, and new wheel options. While our tester is definitely a handsome and very distinctly Audi design, it may be a little too Audi, in that it looks like every other Audi. The new wheel designs add some nice visual pop to mix it up; the 22-inchers on tester look fantastic.


Also new for 2024 is a new, larger, liquid cooled battery pack. It’s a 114 kW unit, capped at 106 kW of effective charge. All EVs under the Volkswagen Group umbrella do this little act of pragmatism, locking out the top and bottom few percent of the battery in the name of improving long-term efficacy, as lithium ion cells really don’t like being maxed out or run dry. It’s good for some 460 kilometers of range, putting it in line with the class leaders like the Jaguar I-Pace and Cadillac Lyriq. The Q8 e-tron can also pick up 80 per cent of a charge in half an hour.

The Q8’s powertrain is fairly pragmatic too, opting for a smooth and controllable wave of power under full throttle, instead of replicating the feeling of being fired out of a cannon like some EVs. In my review of the Genesis Electrified GV70, I wondered if it was maybe too quick for its own good, and it seems the sensible peeps at Audi have agreed. With 402 horsepower on board, the Q8 e-tron is not even close to anything resembling slow, but if you’re expecting breathtaking, smack-you-into-your-seat acceleration, it isn’t here.

In lieu of manic motivation, the Q8 e-tron avoids the trap that some EVs fall into, struggling to manage their muscle and wandering around on the road. The Q8 is eminently stable at all times, and handles its heft admirably, feeling fairly well-balanced and confidence-inspiring, if not exciting. The standard air suspension deftly manages body motions and does a fantastic job isolating you from the worst parts of the road without entirely isolating you from the driving experience. It’s impressively comfortable, aided by double-pane glass on our Premium Package-equipped tester, lowering the noise floor to near-silence.

The Q8’s cabin is a nice, well-appointed place to be, if maybe a little too severe for my taste. Audi has leaned very hard into a tech-forward design ethos, employing a large dashboard and centre console, sculpted with angular shapes and lines, and with three large driver-centric displays. Our tester was draped in black Valcona leather seats, a black headliner, black carpeting, and only brushed metallic trim to break up the funeral garb. Some colour would go a long way to add some levity here, and it thankfully is available.

A panoramic moonroof adds natural light to the cabin, and visibility is surprisingly good, with the Q8 shape having a relatively low waistline, making for a fairly airy interior space. Infotainment is handled by Audi’s Digital Cockpit housed on three screens, with a 10.1-inch central display doing most of the heavy lifting, augmented by an 8.6-inch screen below handling climate and comfort, and a large, very customizable digital gauge cluster with a heads up display in front of the driver.

Its software looks great and displays beautifully, generally performing well, but it’s definitely one of the more complicated systems out there. It’s not counter-intuitive, but there’s a lot going on and it takes some getting used to, so it’s not particularly intuitive, either. I don’t love that there isn’t a “home” display, but that’s what the customizable cluster is for, and I appreciate the presence of physical controls for a lot of functions, including a blessed knob for volume, with side-to-side controls for changing stations & songs.

Of course there’s a comprehensive suite of driver assists, including but not limited to adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, speed limit control, lane-keep assist, self-parking, automatic emergency braking … the list goes on, and it will more or less go on entirely on its own, even parking for you when you get where you’re going. Auditory pleasure comes courtesy of a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, which is fantastic but not quite on the same level as some of the stunning systems we’ve seen from other competitors lately.

In conclusion, Audi’s rejuvenation of its original foray into the EV segment is a competent and attractive offering that’s so uniformly good at everything, that it kind of fails to make much of an impression — to me, at least. It does everything right, with a commodious and well-appointed cabin, reassuring safety and driving dynamics, subtle styling, and a great effective range. But the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron isn’t uniquely excellent at anything, either — our tester’s $114,140 price tag isn’t terribly expensive, but isn’t a terrific value, either. So, in the luxe EV SUV game, for all its modernity, the Q8 e-tron is the classic, distinctly German, and thoroughly sensible SUV, for better or worse.

See Also

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 SUV

2022 BMW iX xDrive50

2023 Range Rover Sport P440e PHEV

Vehicle Specs
Electric luxury crossover
Engine Size
Two asyncronous AC motors, 106 kW lithium-ion battery pack
Horsepower (at RPM)
Torque (lb-ft.)
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
458 km (max EV range)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Nathan Leipsig

Deputy Editor Nathan is a passionate enthusiast with a penchant for finding 80s and 90s European vehicles. He can typically be found messing about on his E28 5-series or on Kijiji looking for the next project. Current Toys: '23 Miata Club 6MT, '86 535i, '99 Beetle TDI 5MT