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2022 Audi SQ8 Singapore Review

The Audi SQ8 is a performance SUV that sits below the Audi RSQ8, and goes up against other full size luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe, as well as the Porsche Cayenne coupe. Equipped with all wheel driving, rear wheel steering, adaptive air suspension, and active roll stabilisation, the Audi SQ8 boasts a top speed of 250km/h and is extremely well specified for its price.

Practical Despite its Focus on Performance

When you look at how the Q7 and Q8 range of cars stack up against each other, it is pretty clear that the 7-seat Q7 was built with practicality in mind, while the Q8 provides consumers with something a little more aesthetically dynamic. Although the SQ7 does come with the same power unit as the SQ8 and actually have the same power output and 0-100km/h specs, the SQ8 does feel a bit sportier to drive despite the fact that it is actually slightly heavier than the SQ7.

That said, for a sporty looking coupe styled SUV, the SQ8 is remarkably practical, which means that as long as you don't have strict requirements for 7 seats, the SQ8 is one of those rare cars that provide consumers with the best of both worlds - a sporty aesthetic and practicality. For starters, the SQ8 is extremely well built, and honestly feels like a really good example of how Audi are edging out BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of build quality in this current generation of cars.

Legroom for rear passengers is also very good, with the added bonus of individually zoned air conditioning settings in the rear, complete with additional b-pillar air vents. Headroom is also decent despite a sloping roofline. In the back, the SQ8 is equipped with an admirable 605L of boot space, which can be toggled by 10cm due to adjustable sliding rear seats.

Impressive Performance

For many, the SQ8 can be seen as sort of a half priced Lamborghini Urus, and I think there is more good than bad in that sentiment. The 4.0 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine is potent, and pushes out what seems to be an endless amount of torque, and sounds pretty good doing so at that. It is impressive if you think about how the SQ8 manages 770Nm of torque and a 0-100km/h time of 4.1 seconds with a kerb weight of 2270kg. Not bad for a big boy.

With such impressive specs, one is easily tempted into chucking the SQ8 into a corner or to be a little more aggressive on the throttle. Truth is, the SQ8 does it's best work as a luxury sports tourer, with drivers sure to be rewarded on longer drives and wider open roads where the SQ8 has a chance to stretch its legs, and drag out those revs through its 8 speed torque converter, which gives the car a more relaxed feel. It's less quick than the 7 speed S-tronic for sure - but it feels more appropriate for this car, giving the SQ8 the feeling of a freight train on the highway.

Value for Money

Being the middle child in any car lineup is always a tough position to be in, but the SQ8 does a wonderful job at slotting in between the RSQ8 and the civilian specced Q8 mild hybrid. There seems to have been quite a bit of thought into what is important for this car and the people who might buy it, which translates to good cost allocation into the features and things that really matter.

For starters, the SQ8 has been fitted with a proper performance engine, along with necessary features to manage that power, such as adaptive suspension that lowers the car when in dynamic mode. There are also creature comforts befitting a luxury SUV like the SQ8 such as ventilated seats and massage seats. However, Audi haven't wasted time on less important features like electronic rear seat adjustment, which is manually controlled, and have probably helped the SQ8 spiral out of control into an options nightmare. For that reason, the SQ8, though not a cheap car, feels like something that is quite value for money in its segment.

Who Will it Appeal to?

Due to the thoughtful and practical approach in terms of specifications, I think the SQ8 makes a great alternative for those who are looking at other luxury SUVs on the market that share similar performance figures to the SQ8, but are way more expensive due to luxury features that are nice to have, but do not necessarily make a car. A good example of this would be the Land Rover Range Rover, which is fancier to own, costs quite a bit more money, but doesn't necessarily outperform the SQ8. The SQ8 is also similarly priced to the GLE coupe, but provides more on-paper performance.


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