Audi SQ7 and SQ8 TFSI models arrive in Australia

Are the new Audi SQ7 and SQ8 any good

Audi SQ7 and SQ8 – Audi have just released their performance SUV twins the SQ7 and SQ8. Twins but not identical

2023 Audi SQ7 and SQ8 range

The SQ8 is a five seat version, that sits a little lower and wider than the seven seat SQ7. Both are beautifully designed with levels of luxury, comfort and safety features that exceed buyers wants and needs.

Powered now by the 4.0L TFSI twin Turbo V8 petrol engine that produces 373 kW of power and 770 Nm of torque. They will run from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds. Top speed is governed at 250kmh.


There is of course Audi famous Quattro AWD system, a robust 8 speed Tiptronic transmission as well as dynamic all-wheel steering and adaptive sport air suspension as standard

For the true enthusiasts there are options, including a Dynamic pack that includes the quattro sport differential and electromechanical active roll stabilisation.

Oh and they are superb to drive as well with linear smooth acceleration and an engine burble that sends the pulse racing.

Priced from $164,100* plus options and the usual costs, they are actually really good value compared to what you would have to pay for their equals.

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Rob Fraser

2019 Audi Q8. massage seats

What is good?

What is not so good?

  • Overall ambience/ Stylish looks
  • Engine performance and economy
  • Balanced ride/handling
  • Can get pricey with options packs
  • Not a lot of small storage places
  • Not fussed on the transmission lever

2023 Audi SQ8 4.0L TFSI V8 engine


Audi SQ7 and SQ8

Model Price$164,100 SQ7 $168,800 SQ8  MLP*
Engine4.0L V8 TFSI Bi Turbo Petrol
DrivetrainQuattro AWD 8Sp Tiptronic
Power373kW @ 5,500rpm
Torque770Nm @ 2,000 – 4,000rpm
Safety5 Star ANCAP (Q8 Tested 2019)
CO2 Emissions279 g/km Euro 6
Economy ADR/ Capacity12.2L/100km / TBC on test / 85L
0-100kmh/Top Speed4.1 Secs / 250 kmh
Servicing12 MThs / 15,000km Fixed price service
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km with 5 Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

2023 Audi virtual cockpit

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel9
Ride and Handling10
Fit for Purpose9
Style / appeal10
Technology / connectivity9
Value for Money9

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2023 Audi SQ8 profile

Previous Audi Q8 articles

2023 Audi SQ7 profile

Some more Audi Q7 articles 

More Audi SQ8 and SQ7 details

Audi has returned to the petrol TFSI engine for their performance SUV twins. The SQ7 and SQ8 have levels of performance, ride and handling that have proven so popular with Australian buyers. Throw in a sporty exterior design and you can see why.

2023 Audi SQ8 front quarter

What do the SQ7 and SQ8 look like?

Not a lot different from before. There are subtle changes but to be honest unless you are an aficionado, they may be hard to pick.

The most noticeable feature is the Audi single frame grill that has become a benchmark design feature. These have vertical slats rather than the honeycomb style on other Audi vehicles. It looks cleaner.

Below and to the side are large air vents that not only look stylish but are incredibly functional.

2023 Audi SQ8 front matrix headlights

Of course they have the stunning LED Matrix auto headlights. They come standard with 22 inch alloy wheels and high performance red brake calipers. There is a $19,500 odd ceramic brake option for those that just have to have the best. These, I’m told are the worlds biggest production brakes on a vehicle.

Note there is a 23 inch alloy wheel as an option.

The vehicles we drove all had the black exterior option package that includes:

  • Black highlight in surrounds of the single frame grill, lower side door sills
  • Black front and rear bumpers and window surrounds, black mirror caps.
  • On the SQ7, black roof rails to match.

Other features are:

  • Rear window privacy glass,
  • Full vehicle width rear light strip,
  • dynamic rear indicators,
  • Kick opening function for boot lid,
  • Lower rear air diffuser with honeycomb mesh,
  • Quad oval tail pipes,
  • Lightweight bonnet with self-supporting dual struts,
  • panoramic sunroof,
  • heated and folding side mirrors,
  • power assisted door closure and
  • HD matrix with laser light on SQ7.

2023 Audi SQ8 interior front

What are they like inside?

Inside they exude a sumptuous and sporty ambience.

Front S sport seats feature Valcona leather upholstery with diamond patterned contrasting stitching. They are heated and ventilated, electronically adjustable (and with driver memory for the SQ8) with 4-way lumber support included.

Oh and by the way there is a massage function as well as part of the sensory package.

Most people that know me know that I am larger than the average bear. These are perhaps the most comfortable seats in the segment.

In front of the driver is the flat bottomed ‘S’ heated leather steering wheel. It frames the Audi virtual cockpit (with performance mode) and sits in the hands perfectly. The perforated hand grip sections add to the overall feel and comfort.

Full width carbon inlay on the dash adds to the ambience.

2023 Audi SQ8 rear seats

Rear seats (middle rows in the SQ7) are again comfortable, with heated outer seats and reasonable leg room.

Third row in the SQ7 are tight and definitely in the smaller child occasionally category.

Boot space is cavernous in both. With the adaptive air suspension you can lower the load height at the push of a button to make it easier.

One important thing to note is that both vehicles can be optioned with a full size spare wheel. You just lose a minor bit of the depth of the boot space on the SQ8 and the third row seats on the SQ7, as the floor has to be raised to accommodate. However that is something I would absolutely do, as would most people that have ever been caught with a flat tyre and a boot full of luggage.

To add to the overall interior ambience there is an ambient lighting package as well as illuminated door sill trims with aluminium inlay and S emblem.

2023 Audi SQ8 wireless apple carplay

Infotainment and connectivity.

Let me declare up front the haptic touch split screens are my favourite in the segment.

These are the 10.1-inch haptic touch MMI navigation plus screen and 8.6-inch haptic touch screen for vehicle functions.

Interestingly though the haptic functionality disappears when using Apple CarPlay. Something to do with Apples proprietary system.

The pair also features the Audi virtual cockpit, with a 12.3-inch high-resolution screen, Audi connect plus, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 17-speaker, 730 watt Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound system.

2023 Audi SQ7 sensory package sound system

Optional Sensory package $13,900

  • Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System – 23 loudspeakers with a total output of 1,920 watts
  • Dinamica headlining in black
  • Front seat massage function
  • Front and rear heated seats
  • Full leather package
  • Electric sunshades for the rear side windows, manual sunshade for the rear window
  • Air quality package:
    • Includes ioniser and perfume
    • Two high-quality perfumes and available in four different intensities

2023 Audi SQ8 4.0L TFSI V8 engine

Audi SQ8 and SQ7 Engine and Drivetrain

The previous model’s 4.0L V8 Twin Turbo diesel engine was smooth, powerful and economical. So why change. Well the new engine is on balance, better. It’s that simple.

Both are now powered now by a 4.0 TFSI V8 petrol engine with twin turbochargers. Both have quattro permanent all-wheel drive with self-locking centre differential and a quick shifting 8 speed tiptronic transmission with hydraulic torque converter with lock up clutch.

Standard Quattro drive split is 60% rear and 40% front but can go to 85% rear and 70% front depending on driving conditions.

Power and torque figures are now 373kW and 770Nm. That’s more power but less torque than the V8 diesel.  The V8 diesel brought peak level in lower in the rpm range as you would expect, it was powerful and laidback.

The new V8 TFSI brings a certain amount of urgency to the performance characteristics.

2023 Audi SQ8 driving

Better performance

Where the previous model certainly got up and skirted along you always had the feeling you were pushing it to perform. It would rather lope along comfortably. The new TFSI simply delivers a smooth, linear surge and the 0-100kmh figure of 4.1 seconds, some 0.7 second faster shows that.

That word linear is the key here. It’s an uninterrupted surge of power that is just so smooth. The RSQ8 is faster yes, but it’s more brutal in delivery. Peak torque at 2000rpm means that the TFSI engine can also lope along comfortably as well.

You would have to drive them back to back to really notice the differences and I would happily have either the diesel or petrol V8.

Audi SQ8 exhaust note

Engine note

One thing to note (pun intended) is the delicious exhaust note, the burble that only a powerful V8 can bring. Outside it simply sings a deep throaty burble, inside, courtesy of a sound actuator the passengers can enjoy the music as well.

I have to admit to stopping and starting the engine more than a few times just to hear the exhaust burble. I’ve been told I need therapy, but that is my therapy.

The TFSI engine reduces weight by 95kg in the SQ8 and 120kg in the SQ7.

The only real major difference is the economy. The big diesel was frugal as well, the new V8 Petrol is frugal for a petrol performance engine, just not as much as the diesel. It is rated at 12.2L/100L. This is aided by the Cylinder on Demand (CoD) which deactivates four of the eight cylinders temporarily when the engine is not under load, allowing for greater efficiency while at cruising speeds.

Standard brakes are 400mm discs, with six piston calipers and the optional ceramic 420mm discs with 10 piston calipers. These do however provide an almost 50% reduction in unsprang weight.

Both SQ7 and SQ8 have adaptive air suspension sport – allows a sporty to comfortable suspension setting depending on drive select mode; vehicle height lowered by 15mm (at low level) compared with adaptive air suspension on normal Q7 and Q8 models.

2023 Audi SQ7 driving

What are the SQ twins like to drive?

In a word AWESOME.

It’s always a little sobering when you realise a 2.3T SUV can perform like these. Both have levels of grip that are stunning as well as dynamic roadholding that belies their bulk.

There is a difference between them though. A difference that is only noticeable when driven back to back, but there nonetheless.

The SQ7 has a smidge longer wheel base, a touch longer body (60mm), slightly narrower wheel track and (according to the Audi product guru’s) slightly different suspension settings. This all translates to a ride that absorbs the road irregularities just a little more than the SQ8.

We are talking marginal differences here but enough to be noticeable. Think along the lines that the SQ7 is the family wagon that has prodigious performance. The SQ8 is the Sports SUV.

The SQ8 has a slightly edgier ride and with a wider wheel track, sits slightly harder on the road. The road imperfections are more noticeable.

Different wheel and tyre options will also have marginal additional affects.

The progressive steering is speed sensitive as you would expect and provides direct response to driver inputs.

Point and it goes.

2020 Audi Q8 S Line 19 drive select 2

Audi drive select is also standard and allows the selection of various driving modes. It also adjusts the height by as much as 90mm difference depending on what drive mode the vehicle is in.

Once an option, the dynamic all-wheel steering and adaptive air suspension sport are now standard for the perfect balance between comfortable ride and dynamic performance.

All wheel steering at low speeds will turn the rear wheels in opposite direction to the front wheels by up to 5 degrees to reduce the turning circle by up to 1.1m. That’s significant.  The SQ8 has the same turning circle as a Q3.

Audi Sport differential

More dynamic options

For those looking to further enhance the dynamic ability of the two, a Dynamic Package at $10,900 is available, featuring quattro sport differential and electromechanical active roll stabilisation – a revolutionary technology that can be applied to each wheel and affords extraordinary body control for such a vehicle.

Sport differential can distribute torque between the left and right wheels. It does this by pushing more torque to the outside wheel in corners, which has the effect of pushing the car through the corner and dramatically reduces understeer.

If you are in oversteer, the torque will be pushed to the inside wheel, correcting the issue and stabilizing the vehicle.

Stunning technology. The real world everyday effect of these optional drive assist features is that the SQ models sit flat and simply go where you point them.

Audi Q8 reverse camera

SQ7 and SQ8 Safety

The new SQ7 and SQ8 TFSI boast an impressive line-up of the latest driver assistance and safety systems available.

Way too many to list here.

Advance features such as all-wheel steering and adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and traffic jam assist enhance the driving experience regardless of the conditions.

360 degree cameras with kerb view, front and rear parking sensors, assist in manoeuvring in tight spots.

With a full suite of safety systems from Audi pre-sense front and pre-sense rear, Audi active lane, side, and cross traffic assist all standard equipment, safety is a priority in both the SQ7 and SQ8 TFSI.


Audi Owner benefits

Like all new Audi vehicles delivered to Australian customers from January 1 2022, the SQ7 and SQ8 TFSI come with the peace-of-mind of a five-year warranty and five-year Audi Roadside Assist. Audi also provides a 12-year manufacturer warranty for bodywork against corrosion perforation for new vehicle.

Audi owners also receive a complementary membership during their warranty period to Audi Experience, Audi Australia’s bespoke loyalty program that offers access to exclusive national events, intimate Audi Ambassador experiences, and premium partner offers.

Further information on the program can be found at

Audi SQ7 and SQ8 TFSI customers can also purchase a comprehensive Audi five-year service plan package, priced at $4,100.

Two-year Audi Advantage packages can be purchased in addition, including full factory warranty, 2 years of scheduled servicing and 2 years of roadside assistance beyond the initial warranty period for a cost of $3,900 for SQ7, and $4,200 for SQ8 owners. These packages can be purchased back-to-back, giving owners the option to include the cost of warranty, servicing and roadside assistance for up to 9 years at the time of purchase.

2023 Audi SQ7 Haptic touch screens


The Audi SQ7 TFSI and SQ8 TFSI are available from Audi dealers now.

Audi SQ7 TFSI$164,100
Audi SQ8 TFSI$168,800

(*Manufacturer List Pricing [MLP] – excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges)

2023 Audi SQ7 rear

Audi SQ7 and SQ8 final thoughts.

I have never made any secret of my love affair with big fast SUVs.

The Audi SQ7 and SQ8 are right at the top of the pile jostling for position for the title of best. Others thereabouts are the Jaguar F Pace SVR  and the Alfa Stelvio Quadrifoglio amongst a few others

They have both over the years won many times, the OzRoamer COTY award for Sports SUV.

There is something so cathartic about powering along in a big sport SUV along a country road. The meandering hills stretching out in front of you and the landscape becoming a blur in your peripheral vision.

This is my happy place, where I am most at ease.

The Audi SQ7 and SQ8 take me to my happy place every time.

  • 9.2/10
    Rating - 9.2/10


I have never made any secret of my love affair with big fast SUVs.

The Audi SQ7 and SQ8 are right at the top of the pile jostling for position for the title of best.

There is something so cathartic about powering along in a big sport SUV along a country road. The meandering hills stretching out in front of you and the landscape becoming a blur in your peripheral vision.

This is my happy place, where I am most at ease.

The Audi SQ7 and SQ8 take me to my happy place every time.

About Rob Fraser 2500 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.