The Q8 is Audi’s coupe SUV offering, and it’s only been around for a few years.
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In that short time, however, it’s proven to be a strong competitor in its class, offering a luxe ride while combining strong handling with the ideal amount of cargo space.
If you’re considering buying a used Q8, we’ve done a complete overview of all previous model years in terms of reliability and features.
Read below for our advice on the best and worst Q8 years.
The Best And Worst Years For The Audi Q8 Are:
The Q8 is still a relatively new offering, so it’s harder to make a judgment call on the vehicle’s long-term reliability. The model years that seem most promising, however, are 2020 and 2022. You’ll want to avoid those from 2019 and 2021, given that they’ve already been known to have more defects.
What Audi Q8 Years Are The Most Reliable?
The year or two following a model’s debut is usually less troublesome than the first one, and this definitely holds true for the Q8.
The 2020 model has seen only eight complaints, a relatively low number over four years, compared to more than fifty in the previous year.
Aside from great reliability, the 2020 model checks many other boxes as well.
While the Q7 model tends to be popular, you won’t find cramped backseats here – rear passengers will have plenty of legroom and headspace, even with the lower roof.
There’s also still plenty of room in the liftback for more cargo, and the rear seats fold down for optimal storage options.
Even while being useful, the Q8 still feels luxurious, providing the quiet, smooth ride that Audi is known for.
That’s also why Audis are popular for road trips.
Reviews also note that the Q8 looks impressively sporty, even though it may not exactly handle like a racing vehicle.
But Audi’s design ethos is clear, and the model will certainly stand out in most parking lots.
Car and Driver even gave the 2020 model an 8 out of 10, the site’s highest rating for the Q8 in recent years, stating that it blended sportiness and practicality with ease.
The main drawbacks of the Q8 for this year are its lack of visibility in the rear, as well as its fairly high price. But shopping for used models can at least help cut back on one of these.
The 2020 model is also popular for leasing. We have a good overview here of what Audi models you can lease.
Audi’s reliability seems to alternate years.
The 2022 model has, of course, only been on the road for a little under two years, but it’s seen zero NHTSA complaints in that span.
It’s also seen two recalls, the same rearview back-up camera problems that originated with the 2021 version and extended into 2022.
Other than that, however, the model year’s record is clear, and it still maintains the highest safety rating from NHTSA.
Owners also give it a strong 4.2 out of 5 stars on Edmunds, saying that they love the extra backseat room and relaxing ride for longer road trips. Others praise it for its power-backed engine and attractive exterior styling.
U.S. News and World Report also ranks the 2022 Q8 third out of twenty-three vehicles in their “Luxury Midsize SUV” category.
They attribute the ranking to its composed handling – it succeeds in riding more like a car than an SUV – along with high-quality cabin design and materials.
The 2022 model doesn’t differ too much from the 2020 one, aside from an upgraded infotainment system and a few extra features that became standard.
The main benefit of purchasing the later model will be fewer miles and a longer period left under warranty, so make sure to factor that in if you’re deciding between the two models.
What Audi Q8 Years Should You Avoid?
2019 holds the record high number of complaints for all Q8 models, with 52 currently reported on the NHTSA site.
The top issues tend to be the powertrain and propulsion system, with 33 complaints in total.
The vehicle will sometimes experience a lag between two and five seconds when accelerating, taking a delayed response to shift up gears.
Drivers report that this can be a scary issue, particularly when trying to accelerate quickly from a full stop.
Depressing the accelerator will result in no response for a few seconds, then the car will suddenly shoot forward.
In other instances, the vehicle will suddenly power down for a few seconds before starting back up, a problem which seems to occur randomly. While driving, the vehicle will suddenly lose power, leaving the driver unable to control the car.
While Audi has issued a campaign regarding the shutdowns, many owners are disappointed that there hasn’t been an official recall, considering the widespread nature of the problem.
Electrical system issues were also common, with many drivers reporting a “Electrical System Malfunction” warning signal and loss of power to various electrical components.
As the debut Q8 model, it’s understandable that the 2019 year may have a few problems to straighten out, but this is one to avoid if you can.
Even though it’s only a couple years old, the 2021 Q8 model has already received five official recalls, some of which have been pretty significant.
More than 170,000 vehicles were recalled due to potential inoperability of the rearview back-up camera. Considering the Q8’s large size and blind spots, this problem was deemed to be a real safety hazard.
Volvo has also released recalls regarding potential fuel pump failure, rear axle misalignment, and seatbelt locking malfunctions.
All recalls affected more than 30,000 vehicles.
A few drivers have also complained of leaking sunroofs, an issue that has seen previous occurrences in other Audi SUV models.
The water damage from the leaks can lead to electrical problems, and even prevent the airbags from engaging, so it’s not simply an annoying cosmetic problem.
The last problem that was brought up in the complaints was a total shut-off of the vehicle while driving, another problem that’s often experienced by Audis.
The occurrence is sometimes known as “limp mode”, which is a safety feature triggered when a problem is sensed with the engine and propulsion system.
The feature can sometimes be triggered by a false alarm, however, leading to a potential safety hazard in itself.
Currently, the vehicle’s number of NHTSA complaints is even with its number of recalls, which suggests that Audi is catching them early and recalling these defects before they’ve done much damage.
But the high number of recalls so early in the 2021’s lifespan still doesn’t bode well for the model’s future reliability, so it still earns a spot on our list of Q8s to avoid.
What Are Some Typical Problems With The Audi Q8 Models?
Here are some of the most common issues seen over the five years of Audi Q8 models:
- Lags when accelerator is pressed
- Sudden power shutdowns while driving
- Fuel pump failure
- Rear camera backup failure
Recalls have been issued that address several of these problems, including the backup camera and fuel pump failure.
Audi’s response on the first two has been less satisfactory, though it can certainly be argued that they also pose a significant safety threat.
Overall, the Q8 is a great addition to the Audi SUV lineup, and can definitely make a great pre-owned vehicle.
If you’re looking for a sporty, practical, and beautifully-designed model and are willing to sacrifice the third-row seats which are offered on the similar Q7, the Q8 will probably be a dream.
And while the mode’s long-term reliability has yet to be proven, choosing one of our recommended model years can improve your chances of long-lasting value from your Q8.
Go Back to the overview of best and worst year per Audi model.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.