Given the Q8’s positioning as a flagship offering within Audi’s Q-series of cars, you may expect the SUV’s cabin to offer something a little extra in terms of visual or material wow factor over and above its maker’s other large vehicles.

Instead, Audi has given the Q8 a cabin that looks and feels pretty much exactly the same as that of the A7 Sportback we road-tested earlier this year, albeit suitably enlarged to SUV-size proportions.

Simon Davis

Simon Davis

Road tester
Sports seats offer plenty of support and adjustability, although we’d give the hospital furniture-style grey leather upholstery a miss

That Russian doll-style approach doesn’t mean the Q8 is left wanting in terms of its fit, finish or practicality, though. Brushed metal and gloss-black panelling are used liberally through the big Audi’s interior (little surprise there), crafting an ambience that’s entirely upmarket and desirable if also a little sober and clinical.

Taking up a sizeable amount of dashboard fascia real estate is Audi’s dual-screen MMI infotainment system, which comprises a primary 10.2in screen above a smaller 8.6in unit.

The upper screen controls all of the Q8’s features and functions, such as the satellite navigation, vehicle settings and telephone connectivity, while the lower screen is intended to display those features you interact with most often, such as the air conditioning, radio and seat heating.

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While these are technically touchscreens, mere contact with the screen won’t necessarily warrant a reaction; instead, you need to press down rather firmly, almost as if you were using the touchpad on a laptop computer.

The responsiveness of the software is excellent, although having to press down on the screen so hard can take some getting used to. The quality of the graphics, meanwhile, is top-notch and entirely befitting of a flagship SUV.

While the Bang & Olufsen sound system (£1150) was impressive, the standard offering is unlikely to be sub-par. You could probably make do without the optional kit.

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit also replaces traditional analogue instrument dials as standard. By incorporating the vast majority of vehicle controls within the twin screens, physical dials and buttons are scarce, the result lending the Q8 an interior that feels considerably more minimal than that of a Porsche Cayenne or Mercedes-Benz GLE.

As for practicality, any concerns that the coupé-style roofline will eat into rear head space can be dismissed, because there’s an abundance of room in the back even for taller passengers. As for rear leg room, the Audi curiously doesn’t offer quite as much as the Cayenne despite its lengthier wheelbase.

We measured a typical rear leg room figure of 790mm for the Porsche, while the Audi came in at a still abundant 750mm. The Range Rover Sport SVR we measured back in 2015 managed 740mm. Boot volume, meanwhile, comes in at a capacious 605 litres.

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