The Volkswagen Group cousins that share this platform are an oddly hit-and-miss bunch, but there is enough substance about the Q8 50 TDI to ensure a favourable, if not quite glowing, road-test verdict.
One tester described the design as ‘by the numbers’, but the consensus is that this is still the most successful attempt at a striking coupé-SUV yet. Its design brings practical limitations, but this is a capacious and refined cruiser whose frugal, mellifluous diesel powertrain is as welcome during long journeys as the sophisticated interior. Those in the market for a high-riding car but without the utilitarian connotations could do far worse than this.
And yet we can’t help feeling there’s more to come from the Q8, whose remit is to offer all of the above but with a hearty hit of driver involvement thrown in. The agility and composure evident here leave it crying out for more power – and character – than this engine can summon, and perhaps a more playful makeover for the software that governs the quattro driveline. Time will tell how special the Q8 can become.