Would You Get Audi’s New Q8 Over The E-Tron Or Go Full Electric?

We’re only a few days after Audi revealed their first-ever fully electric crossover in the e-tron, which now joins a new and growing category of vehicles that also includes the likes of the Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-PACE and even the Tesla Model X.

None of these models, including the e-tron, are the same size. What unites them both mechanically and in spirit is the fact that they all rely on fully-electric powertrains. It’s the way of the future.

Alas, we’re here to talk mostly about looks, which is where things could start getting a tiny bit confusing if you’re trying to decide between Audi’s brand new e-tron and the just as new Q8. Both models share roughly the same design language, albeit with more than enough minor differences, but also comparable dashboard designs with similar on-board tech.

Which one looks better?

Let’s forget for a moment that the e-tron offers you something the Q8 can’t and focus only on styling.

What may not be immediately evident from these images is the fact that the e-tron is smaller than the Q8. In fact, at 4,900 mm (193 in) long, 1,930 mm (76.3 in) wide and 1,666 mm (65.5 in) tall, the e-tron is roughly the same size as a Range Rover Velar, meaning it sits somewhere between a compact luxury SUV and a mid-size one – larger than a Q5, smaller than a Q7.

On a side note, I would argue that Audi were smart to position their all-electric crossover in this newly created sub-segment, as customers are more likely to pay large sums of money for cars that looks more imposing – as opposed to what Mercedes have done with the EQC, which is compact (premium) in size, like the GLC.

Of course, if you want space, the Q8 is still the better choice, measuring 4,986 mm (196 in) in length, 1,995 mm (78.5 in) in width and 1,705 mm (67.1 in) in height. You can also argue that the Q8 has a more dynamic appearance, sleeker headlights, a more fastback-like rear and even a slightly more sloped roof, despite being taller than the e-tron overall.

There’s no substitute for luxury

Because the Audi Q8 belongs to a more, let’s say, distinguished segment, its interior is a little more appealing than the e-tron’s. You might not even see it at first, but look close and aside from the differences in overall design, you can see better quality materials on the upper dashboard and center console.

On top of that, the Q8 has a more spacious cabin, which is always a plus in terms of both comfort and safety.

Now, what the Q8 doesn’t have is the e-tron’s fancy Virtual Mirror setup, which consists of small cameras replacing traditional mirrors, sending live images to a pair of displays embedded in the door panels. If you’re any sort of a tech geek, you have to admit, they’re pretty neat.

Also in the e-tron’s favor is the placement of the center console screens, which are slightly oriented towards the driver, unlike the ones in the Q8.

A rational verdict

Unlike with our Mercedes EQC vs GLC dilemma from a few weeks back, opting for the Audi e-tron over the Q8 really seems like the way to go. It’s not that much smaller than the Q8, it’s almost as luxurious and it’s fully-electric. With Audi having already announced that the e-tron will start from $74,800 in the U.S., it means it should also be similarly priced to the Q8, which in turn shouldn’t cost a lot more than its GLE Coupe and BMW X6 rivals.

Visually though, we might have to give this one to the Q8. What do you say?

 

  • salamOOn

    none of this, i dont like those interiors….

  • TheBelltower

    I have a visceral reaction to both of these… and it isn’t good. Whoever is doing Audi’s design needs to find another career. Everything is so messy. Fake vents and fake grilles should never be on an Audi. And fake exhaust tips on a gas vehicle is totally unacceptable. I’m hoping that Audi moves past this design language very quickly.

  • charlotteharry57

    I prefer the looks of the e-Tron, especially prefer the dash and rear. Amusing how Audi hides the fact that they really are the same vehicle. More from those overactive German stylists.

    • botornot387

      They are not the same. The etron is built on the C-BEV platform, and actually takes more from the Q5. The Q8 is built on the MLB platform and is cut from the Q7. They are not even the same size.

  • Thundersnow 463

    The bonus is that you get electric. Since when has that been a bonus?

    • Ronald Roman

      Since Al Gore, I would say…

    • Sébastien

      Since you can refill overnight for free?
      Or get more torque, or skip the oil change dance…

  • Hoe

    At least the e-tron does not look like being on steroids as the Q8

  • Jason Panamera

    Of course E-tron. Q8 is supposed to be SUV-coupe but it doesn’t look like that comparing to X6 and GLE.

    • botornot387

      That’s not a bad thing. The proportions on the X6 and GLE are dumpy comparatively. More so the GLE

  • Matt Teter

    The Q8 looks like the concept version of the E-Tron to me. If nothing had been said I would’ve thought they WERE the same car. I guess the doors on the Q8 DO look a bit longer [and better with frameless windows..].

    I vote E-Tron for exterior, mostly the headlights and rear end. The grille is hideous. Q8 for interior, but only just.

  • botornot387

    prefer the powertrain on the etron, however, based on looks alone, would take the Q8. I love how imposing it looks, and love the total package, especially spec’ed out in the blue with black optics. Honestly though, you can’t really go wrong with either. Make mine an RS Q8 though!

  • designer_dick

    For me, the Q8 looks about as appealing as being hit in the head with a brick. It’s obnoxious, ostentatious, overstated and inelegant, and the interior seems to be an odd looking hodgepodge of Audi parts – combining the two-screen infotainment and climate control layout from the A6 and A8 with the older looking door trims from the Q7. The e-Tron isn’t aesthetically perfect, but at least it looks like it was all designed at the same time.

  • Honda NSX-R

    E-Tron in this case

  • IRONICALLY THE ELECTRIC’S DESIGN HAS LESS AFFECTATIONS THAN THE ICE.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    Not into SUV craze but I am waiting how lexus will turn the LF-1 limitless into production form

  • Sébastien

    Visually I can only see two A3 with oversized wheels.

    Interior I prefer the eTron, but too many glossy surfaces

  • Mike Gonzalez

    I’d rather get a Tesla instead

  • Ana Gallardo

    I would rather pay a little more and get a Model X. Cleaner dash…nicer exterior and ohhhh those falcony doors!😊

    • speedyholm

      The X is just like an Tesla S with too much air blown in. One very ugly car, it is just too round. And the interior in Tesla is no where in the same quality as Audi. On my list the Audi Q8, The E-Tron, The Range Rover Velar and the Jaguar I-Pace will take the top positions on looks alone. Should I pick one it would be the Velar.

  • kDawg

    Q8 with a slight edge but both are fugly. Mercedes is ahead this time.

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