No matching results

Recent Articles

Popular Makes

Body Types

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron vs. 2024 BMW iX

Brady Holt
by Brady Holt
January 20, 2024
2024 Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback ・ Photo by Brady Holt

The 2019 Audi e-tron was one of the first electric luxury SUVs. Facing off against the space-ship-styled Tesla Model X, the mid-size e-tron had the look and feel of a conventional Audi SUV – but without burning gasoline. But it couldn’t keep up with the Tesla or newer rivals as an EV, lagging at efficiency, range, and charging speed. Nor did it join them in the electric horsepower wars. 

Now with a host of mechanical upgrades and a new name, the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron aims to pair its classic virtues with more competitive performance. To measure its success, we spent a week testing the Q8 e-tron and one of our other favorite luxury EVs: the BMW iX. Keep reading this review as we compare the Q8 e-tron and iX in each of eight categories, then name our overall favorite between these two luxury mid-size crossover EVs. 

Range and Charging

Many folks’ first questions about any EV is “how far does it go on a charge?” All will do just fine in daily use, but when it comes to road trips or bragging rights, the old e-tron came up short. EPA range estimates were between 181 miles and 226 miles, depending on the trim level. The new 2024 Q8 e-tron jumps to 300 miles in the sleeker Sportback body style and 285 miles in the boxier “SUV” shape. (Our Sportback test vehicle registered just 113 miles remaining at a 50 percent charge, though, which would have come to just 226 miles.) Even a new higher-performance model called the SQ8 e-tron can travel 218 to 253 miles per charge, with larger wheels decreasing range. 

Despite the Audi’s big improvement, the iX still goes even farther. The base xDrive 50 model travels 307 miles per charge, while the higher-performance M60 dips only to 296. Our tested M60 was on track to hit 330 miles. What’s more, as we’ll discuss, even the xDrive 50 is nearly as speedy as the SQ8 e-tron. And the Q8 e-tron’s improved charging speed only matches the iX’s; both promise about 200 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes at a DC public charging station. The Audi would take 16 hours to fully recharge on a 240-volt car charging station, like you’d install at home, while the BMW would be fully ready to go in less than 12 hours. 

Winner: BMW iX

2023 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt


The Q8 e-tron does use less electricity than the iX, depending on the version you'd buy. The Sportback model gets the energy equivalent of 86 miles per gallon in EPA testing, and even the less aerodynamic SUV model gets 81 MPGe. That’s a welcome improvement from last year’s e-tron, which varied from 63 MPGe to a max of 79 MPGe.

The iX xDrive 50 splits the difference between the Audi’s Sportback and SUV versions with an EPA estimate of 83 MPGe, and the iX M60 scores 80 MPGe. However, the SQ8 e-tron – which, again, is equivalently powerful to the base iX – gets only 63 to 73 MPGe depending on the wheel size. Between the Audi’s greater maximum efficiency but the BMW’s broader success, we’ll call this category an overall tie. 

Winner: Tie

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron Sportback ・ Photo by Brady Holt


We’ve been alluding to this already, but let’s spell it out: The BMW iX is one speedy SUV. The 516-horsepower xDrive 50 hits 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, while the 610-hp M60 needs a mere 3.6 seconds. 

That’s still not enough to beat a Tesla Model X, but it’s enough to outpace the Q8 e-tron. The standard version like our test vehicle makes 355 hp, with a selectable boost mode that bumps output to 402 hp. Audi only quotes a 0-60 run in boost mode, and it’s 5.4 seconds. That’s still speedy for a mid-size luxury SUV, but the BMW by contrast is a wild thrill ride. Even the SQ8 e-tron, new this year to dial up the lineup’s speed, needs 4.2 seconds to reach 60 mph in boost mode with a maximum of 496 hp. The Audis are speedy, near-silent SUVs that are easy to drive and squirt effortlessly into gaps in traffic. But they’re not performance monsters like the BMWs. 

Winner: BMW iX

2023 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Ride and Handling

In contrast with a bumpier, noisier Tesla, the e-tron’s selling point was always a smooth, quiet ride. Let there be no mistake, though. It’s not a dull, cushy SUV either. The tautly tuned suspension makes it respectably agile, too, and Audi tweaked the steering for the 2024 Q8 e-tron to be firmer and quicker. 

Still, we liked driving the iX even more. Especially with the available adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering, this EV is uncannily responsive. You can whip it around tight curves like a small sports sedan, with a sophisticated suspension backing up its quick steering. And yet there’s a smooth, hushed ride even on the M60. The iX keeps the driver at a distance from its capability – you won’t feel a natural connection to the road as this SUV zips its way along. But we still found it simultaneously more fun and more comfortable than the Audi overall. 

Winner: BMW iX

2023 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Exterior Design

By now, you’ve had a chance to see the Q8 e-tron and the iX and form an opinion on their very different design schemes. 

While some EVs are recognizable from a mile away, the Q8 e-tron could be any Audi crossover – though it shares no sheetmetal with other models. The looks haven’t changed much since 2019. It still has a softly rounded body, crisply detailed headlights and taillights (including a rear lightbar), and a conventionally styled Audi grille (even though there’s no engine to cool). As we mentioned, you can choose between SUV and Sportback body styles. The Sportback has a gently sloped hatchback-style “SUV coupe” roofline for a sleeker design and better aerodynamics than the SUV, pictured below. The iX is available only as an upright SUV, but there’s nothing subtle about its styling. It also has a decorative grille, but it’s huge. And nothing but that grille looks much like other BMWs. Extra-slim headlights and big, angular bumper inserts point toward that big would-be grille. A false extension of the windowline connects the side windows to the rear windshield for a “floating roof” effect. The taillights are whited-out slits. Again, you’ll know quickly whether you prefer the extroverted iX or the introverted Q8 e-tron. 

Winner: Tie

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron SUV ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron SUV ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Interior Design

Like its exterior, the Q8 e-tron’s interior could have come straight out of a gas-powered Audi. That means it’s beautifully finished yet also high-tech, with a primarily digital dashboard. But subtle colors and placements of the Audi’s three screens (a digital gauge cluster, an infotainment touchscreen at the center of the dashboard, and touchscreen climate controls below that) means you don’t get a “wave of the future” vibe. They blend seamlessly into a conservative dashboard. 

There’s nothing conservative about the iX. While everything is similarly rich, BMW simplified its usual dashboard layout into a single glass panel (a 14.9-inch touchscreen next to a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster) that stands up from the leather-clad dash like a tablet on a stand. Physical controls live on a floating center console. While we won’t make a style judgment on the futuristic BMW versus the more traditional Audi, we’ll award the win to the iX. We found its controls easier to use once we got past a modest learning curve. Some of the Audi’s touch-based controls simply require unnecessary concentration, while the BMW is intelligently designed once you get the hang of it. It also has more cabin storage. 

Winner: BMW iX 

2023 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Passenger and Cargo Accommodations

The Q8 e-tron is a spacious, comfortable, five-seat mid-size SUV. The seats are firm and well-shaped. Cargo capacity is a useful 28.5 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 56.5 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. The Sportback gives up surprisingly little room versus the SUV variant, managing 27.2 and 54.5 cubic feet, respectively. 

But the iX wins on all fronts. We love how its seats blend support with an extra level of welcoming cushiness, and they held us in place better than the Audi’s without being confining. And cargo space measures an excellent 35.5 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 77.9 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. 

Winner: BMW iX

2023 BMW iX M60 ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Pricing and Features

If this comparison looked lopsided so far, consider an important advantage to the Q8 e-tron: It starts at $74,800 versus $87,100 for the iX. And that’s with similar standard features: leatherette upholstery, panoramic moonroofs, GPS navigation systems, automatic climate control with four temperature zones, and stereos with double-digit speaker counts. Note that the more aerodynamic Q8 e-tron Sportback costs $3,000 more than the SUV version. 

The BMW claws back some value advantage when you consider its base-model performance. Remember, it nearly matches the speed of the high-performance SQ8 e-tron, which starts at $89,800. Granted, the SQ8 has few more standard features than the iX xDrive 50, including adaptive cruise control, genuine leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a Bang & Olufsen stereo. But when 0-60 sprints aren't a top criterion, the Audi delivers all-electric luxury for much less money.  

Winner: Audi Q8 e-tron

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Audi Q8 e-tron ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Final Thoughts

There are two main reasons to pick the 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron over the 2024 BMW iX. One is if you love the Audi’s restrained design over the iX’s futuristic flash. The other is if you don’t see the BMW’s extra speed, range, and other advantages as worth such a steep price premium. 

In both cases, we’re confident you’d be happy owning the Audi. This year’s upgrades made it much more competitive across the board while preserving its price advantage and quieter aesthetic. And it was always a beautifully finished and serenely composed luxury SUV. But although its fresh improvements brought the Q8 e-tron into the same league as the iX, in nearly every objective way, the iX is the even better electric luxury SUV. Whether by a wide margin or a narrow one, the BMW comes out ahead of the Audi time and again. To us, that’s worth the extra money. 

Winner: BMW iX

2023 BMW iX M60  ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 BMW iX M60 ・ Photo by Brady Holt


Interested in Getting a New Car?

Used Cars Near You

No Data Available

Powered by Usedcars.com
©2024 AutoWeb, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Some content provided by and under copyright by Autodata, Inc. dba Chrome Data. © 1986-2024.