Audi Q8 55 e-tron alternatives - BMW iX xDrive50 and Polestar 3 LR

Max McDee, 12 November 2022

Premium electric SUV market just got busy. Last year there was only the Audi e-tron and this year suddenly we are spoilt for choice. With Audi announcing its new Q8 e-tron, what better way to evaluate the newcomer than to pit it against its archrivals - the BMW iX and the Polestar 3?

While these cars are considered full-size SUVs in Europe, on the American market they fall into the smaller mid-size category. What makes the comparison even more tricky is the fact that only BMW iX is actually available. Using our comparison tool we chose three models with as close specification as possible - the Audi Q8 55 e-tron, the BMW iX xDrive50 and the Polestar 3 LR.


Audi is straight away off to a slow start, despite being technically the newest of the trio it is the slowest. We are comparing the middle trims here, if we used SQ8 for this comparison, it would go against BMW iX60 which would make it look even worse. Saying that Audi is the slowest doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is slow - 5.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h in essentially a school bus is a hair-raising experience. No questions though - BMW wins this one hands down despite being not only the longest but the tallest of the three as well - in fact it is nearly 8 cm taller than Polestar 3 and 6 cm taller than the Audi. That difference alone should make the other two cars perform much better when it comes to their range but clearly BMW is the more efficient vehicle here and deals with its size rather well.

Audi Q8 55 e-tron BMW iX xDrive50 Polestar 3 LR
Power 408 HP (300 kW) AWD 523 HP (385 kW) AWD 489 HP (360 kW) AWD
Torque 664 Nm (490 lb-ft) 765 Nm (564 lb-ft) 840 Nm (620 lb-ft)
0 to 100 km/h 5.6 seconds 4.6 seconds 5 seconds
Top speed 200 km/h (124 mph) 200 km/h (124 mph) 210 km/h (130 mph)
Audi Q8 55 e-tron VS BMW iX xDrive50 VS Polestar 3 LR

Battery and Range

All three cars use the 400V architecture for their batteries and all batteries are liquid cooled. Polestar is the only one here to use ternary battery pack (NMC) and its battery is marginally larger but in all honesty - all three cars come with over 100 kWh of electricity stored under the seats, more than enough for everyday driving and even longer trips. The WLTP range is close enough for all three with BMW just eking ahead. But it is Polestar that charges the fastest - providing you can find a 250 kW DC charger - and it offers vehicle-to-grid making it a perfect backup for any household. BMW surprises again - it has the lowest drag coefficient despite being the largest car of the trio. Polestar with its low stance and advanced aerodynamics can only dream about matching the performance of BMW's slippery shape.

Audi Q8 55 e-tron BMW iX xDrive50 Polestar 3 LR
Capacity 106 kWH usable (total 114 kWh) 105.2 kWh usable (total 111.5 kWh) 107 kWh usable (total 111 kWh)
Type Li-ion 400V liquid cooled Li-ion 400V liquid cooled Li-NMC 400V liquid cooled
Range WLTP 582 km 611 km 610 km
AC charging Type 2 11 kW and 22 kW Type 2 11 kW Type 2 11 kW
DC charging CCS max 170 kW CCS max 200 kW CCS max 250 kW
DC Charging 10 to 80% SoC 31 minutes 35 minutes 30 minutes
Drag coefficient 0.26 0.25 0.296
Audi Q8 55 e-tron VS BMW iX xDrive50 VS Polestar 3 LR

Size does matter

When it comes to electric cars, size and especially weight plays a huge role. All three cars are nearly 5 meters long with the BMW being the longest and Polestar being the smallest of the three. Audi is a surprise winner when it comes to luggage space, the Q8 is the only EV in the comparison that isn’t built on a bespoke chassis, BMW and Polestar were designed as electric cars and thus should have taken better advantage of that. It is an Audi, thanks to its clever packaging, that delivered not only the biggest trunk but the biggest frunk as well. Polestar has the smallest trunk and due to its sloping roofline there’s less room for tall items. BMW has no frunk at all.

Audi Q8 55 e-tron BMW iX xDrive50 Polestar 3 LR
Dimensions mm 4,915 x 1,937 x 1,633 4,953 x 1,967 x 1,695 4,900 x 1,968 x 1,614
Dimensions imperial 193.5 x 76.3 x 64.3 inches 195.0 x 77.4 x 66.7 inches 192.9 x 77.5 x 63.5 inches
Wheelbase 2,928 mm (115.3 in) 3,000 mm (118.1 in) 2,985 mm (117.5 in)
Ground clearance 172 mm (6.8 inches) 203 mm (8 inches) 201 mm (7.9 inches)
Unladen weight 2,595 kg 2,585 kg 2,584 kg
Trunk 569 l (seats down 1,637 l) 500 l (seats down 1,750 l) 484 l (seats down 1,411 l)
Frunk 62 l No 32 l
Audi Q8 55 e-tron VS BMW iX xDrive50 VS Polestar 3 LR


When it comes to looks Audi plays the most conservative game with Polestar taking a safe approach and walking right in the middle between conservative and futuristic design language. BMW on the other hand, not only walks its own path but it does it loudly and proudly. If you want to make a statement - BMW is your tool, Audi will blend in anywhere and Polestar will get people talking. You can compare the looks of all three cars using our pic comparison tool and you can use the same tool to compare their interiors here.

Safety and Comfort

In this segment buyers expect the cars to be fully equipped with the latest and the greatest safety and comfort features. None of the three cars really disappoint but it is Polestar that comes with the longest list of standard equipment. BMW is the only one that demands extra payments for air suspension and Audi has the smallest screens but Polestar’s driver display is very thin and can take some time to get used to. Polestar has 9 airbags as standard.

Audi Q8 55 e-tron BMW iX xDrive50 Polestar 3 LR
Center display 10.1" Full HD 14.9" 14.5"
Instrument cluster 10.25" 12.3" 9"
Head-up display 8.6" augmented reality augmented reality projector type
Suspension Air-spring + adjustable shocks hydraulic damping, air suspension optional adaptive air-suspension + active dampers
Wheels R19, R20, R21, R22 R20, R21, R22 R21, R22
Heatpump Yes Yes Yes
Airbags side, front + rear + head side, front + rear + head side + front + rear + head (9)
ADAS 5 radars, 5 cameras, 12 sensors. Night Vision Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Warn and Brake Assist, Pedestrian/cyclists protection, Exit Warning, Rear and Front Cross Traffic Alert, High Beam Assist Long range radar (300 m), corner short range radars (4 units), 8MP front camera, Assisted Driving View, Rear Crossing-Traffic Warning, Exit warning function, Parking Assist Professional, Steering and Lane Control Assistant 1 LiDAR, 5 radars, 5 cameras, 2 interior cameras, 12 sensors. Lane Keeping Aid, Blind Spot alert, Collision risk warning, Rear Cross traffic alert, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign information, Active high beam, Emergency brake lights, Collision avoidance (incl. cyclists and pedestrians), Collision warning at night, Lane Departure Warning, oncoming traffic collision avoidance, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, Post-Impact Braking

Availability and Prices

Audi hasn’t confirmed its official pricing yet but we can safely estimate it by looking at its predecessor, the Audi e-tron and comparing its prices to BMW iX and Polestar 3. None of the three cars is cheap by any means, all come dangerously close to the €100,000 level the moment we start piling on extras. BMW iX is the only one available now, Audi is coming early next year and if you want a Polestar 3 then you’ll have to be patient - the company is planning to start deliveries by the end of next year.

Audi Q8 55 e-tron BMW iX xDrive50 Polestar 3 LR
Announced 2022 November 9 2020 November 2022 October 12
Status Coming soon - expected Q1 2023 Released January 2022 Coming soon - expected Q4 2023
Starting price £80,000 €85,300 £93,900 €100,000 $84,800 £79,900 €88,600 $83,900

It is important to note that Audi is the only one available in two different body styles - SUV and Sportback. The Q8 Sportback actually would make a better comparison with Polestar 3 because both cars sacrifice rear headroom and cargo space for better looks.

There are no clear winners in this comparison, the ones that are faster may have challenging looks, the ones that are conservatively designed have conservative performance thrown in free of charge. Polestar 3 looks amazing on paper but it will remain on that paper for another year. Audi e-tron was very popular and the new Q8 e-tron stands to inherit that popularity and run away with it. BMW has amazing performance but is that enough to look past its exterior and short standard equipment list?


Reader comments

2,6 ton EV? Well, it does require a certain type of customers.

  • Ashoeur

Thank you for the article, But I think is still the best.



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