words/photos: Ryan Compton
Having recently purchased an Audi Q8 as a tow vehicle, we knew immediately that we wanted to start looking at roof boxes. While the Q8 isn’t an Avant or allroad, when you get the right roof box, it looks just right. Also important, of course, we needed the storage space for long trips.
Thankfully, Audi of America has recently been including roof bars with new crossovers equipped with stability adaptation for the presence of roof-mounted loads. I was shocked — these are not cheap pieces of equipment. Not only are they exceptionally well designed in looks (in classic Audi fashion ) but they are also extremely easy to install and secure with the supplied wrench.
When it comes to roof boxes, there are plenty of choices out there, and some very well designed pieces from Thule and others; however, we wanted that OEM look for the Q8. Thankfully, Audi Accessories supplied us with a roof box (8K0071200Y9B) to try out for this article. From first impressions, the roof box has the look of factory paint (brilliant black, or platinum grey with brilliant black side blades), and the chrome Audi Rings make it clear this is no aftermarket piece but one selected by Audi to match its own designs. While we didn’t take it to a wind tunnel, it certainly looks aerodynamically proper. It even looks like it could sit on top of a famous skier’s R8.
This Audi roof box holds a lot of volume (405L in this size; with 360L and 300L sizes also available); indeed, the largest size may fit your skis. Its weight limit is 165 pounds, which is quite a lot, and plenty for a lot of your lighter, bulkier packing. Keep your center of gravity lower and put your heavy bags in the trunk.
While strong enough to hold plenty of weight, the roof box itself is light to carry. Two people are necessary to lift the box onto the roof, simply to avoid harming your paint. In further evidence of the thoughtfulness of design, changing the distance between the feet of the box that mount to the roof bars is simple: unscrew four hand-sized tightening bolts to open the mouth of the mounts; righty-tightly to close them back until you hear them click at the right torque.
Since the last roof box I used, opening has become so much easier. A solid lock keeps your cargo safe and can be unlocked and opened from either side of the Audi. This is especially important if you require the roof box be centered to keep the lines of the car straight…not that I know anyone like that. Opening is assisted by struts, making it a breeze to open, but not difficult to close.
Overall, this roof box is well-made, OEM-quality, simple to use, and looks like it deserves to be on your Audi. If your trips require additional luggage space, we recommend taking a look at this offering, along with the others out there.