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Best Small Luxury SUVs: These Utes Are Sensible and Fun to Drive

Take a look at these well-rounded compact luxury SUVs

Take a look at these well-rounded compact luxury SUVs

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With so many small luxury SUVs on the market, it can be hard to find the one that checks off all the boxes. On this list, you’ll find some of our favorite entries in this competitive segment. Each one of these vehicles offers both style and substance, making them some of best small luxury SUVs money can buy.


2020 Acura RDX – $38,595

Acura is working to beef up its performance cred, and the RDX is a successful product of this effort. Along with sharp steering, the RDX boasts immediate acceleration with the help of its sprightly 2.0-liter turbo-four with 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. With lots of standard features and a huge cargo bay, the RDX is one of the best small luxury SUVs for the price.


2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio – $41,840

Few other SUVs will get your heart pumping like this one. It’s thrilling to take around corners, and even the base turbo-four engine is potent with 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. The Quadrifoglio’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes an otherworldly 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Simply put, this is the SUV for people who don’t like SUVs. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio was the first ever utility vehicle to compete in our Best Driver’s Car competition, where it hit 0–60 mph in 3.3 seconds.


2019 Audi SQ5 – $53,395

The SQ5 is quiet on the highway, allowing you to enjoy the sumptuous interior. It’s a top pick among compact luxury SUVs when it comes to interior technology, with an easy-to-operate screen and fully digital instrument cluster. The SQ5 provides sharper driving dynamics than the standard Q5, thanks in part to its 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.


2019 Jaguar I-Pace – $70,525

The I-Pace electric crossover is a worthy alternative to the larger Tesla Model X. It benefits from a precise steering and a smooth ride, exhibiting almost no body roll. As we found out in our 2019 SUV of the Year competition, it even performs well off-road in sand pits and steep dirt hills. Its electric motors produce a combined 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque, making for a 4.0-second run to 60 mph. Range is not a worry, because the I-Pace is rated to travel 234 miles on a charge.


2020 Lexus NX – $37,745

The Lexus NX is a smooth-riding crossover and has an equally comfortable interior. What it lacks in headroom it makes up for with plenty of legroom front and rear. Along with satisfying handling, we like the standard 2.0-liter turbo-four with 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque as well as the efficient 194-hp hybrid model. The Lexus NX 300h was named the Best Overall Value for a premium vehicle by IntelliChoice.


2020 Mercedes-Benz GLA – $35,245

Is it a hatchback or a crossover? Whatever you want to call this hot hatch on stilts, the Mercedes-Benz GLA is fun to drive because of its nimble handling. Its standard 2.0-liter turbo-four engine makes a just-enough 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the GLA 45 is rip-roaring fun with 375 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.


2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC – $43,495

MotorTrend’s 2017 SUV of the Year has only gotten better over time. For the 2020 model year, it receives a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-four. With 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, the unit feels more like a V-6 than a four-cylinder. If you want a ridiculous amount of power, opt for the V-8 with up to 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. This is one of the few small luxury SUVs to offer a plug-in hybrid variant; this version makes 315 hp and 516 lb-ft.


2020 Porsche Macan – $52,250

Now Porsche’s best-selling model, the Macan appeals to buyers looking for top-notch performance. In addition to its buttery smooth ride and sharp cornering abilities, the well-rounded Macan S packs a robust 3.0-liter turbo V-6 with 348 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a 248-hp, 273 lb-ft turbo-four engine and a 434-hp, 406 lb-ft V-6 option.


2020 Volvo XC40 – $34,695

This small SUV is full of surprises, from its spunky exterior to its unique interior with bag hooks, a ski pass-through, and optional orange carpeting. An available 2.0-liter turbo-four provides quick acceleration from its 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. In a review, we noted the XC40’s quick reflexes are well suited to urban driving.


2020 Volvo XC60 – $41,145

This well-rounded SUV boasts a quiet ride, good visibility, and plenty of room for passengers and cargo. We like all the powertrains, including the base turbo-four with 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, a turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder with 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a plug-in hybrid with 400 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.

Best Luxury Small SUVs