Not all subcompact SUVs and crossovers are at the bottom of the automotive food chain. Those from the luxury segment are more aesthetically pleasing and costlier compared to the mainstream options and hail from authentic luxury models.
Are you on the quest for a tall seating position, hatchback utility, and fancy badge that won’t cost you an arm and a leg? Fortunately, a barrage of these makes is one of the most cost-effective ways of owning a luxury vehicle.
Granted, some subcompact luxury models are superior to others. So, to aid in your search, we’ve rounded up the 5 of the best luxury subcompact SUV models that will give you value for your money.
1. Audi Q3
It’s no secret that subcompact luxury SUV models have become the rage nowadays, and the 2020 Q3 serves as a great example. It not only oozes class and elegance but also provides remarkable maneuverability. Moreover, it offers a tall ride height without bulky proportions.
What sets the Q3 apart from the pack is the heated seats and topnotch leather upholstery. While it has an exquisite interior, some materials don’t rank up to those found in the bigger Q7 and Q5 models. Nonetheless, it’s armed with an automatic emergency braking system that gives drivers the much-needed peace of mind and the standard all-wheel-drive.
As one of the best luxury subcompact SUV models, the Q3 comfortably accommodates five people and comes in 5 trim levels. You’ll also be impressed by other innovative features of this SUV. They include hill descent assist, pedestrian detection, stop/start system, wireless charging, panoramic moon-roof, lift-gate/power trunk, a hands-free trunk, around view camera, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
The renowned variant is the S line Premium Plus with a starting price of $36,995 and has a 2-liter 13 Turbo engine along with all-wheel-drive. Furthermore, it delivers about 27 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city, which gives an average of 23 mpg.
- Chic Audi design that adds a touch of sophistication
- Highway and city-friendly
- Sporty handling
- Perfect for rough terrain
- Contains one power train
- Superior models such as the Q7 and Q5 provide more luxury
2. Lexus UX
With its aggressive and contemporary exterior, the 2020 UX makes a bold statement, visually. As one of the best luxury subcompact SUV models in the Lexus lineup, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the vast assortment of features. They include front cooled seats, a stop/start system, power trunk, hands-free trunk, Apple Car Play, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and in-car WIFI.
The UX is a 5-seater and is available with a hybrid (a maximum of 250 hours) or gas-only power-train. If you settle for the hybrid counterpart, you’ll be impressed by the excellent fuel efficiency it provides.
With six trim levels, the hybrid option is soaring in popularity among drivers and has a 2-liter I4 engine. It has a starting price of $35,525 and is all-wheel-drive. The Lexus UX provides approximately 28 mpg on highways and 41 mpg in the city, which gives a combined rating of 34.5 mpg.
- More affordable than its rivals
- Elegant interior
- A multitude of features that put it steps ahead of its competitors
- A small cargo area that restricts you from carrying many items in one trip
- The touchpad can be confusing at first
3. BMW X2
As a small crossover, the 2020 X2 targets those on the quest for the perfect ‘cocktail’ of sporty fun and utility. It’s an all-new SUV that comfortably accommodates 5 people and comes in 2 trim levels.
The most renowned design is the xDrive28i All-Wheel-Drive (AWD), with a starting cost of $39,995. It has a 2-liter Turbo engine and delivers about 32 mpg on the highway, 24 mpg in the city, and an average rating of 28 mpg.
The X2 has a boatload of innovative features. They include forward-collision warning, fog lamps, curve adaptive headlamps, power trunk, lane keep assist, integrated turn signal mirrors, Apple Car Play, a user-friendly navigation system, and rear and front parking sensors.
- The perfect balance of handling and ride comfort
- Additional storage space under the cargo section
- Spacious interior
- A broad range of features
- More spacious X1 variant
- A high waistline that ushers in reduced visibility
- Competitors have more standard safety technology
- Pricier than a multitude of other models
4. BMW X1
If you’re seeking a subcompact luxury SUV that provides not only unmatched versatility but also a sporty feel and lots of utility, then the 2020 X1 is right up your alley. Available with the option of front-wheel-drive (FWD), this BMW is built to cater to your driving needs with the various innovative features.
They entail rear parking sensors, lane keep assist, fog lamps, forward collision warning, navigation/ GPS, power trunk, integrated turn signal mirrors, keyless ignition, and a topnotch alarm system.
The X1 comfortably seats five people and has one trim level. Its 27 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 2nd-row seats are superior to the Audi Q3. And, it can stretch up to 59 cubic feet when the rear seats are neatly folded. So, there’s ample room to haul a motorbike or bicycle after removing the front wheel.
The renowned variation is the xDrive28i that comes with a starting price of $39,195. It’s an all-wheel-drive (AWD) with a 2-liter turbo engine. It delivers approximately 33 mpg when cruising on the highway and 24 mpg when driving around the city.
- Safety features included
- Delivers unrivaled versatility
- Provides lots of utility and a sporty feel
- Comes with a myriad of innovative features that make it stand out from the rest
- Rivals offer more innovative features
- Generic design
- Pricier than other superior models
5. Volvo XC40
With an abundance of technology that’s paired with a thrilling-to-drive nature, the 2020 XC40’s spunky and fresh looks are targeted towards hip buyers with luxury in mind. The interior provides unrivaled spaciousness without compromising on comfort and a decidedly Swedish ambiance that you’ll find in today’s Volvos.
A 2-liter inline-four 184 horsepower engine powers the front-wheel-drive (FWD) T4. The T5 counterpart unveils a more powerful all-wheel-drive (AWD) and 248 horsepower turbo-four engine. The supportive seats are not only roomy but also provide excellent comfort for extended stays.
Furthermore, there’s a boatload of auxiliary repositories, bins, and cargo stowage to keep various items. If dynamic driving is one of your top priorities, then perhaps the BMW X1 could be a better fit for you. But, the XC40’s properly-executed packaging and eye-catching appearance make it one of the strongest contenders in the thriving subcompact SUV models.
With the advent of technology, the XC40 has a vast assortment of innovative features that make it worth the starting price of $34, 695. So, you’ll find a 9-inch infotainment touch screen that runs on the Volvo Sensus interface. It’s packed with Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming, and Apple Car Play.
Secondly, users will stumble upon the usual gauge cluster layout (measuring 12.3 inches) on all trims. And, 2 USB ports in the front row are included but unavailable in the 2nd row. A wireless device and a GPS navigation system are optional.
While there’s an audio system with eight speakers, the Harman premium arrangement with 13 speakers is available. Thirdly, the XC40 has a 4-year membership on Volvo’s On Call smartphone app. It permits remote control and monitoring of the SUV’s operations along with car-sharing management.
- Excellent interior and exterior styling
- Interior is designed from sturdy and durable materials
- Versatile and clever packaging solutions
- Spacious interior
- Various safety features
- User-friendly infotainment system
- The cabin is noisy with increased acceleration on the highway
- Touch screen interface takes a while to grasp
- The gearbox can be jerky and indecisive at times
Factors to Consider
While these are just 5 types of luxury subcompact SUV models, the volume of options can be overwhelming. So, we’ve rounded up a few factors to keep in mind that will permit an informed decision.
The exterior of a luxury subcompact SUV is its most subjective quality. Either you find it appealing, or you don’t. There’s no middle ground. Some options broadcast chunky tires, rugged capability with reinforced panels, and increased ride height. Contrarily, other vehicles are city slickers with eye-catching LED accent lights, a shiny chrome trim, and lines that scream elegance.
Remember, form comes secondary to function, so ensure you determine just how high you and your passengers will require stepping in and out of the SUV. The last thing you need is to end up with a luxury vehicle that is pleasing to look at but doesn’t deliver the practicality you need.
While cubic footage is a great ballpark figure, it’s not a precise measurement. So, you’ll want to check the ease of loading and unloading cargo to and from the SUV. Consider if the bumper is too high and how quickly the back seats fold into the SUV’s floor for optimum space.
It boils down to the user-friendliness of an infotainment system and what it has to offer. So, besides being a breeze to use, keep your eyes peeled for up to 10-inch touch screen displays that come with a boatload of innovative features. They include Android Auto smartphone connectivity, backseat USB charging ports, Apple Car Play, and more.