Compact Luxury SUV Buyer’s Guide

Practicality with Presence

The luxury compact SUV category continues to be one of the country’s fastest-growing vehicle segments. For a few thousand dollars more than the compact luxury sedans on which most are based, these five-passenger crossover SUVs offer far more cargo utility, a loftier look at the road ahead and greater parking-lot presence.

And compared to larger crossover SUVs, this group is more nimble and more fuel-efficient.

In fact, choosing to buy a small luxury sport/utility vehicle is an easier decision than settling on one of the segment’s many good choices. Whether you’re more interested in performance or comfort, power or fuel economy, or a just-right mix of everything, one of the 13 models below, listed in order of popularity according to this year’s sales — has your name on it.


2017 Lexus RX

Starting Price: $43,995

The recently redesigned Lexus RX has an edgy new look, but at its core, Lexus’ best-selling model continues to focus more on ride comfort and refinement.Read More


2017 Cadillac XT5

Starting Price: $39,990

The Cadillac XT5, the all-new replacement for the SRX, offers impressive handling and eye-catching angular styling, and is roomier, quieter, more powerful and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor. Read More


2017 Acura RDX

Starting Price: $36,645

The RDX brings together the sharp styling, high-tech features and high-quality practicality that Acura is known for, in a small, easily maneuverable package. Read More


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC

Starting Price: $40,075

The sporty, refined GLC slots between the smaller GLA-Class and the redesigned (and renamed) GLE. 


2017 Audi Q5

Starting Price: $41,850

Audi’s Q5 brings together modern design, one of the best-looking interiors in the segment, endless comfort and no shortage of performance. 


2017 BMW X3

Starting Price: $39,945

With the BMW X3, owners get to enjoy the driving dynamics of BMW’s sports sedans, with the added functionality of a SUV. 


2017 Lincoln MKX

Starting Price: $39,185

The Lincoln MKX may be the best value in the compact luxury SUV segment.


2017 Volvo XC60

Starting Price: $41,945

Volvo’s XC60 is a nice place to spend a few hours, with an airy cabin and a pleasant demeanor. 


2017 Porsche Macan

Starting Price: $48,550

The Macan is the second SUV in the Porsche lineup, and it places a much higher priority on sports-car-like performance than its big brother, the Cayenne. 


2017 Infiniti QX50

Starting Price: $35,445

Infiniti put its unique spin on the compact luxury SUV segment with the QX50 (previously known as the EX).


2017 Range Rover Evoque

Starting Price: $42,795

Arguably the most stylish compact luxury SUV on the road, the Range Rover Evoque also holds the distinction of being the only SUV in the class available in a 2-door configuration, now also offered in convertible form.


2017 Buick Envision

Starting Price: $34,990

The new Envision brings together Buick’s trademark comfort and quiet with impressive tech and contemporary style.


2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Starting Price: $41,985

Jaguar’s first-ever SUV has the performance, luxury and good looks to take on the establishment. 

Actual Price

Most luxury compact SUVs start in the mid-to-upper $30,000 range, but the average transaction price in the category is in the low $40,000 range.

The lowest starting sticker price belongs to the 2016 Infiniti QX50, with a base MSRP of less than $36,000. The Porsche Macan sits at the other end of the spectrum, topping out well into the six-figure range when you add necessities like $8,100 ceramic brakes and a 16-speaker Burmester audio system.

What’s New/Next

Lincoln’s MKX was totally redesigned for 2016. Cadillac replaced its popular SRX with the all-new 2017 XT5 and Mercedes-Benz replaced its GLK with the all-new GLC. Jaguar has entered the SUV market with its sporty F-Pace. The F-Pace joined the ranks of many new-for-2017 models set to go on sale within the next year, a list that also includes a convertible version of the Range Rover Evoque.

Some of the Best