Small luxury SUV
Let’s say you are looking for something superior than the above models. This is where compact luxury SUVs come in. It offers the same driving and comfort benefits as the previous choices but ramps them up with more refined interiors, newer technology, and more power and added prestige. All for a price, of course.
The GLB may be a small SUV from Mercedes, but it has made a huge impact since its debut in 2020. It has taken its first place in the luxury compact SUV segment with a spacious cabin, decent performance and high levels of comfort. It’s also packed with technology, including Mercedes’ commendable MBUX infotainment system.
We also like the GLB for its sturdy box shape that’s reminiscent of the big G-Class on the other side of the Mercedes pricing scale. Although, in some ways, being a Mercedes can be a downside. How is that? Well, the price can easily get out of control when you start adding options.
The BMW X1 is the cheapest BMW SUV you can buy. Fortunately, many of the traits you get from the larger BMWs are in the compact X1. Notably, its sporty handling and turbocharged engine give the X1 an inviting feel whether you’re running errands around town or cruising down a twisty mountain road.
Other features of the X1 include high-quality cabin materials and a spacious rear seat. But the X1 does come with a bit of a rest. In particular, it has a stiffer ride than many ultra-compact SUVs, and can be a little annoying on the highway.
Are you looking for a luxury SUV with a sporty look? Check out GLA. It’s related to the Mercedes GLB but has a sloping roof instead of the GLB’s boxy profile. This shape results in less headroom in the rear and slightly less cargo space. About a third less than the GLB, in fact.
Other than that, the GLA offers the same experience as the GLB with decent performance, high comfort scores, a great infotainment system and the powerful AMG Edition. If Boxy isn’t your thing, GLA might be a good compromise.
Completed Audi Q3 from Germany. Like the GLB, X1 and GLA, it’s loaded with the latest technology and features a polished interior. The quiet cabin and comfortable ride make the Q3 a good choice if you do a lot of highway driving. But on the downside, the Q3 can feel a little sluggish in acceleration at times and fuel economy is near the bottom of the class.
The Q3’s responsive steering and compound handling allow it to handle curves with confidence, but if you’re hoping for something sporty, it’s best to stick with the BMW X1.
The Volvo XC40 closes luxury compact vehicles. It has a stylish design that does not compromise on its usefulness. For example, check out the storage solutions built by the designers in the XC40. There’s a hook that flips out of the glove box for carrying bags, a handy waste bin in the center console, and one of the most versatile cargo areas. And because it’s a Volvo, safety plays a major role in its appeal.
It could use some suspension tweaks to improve handling, however, and the infotainment system isn’t as intuitive as those on its German competitors.