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Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is a reliable source for vehicle data based on consumer ratings, expert reviews, and the latest market trends. KBB’s annual “Best Compact SUVs” ranks the top models in this crowded segment. And for 2023, only one luxury SUV made the cut. Here’s how KBB chooses the winners and a look at the only luxury SUV on this year’s list, the 2023 Audi Q5.

Kelley Blue Book’s ‘Best Compact SUVs of 2023’

Each year, Kelley Blue Book editors examine each entry in the compact SUV segment. They look at every model’s exterior design, interior styling, performance, reliability, safety features, and overall value. In addition, they take into account reviews from other industry experts and consumers. But most important, the editors test-drive and live with every vehicle for “performance, features, cargo space, technology, build, fuel economy, and more.”

KBB’s yearly list of the best compact SUVs includes models from various automakers, including mainstream brands like Ford, Honda, and Toyota. It might also contain SUVs from luxury brands like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Each vehicle on the list gets a thorough overview, including key features, price ranges, and specifications, to help consumers make informed decisions.

And this year, the only luxury SUV to make the list is the 2023 Audi Q5, ranking third out of 11 vehicles. Topping the rankings in first and second place are the 2023 Honda CR-V and CR-V Hybrid. The 2023 Kia Sportage takes fourth, fifth, and seventh place with the standard model, Sportage Hybrid, and Sportage Plug-In Hybrid. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 sits in sixth, seventh, and ninth with the standard model, RAV4 Hybrid, and RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid. And rounding out the list in 10th and 11th place are two Mazda compact SUVs: the CX-5 and the CX-50.

The 2023 Audi Q5 is the only luxury SUV in KBB’s ‘Best Compact SUVs’ this year

Luxury SUV: 2023 Audi Q5 compact luxury SUV
2023 Audi Q5 Prestige | Audi AG

The 2023 Audi Q5 compact luxury SUV seats five and is available in three trim levels, each offering various configurations. All have a seven-speed automatic transmission. The standard engine is a 201-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Quicker acceleration is available with a more powerful 261-hp four-cylinder or a 362-hp plug-in hybrid. When properly equipped, the Q5 has a maximum towing capacity of 4,400 pounds. 

The new Audi Q5 is loaded with infotainment features, such as Bang & Olufsen premium speakers, Android Auto, and wireless Apple CarPlay. It has all the convenience and comfort features you’d expect from a luxury SUV and includes a full slate of advanced safety features. It offers a blind-spot and lane departure warnings accident avoidance system, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and more.

2023 Audi Q5 prices range from about $44,200 to $67,00, according to Audi.

Kelley Blue Book’s verdict

Luxury SUV: 2023 Audi Q5 compact luxury SUV
2023 Audi Q5 interior | Audi AG

KBB editors loved the 2023 Audi Q5’s Virtual Cockpit Plus, a standard digital gauge cluster on the Premium Plus and Prestige trims. The customizable display can show entertainment info, navigation intel, road signs, and more. They also liked the user-friendliness of its high-tech standard infotainment system, with a stunning 10.1-inch display and many popular features, including HD Radio and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

KBB also appreciated the diverse selection of engines in the new Audi Q5. They liked that the Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard on every model. It improves traction in any weather condition for a more confident, powerful drive. 

In addition to the standard Q5 SUV body style, buyers can opt for the Sportback, which KBB found to be stylish with the aesthetic of an “SUV coupe.” While there’s more cargo space in the standard body, the Sportback is an attention-getter with great visual appeal. Still, KBB believes the 2023 Audi Q5 in either body style would benefit from additional cargo space. 

The high-performance model SQ5, with its turbocharged V6, offers a thrilling driving experience. It also features upgraded brakes with adaptive damping suspension. It’s expensive, so if you likehowy it looks, you might also consider the S Line model, according to KBB.

The only other criticism Kelley Blue Book editors had was that some of the 2023 Audi Q5’s peers are more affordable.