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Many automobile manufacturers are abandoning sedans for SUVs as consumers continue to prefer the versatility and comfort of the country’s best-selling type of vehicle. With the increase in popularity, there is an SUV to buy that meets the style, performance, and price demands of most shoppers.

When it comes to luxury compact SUVs, three models top the charts, according to extensive research and road testing from MotorTrend.

1. Tesla Model Y

A white Tesla Model Y hood, which is one of the best luxury compact SUVs to buy
Tesla Model Y | Liesa Johannssen via Getty Images

Ranked first in luxury compact SUVs by MotorTrend is the 2022 Tesla Model Y, receiving an impressive overall score of 9.2 out of 10. With an MSRP between $65,990 and $69,990, the top-rated vehicle delivers outstanding performance while offering a class-leading driving range of 330 miles.

Standard luxury features include a glass sunroof, wood and alloy trim in the interior cabin, a heated synthetic leather telescoping tilt steering wheel, ambient lighting, and unique body-color heated power door mirrors for the driver and passenger.

Impressed with the dynamics of the Model Y, MotorTrend attributed its decision to give the electric SUV top-ranking, saying, “This is a seriously quick vehicle with near-instant response and steering reminiscent of a sports car.” Noting the larger brakes, staggered wheels, and lowered suspension, the auto reviewer claims the Tesla luxury compact SUV is “hard to beat,” saying, “handling characteristics played a significant role in the Model Y’s win over the Ford Mustang Mach-E in our recent comparison.”

2. Genesis GV70 

The 2023 Genesis GV70 earned the second spot on the MotorTrend list of best luxury compact SUVs, ranging in price from $43,150 to $47,922. The five-passenger vehicle offers ample space and comfort for all occupants, with a cavernous cargo carrying capacity and more rear passenger legroom than the competition due to the uniquely styled front seats.

The GV70 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and has a 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that delivers 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque. There is also a more powerful twin-turbo V6 engine option in the Genesis GV70 that puts out 375 hp, hitting 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

Named the 2022 SUV of the Year, MotorTrend loves the compact Genesis, saying it is “comfortable and engaging on any road surface, with athletic handling that didn’t come at the cost of ride quality.” They attribute the high ratings of the 2023 Genesis GV70 to impressive design and quality in the luxurious cabin, with state-of-the-art technology and “standout features” that include a fingerprint scanner for remote starting the vehicle and three-dimensional gauges on the digital instrument cluster.

3. Acura RDX


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Earning the third place spot among luxury compact SUVs is the 2022 Acura RDX. Receiving a MotorTrend score of 8.7 out of 10, the RDX features exceptional driving dynamics and a spacious cabin.

According to MotorTrend, “luxury and performance find a compelling balance in the Acura RDX.” Other attributes of the crossover SUV include “the RDX’s good looks, roomy cabin, and enthusiastic feel,” with the “Acura value and reliability” adding to the appeal of this luxury SUV. Ranging in price between $40,600 and $53,300, the 2022 Acura RDX carries a 2.0-liter I-4 turbocharged engine that generates 272hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

 While each of the above-listed models are great choices when deciding which SUV to buy, the 2023 Genesis GV70 appears to sit at the sweet spot of luxury compact SUVs. With a mid-range price of around $45K, the GV70 offers exceptional tech options, plenty of space for everyone, good safety ratings, and a laundry list of impressive standard features. The Genesis GV70 may be just what you are looking for when shopping for a vehicle that provides exceptional value, luxurious touches, and impressive performance capabilities.