If you’re shopping for a high-end compact crossover, you’ll find several luxury SUVs worth considering. Some are award winners, like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Others are known for their innovation, like the Tesla Model X.
So deciding which luxury SUV to buy isn’t easy. In fact, the Q3, X1, and Model X are tied for third place on U.S. News’ list of the best luxury crossover SUVs for 2021. What makes each a good choice, and how are they different?
Luxury SUV option 1: 2021 Audi Q3
The 2021 Audi Q3 has a new base model starting at $34,000, but it isn’t as impressive as you might think for a luxury SUV. Expect the new 40 TFSI trim to have a lackluster 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 184 hp and clocking a slow 8.6-second 0-to-60 mph split, U.S. News reports. However, all-wheel drive is standard. You’ll also get an 8.8-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, leather upholstery, and a panoramic sunroof.
The old Audi Q3 base trim, the 45 TFSI, is now the next level up in the lineup. This model is now more expensive than it was the previous model year. You can expect to pay $36,000 to start, but you’ll get a more powerful engine. This model packs a 2.0 -liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 228 hp. You can also pay extra for remote start, push-button start, a hands-free power liftgate, and wireless device charging.
The highest trim level, the Premium Plus, starts around $39,300, a reasonable price for a luxury SUV, albeit a compact crossover. It comes with wireless device charging, push-button start, remote start, keyless entry, a hands-free power liftgate, and other convenience features.
Luxury SUV option 2: 2021 BMW X1
You’ll be pleased to know the 2021 BMW X1‘s 2.0-liter four-cylinder is more powerful than the Q3’s engine. With an eight-speed automatic transmission, the X1 can harness 228 hp. And Car and Driver clocked a 0-to-60 time of 6.3 seconds. However, this luxury SUV doesn’t offer any other engine options.
As for pricing, the BMW X1’s base MSRP is a bit higher than the Audi Q3’s. Expect to pay around $35,400 for the base-model sDrive28i, about $1,400 more than the Q3. With this model, you get an 8.8-inch touchscreen, a seven-speaker stereo, synthetic leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and a power liftgate.
The highest trim level is the xDrive28i, starting around $37,400. Its price sits between the Q3’s Premium and Premium Plus trims. This trim adds all-wheel drive and hill descent control.
Option 3: 2020 Tesla Model X
The 2020 Tesla Model X electric luxury SUV comes in two trim levels: Long Range and Performance. Expect to pay $84,990 to start, about $50,000 more than the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.
But this luxury SUV boasts impressive performance. It comes with a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, an all-wheel drivetrain, and two electric motors producing 417 hp on the Long Range and 762 hp on the Performance, MotorTrend reports. For more driver’s assistance features, you’ll have to pay $8,000 extra. The Long Range can also travel 328 miles on a single charge.
The 2020 Model X Performance trim starts at a whopping $99,990, U.S. News reports. But this luxury SUV offers a larger rear electric motor and a Ludicrous driving mode for quicker acceleration. U.S. News clocked the base model at 4.4 seconds and the Performance at a blistering 2.6 seconds. However, the Performance edition’s 305-mile range isn’t as good as the 328-mile Long Range. (For 2021, Tesla‘s new Model X Plaid boasts a 340-mile range, 2.5-second 0-60 split, and 1,020 hp.)
Like the 2021 Audi Q3 and BMW X1, the 2020 Tesla Model X seats five in its standard version. You can, however, upgrade to seat six or seven passengers, depending upon the configuration you choose for your vehicle.
These three luxury SUVs are alike in many ways. But the major differences are the Tesla Model X’s higher sticker price, all-electric powertrain, and superior acceleration.