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Small luxury SUVs are among the most demanding segments to excel in, and the competition is fierce. These are some of the best luxury subcompact SUVs under $50,000 this year. BMW, Volvo, and Lexus improved the following sport utility vehicles over last year’s models, but all the options still come under budget.

The BMW X1 is one of the best luxury subcompact SUVs

If you ask MotorTrend, the 2023 BMW X1 checks all the boxes. Luxury? Check. Subcompact size? Yup. Under $50,000? You bet. BMW improved the engine and power on the X1 this year from the turbo four-cylinder engine. It gets 241 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is up quite a bit over last year’s model. While the X1 is a usual suspect on these lists, it remains one of the best luxury subcompact SUVs.

All-wheel drive is standard across all trim levels, making it suitable for more situations. It also has a new dual-clutch transmission for a smoother ride. Blind-spot warning,  lane departure warning, and automatic high beams are all included this year. BMW also improved the suspension on the 2023 X1, making it more cushioned and responsive on the daily drive. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2023 X1 high scores in many of its crashworthiness tests, but it didn’t take home any awards.

Volvo’s XC40 is one of the best luxury subcompact SUVs for 2023

Drivers know the 2023 Volvo XC40 as a safe option. Volvo has worked on upgrading the exterior design to match some of the competition, and the XC40 looks improved for 2023. Drivers can select from the mild hybrid or all-electric XC40 Recharge, too. Inside, Volvo utilizes a Google-based infotainment system. There are three trim levels to choose from: Core, Plus, and Ultimate. Overall, Volvo added another option to the list of best luxury subcompact SUVs.

Some of the standard safety equipment on the 2023 Volvo XC40 include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. It also gets blind-spot monitoring and automatic high beams. The B5 AWD powertrain version received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Volvo’s XC40 also received high marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

More fuel efficient than ever, the Lexus UX is a good option

The best luxury subcompact SUVs includes this Lexus UX
A 2023 Lexus UX | Lexus

For the 2023 Lexus UX, behind one of the best luxury subcompact SUVs comes easy. Lexus updated the infotainment system for this year, bringing the UX into the modern world. A hybrid powertrain is also the only option for the UX, but that does give it 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 adds automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. All systems are standard, and Lexus improved some of its systems over the last year. That was enough to earn a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the IIHS made it a Top Safety Pick Plus winner.

The best luxury subcompact SUVs are safe, packed with technology, and stylish. Lexus, BMW, and Volvo certainly fulfilled those requirements with these options. Out of more than 200 vehicles, these are the best small SUVs for 2023.


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