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The cheapest luxury SUVs of 2021 are definitely still luxury SUVs. Not only are they manufactured by recognized luxury brands that consumers know and respect, but they also offer true premium appointments for prices in the mid to low $30,000s. These four affordable upscale crossovers are the cheapest luxury SUVs of 2021. 

Two 2021 BMW X1 luxury compact SUVs parked on a large green lawn in front of rolling hills and trees
The 2021 BMW X1 family | BMW Group

Plus, fellow automotive source Car and Driver has good words for each model on the list. For buyers looking to get into the luxury market, these are all great examples of what an entry-level luxury crossover looks like. BMW, Audi, Volvo, and Lexus are the producers of this year’s cheapest luxury crossover model. Let’s take a look at the options. 

Is the 2021 BMW X1 as bad as the waves it made when it was introduced? 

The 2021 BMW X1 is the new model year of the X1 which received some very mixed reviews upon its release a few years ago. Some felt that it was just too “entry-level” to in fact be a true, self-respecting BMW model. But it’s actually a great small luxury SUV. 

The 2021 BMW X1 was Car and Driver’s ‘Best Subcompact Luxury Crossover’ on the 2018 10Best Trucks and SUVs list. It’s called “practical and enjoyable” by the esteemed critics. It comes powered by a 228 hp turbocharged 2.0 liter inline-four. Plus, this small luxury crossover offers a roomy cabin with up to 27 cubic feet of cargo space. 

Is the Audi Q3 a good car? 

A teal Audi Q3 luxury SUV model parked in a snowy tundra
Audi Q3 | AUDI AG

Yes, the 2021 Audi Q3 is a good luxury SUV option this year. It’s also one of the cheapest luxury SUVs of 2021 starting at $35,095. This year, the 2021 Audi Q3 dropped $600 off its price by adding a new entry-level engine option. There are only two trim levels for the 2021 Audi Q3. 

The Premium model comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0 liter 184 hp inline four-cylinder engine. The same engine tuned for more power (228 hp) comes standard on the Premium Plus Q3 crossover. In terms of cargo space, the 2021 Audi Q3 offers 24 cubic feet of capacity. 

The 2021 Volvo XC40 comes with a long list of available options

a white 2021 Volvo XC40 at an auto show on display
2021 Volvo XC40 | HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

Starting at just $34,795, the 2021 Volvo XC40 is one of the cheapest luxury SUVs of 2021. Plus, it offers two engine upgrades and a few trims to choose from. Despite its compact appearance, this small luxury crossover can provide up to 21 cubic feet of cargo space. 

The 2021 Volvo XC40 only comes with front-wheel drive, but offers both the base 187 hp and 248 hp 2.0 liter inline-four engines. As far as trim levels go, there’s the R-Design, Inscription trim and the entry-level Momentum option. Overall, the 2021 Volvo XC40 is a compelling option for affordable luxury. 

The 2021 Lexus UX is also both a compelling and affordable luxury SUV

2021 Lexus UX250 parked in the dark on a gray brick paved street
A Toyota Motor Corp. 2021 Lexus UX250 | Toru Hanai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In addition to the Lexus NX, the Toyota luxury badge also offers another subcompact SUV––the 2021 Lexus UX. This is more like a hatchback akin to the previously produced Lexus CT200h. Starting at $33,925, the 2021 Lexus UX is the cheapest luxury SUV of 2021 on this entire list. 

The cheaper UX200 can be had with a 169 hp 2.0 liter inline-four and front-wheel drive and the UX250h ($36,225) comes equipped with all-wheel drive and 143 hp 2.0 liter inline-four paired with an AC electric motor for a combined 181 hp. The 2021 Lexus UX isn’t particularly notable as far as rear passenger or cargo space goes, but it does offer up to 21 cubic feet of cargo space. 

The cheapest luxury SUVs of 2021 are all still good options for the money

Regardless of which one of these buyers choose, it makes sense why they might have been compelled to do so. All of these small upscale crossover models fit easily into the luxury segment. However, they aren’t wildly expensive. Just because they are the cheapest luxury SUVs of 2021 doesn’t mean they aren’t still good options for the money.


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