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If you are considering buying a new SUV, you are in luck. There are hundreds of options to choose from, with every major automaker offering a variety of models with varying styles, price points, and performance capabilities.

Since SUVs come in all different shapes and sizes, it can sometimes be hard to decide what model best fits your lifestyle. Compact luxury SUVs are a popular vehicle, and while an optimal choice for many drivers, they may not be the best option for you.

What makes a compact luxury SUV a good choice?

A black Genesis GV70, a compact luxury SUV that could be best for you, parked in front of a building with many windows.
Genesis GV70 | Hyundai Motor Company

Luxury compact SUVs are ideal for people that want high-tech features and have the money to indulge in luxury add-ons that offer superior comfort and practicality. While smaller than a traditional SUV, a compact crossover provides enhanced visibility, is accessible for all passengers to get in and out of, and sits higher than most cars.

Top-rated compact luxury SUVs typically use high-quality materials for the interior cabin and include a broad range of standard and optional safety features. They also offer exceptional performance, with each model providing handling and agility advantages, with many SUVs able to traverse any terrain type.

For drivers with large families that don’t want to invest in a minivan, a compact SUV provides a great alternative, with many models providing three-row seating options. The expanded cargo area is also ideal for pet owners that often travel with their dogs in tow.

Why a compact SUV is not for everyone

SUVs typically offer plenty of passenger space and cargo room, but if you do not frequently drive with others or carry large loads, it may not be the best option.

Also, if fuel economy is a deciding factor, you may want to avoid an SUV and purchase a sedan or passenger vehicle with better gas mileage. According to MotorTrend, “a car will achieve better mileage than an SUV equipped with the same engine, thanks to reduced weight and aerodynamic drag.” Since cars have a lower center of gravity, they typically have better handling capabilities, such as braking and accelerating, compared to an SUV.

A car might also be a better choice for drivers living in temperate climates where icy-covered roads are not a problem. While SUVs offer better traction and higher ground clearance, that may not be important to some drivers.

The best and worst luxury compact SUVs on the market today

One of the best luxury compact SUVs available today is the 2023 Genesis GV70, with an MSRP range of $43,150 to $47,922. Named the “2022 MotorTrend SUV of the Year,” the high-end five-passenger SUV offers plenty of room and comfort for all passengers, with more rear legroom than other models in its class.

The Genesis GV70 gets its 300 hp impressive performance capabilities from a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, going from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds. An optional twin-turbo V6 engine is also available, generating 375 hp and going from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

The exquisite cabin is carefully crafted, providing a luxurious feeling unsurpassed by many other SUVs. MotorTrend says, “The interior punches far above its price and segment. Every piece inside the vehicle feels high end. The GV70 feels special in all the best ways.”

On the flip side, in a crowded segment, the 2023 Cadillac XT4 is considered among the worst-rated luxury compact SUVs available on the market today. According to MotorTrend, “Between a cheap-feeling interior and a forgettable driving experience, the Cadillac XT4 isn’t up to par with its segment rivals.” They attribute poor outward visibility, an unrefined powertrain, and a “bland, under-equipped interior” to its low rating.


3 of the Best Luxury Compact SUVs to Buy According to MotorTrend