The Most Reliable 2021 Luxury Compact SUVs According to Consumer Reports

There are plenty of compact SUVs for you to cross-shop. But if you want a more refined experience, it’s worth splurging on a luxury model. The best luxury compact SUVs are elegant, dynamic, and plush. But if you want an exceptionally reliable one, there aren’t as many options.

Consumer Reports surveyed the latest small luxury SUVs, and the org only officially recommends five of them. Unfortunately, CR’s data shows that most models in this segment are below-average for dependability. Here are the most reliable ones for the 2021 model year to consider. 

2021 Lexus NX

A silver 2021 Lexus NX parked on rugged terrain
2021 Lexus NX | Photo via Lexus

Some enthusiasts shade the Lexus NX because it “lacks sportiness” and isn’t “particularly thrilling” like some of its German competition. Despite these critiques, the NX is an enjoyable ride. It remains poised on bumpy roads, and it provides the refined cabin experience you would expect from a luxury car. It’s available as a hybrid too. 

CR gave the 2021 NX a few impressive acknowledgments. The org rates it the most reliable luxury compact SUV; it’s the only option on this list with a perfect five out of five dependability rating. And out of the 329,000 vehicles CR evaluated, the NX places as the second-most reliable car after the Toyota Prius. 

2021 Audi Q5

An electirc blue 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback driving on the countryside.
2021 Audi Q5 Sportback | Audi

There are a few flashy updates for the 2021 Audi Q5. It has a sharper image complete with a refreshed grille and silver finishings in its front and rear bumpers. Audi also updated the Q5’s powertrain. Its turbocharged four-cylinder now makes 261-hp, 13 more horses than last year. What’s also cool is that Audi made a 12-volt hybrid system standard. 

You might also be interested in the refreshed plug-in. Like the rest of the models on this list, the Q5 has an average reliability score. Most 2020 owners had positive things to say about this SUV. Though, CR’s data shows that the Q5’s climate system can be problematic. 

2021 Porsche Macan 

A red 2020 Porsche Macan GTS
2020 Porsche Macan GTS | Porsche

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The Macan is the Q5’s corporate cousin. Both SUVs share the same platform, but the Macan earns more praise for its crisp handling. Last year, the Macan was one of CR’s favorite Porsche vehicles. Enthusiasts love that the Macan rides firm like a sports car, but without minimizing overall ride comfort. 

Additionally, the Macan offers a variety of powerful engines. Still, some might not think it’s worth $10K more than the competition. The good news that Macan has performed well in CR’s Reliability Charts overall. 

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC

A silver 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 off-road.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 | Mercedes-Benz

The Macan is one of the GLC’s most formidable competitors. Even so, CR recognizes the GLC more for its lavish interior that “swaddles” its occupants. The GLC is also one of the best-rated compact luxury SUVs for its tranquil driving experience. It has received a few backhanded compliments, though. 

Despite nine NHTSA safety recalls on the 2020 model, GLC owners haven’t had significant complaints about the SUV. According to CR, the most common trouble spot on the 2020 GLC concerns its fuel system and body integrity. 

2021 Cadillac XT5

2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport | GM
2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport | GM

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The 2021 Cadillac XT5 rounds out our list of CR’s most reliable small luxury SUVs. You might favor the XT5 for its classic Cadillac style inside and out. Some of the most exciting news for 2021 is the XT5 now comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus more active safety features are standard. Dependability is a highlight of the XT5, but CR noted a few flaws, including its stiff ride quality and limited outward view.