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Luxury SUVs come in all shapes and sizes. Although we tend to think of luxury cars as being big, not all are. As more drivers are interested in hybrids, electrics, and other fuel-efficient SUVs, the Luxury compact SUV is a hot segment full of winning nameplates. Amazingly, the top 3 luxury compact SUVs on Us News – the Genesis GV70, BMW X3, and Mercedes-Benz GLC – all start at less than $45,000. Which one would you choose?

The best luxury compact SUVs on US News all cost under $45,000

The 2023 Genesis GV70, 2023 BMW X3, and 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC ranked in order from 1st to 3rd place on US News. All three SUVs are similar in size and shape and even have comparable performance specs. 

2023 Genesis GV70

A black Genesis GV70 small luxury SUV is parked on the road.
The 2023 Genesis GV70 | Genesis

The GV70 earned 1st place for luxury compact SUVs on US News. The 2023 Genesis GV70 starts at $42,900 for the 2.5T AWD, and the fully loaded 2023 Genesis GV70 starts at $55,000 for the 3.5T Sport AWD. As you might have guessed, the main difference between the two trims is the engine. The base model comes with a 300-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four, while the upmarket trim comes with a 375-hp turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. 

US News ranked the GV70 first because of its “well-rounded” nature. It has two hot engine choices, an upscale interior, sharp handling, and a supple ride. All that, starting at only $42,900, is hard to beat. 

2023 BMX X3

The 2023 BMW X3 is a proven winner for BMW due to its blending of the brand’s sporty nature and the comforts and practicality of a small SUV. 

The X3 comes in four variations, most of which come standard with AWD. The first is the sDrive30i which draws power from a 248-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. The major downside of this trim is that it is only offered in rear-wheel drive. Because of this, the base X3 starts at a friendly $45,400. The next version essentially remains the same but has the AWD Xdrive system. The M40i comes next, stomping around with 382 hp from its turbocharged inline-six.

US News notes that, unlike the Genesis GV70, the BMW X3 isn’t likely to wow you with opulence. However, its sporty profile mixed with above-average interior appointments make the X3 pretty tantalizing. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC

The GLC class SUV is in the third spot but technically is tied with the X3. While the scores might be the same, the Merc and BMW are pretty different. The X3 is all performance with enough luxury to make the cut. The Merc is basically the opposite. 

Mercedes-Benz knows a thing or two about building a luxurious interior. The GLC steers more into this side of the segment than the performance side. However, that doesn’t mean the GLC class SUVs are slow. Starting at $43,850, the GLC comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four making 255 hp. Frankly, there is a pile of configurations for GLC, but the hottest trim comes with the AMG name attached, meaning it will boogie. The AMG GLC 4matic draws power from a twin-turbocharged V6 making 385 hp. While this is plenty hot, it doesn’t really compare to the BMW’s sportiest trim. 

US News liked the GLC not for its fire-breathing abilities but instead for its luxurious interior. The review states that “overall, the GLC has no glaring downsides.” While it may sound a little general, that’s a pretty fine review.