Compact luxury SUVs have quickly become one of the most popular classes of vehicles in the United States. These vehicles deliver the room and practicality of an SUV in city-friendly dimensions. With the convenience of an SUV and the luxury of a top-of-the-line sedan, luxury compact SUVs attract a wide range of customers.
For people living in cities, there are some additional factors to consider when choosing the best luxury SUV. City-dwellers who purchase a luxury compact SUV need it to be small enough to navigate city streets, with an engine that provides decent city fuel mileage.
With these parameters in mind, explore some of the best luxury SUVs for city living.
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2022 Lexus NX
The newly-updated Lexus LX offers the comfort and luxury associated with Lexus models in an affordable package. Starting at $38,000 and delivering an elite fuel economy of 22-26 miles per gallon in the city, this modestly-sized luxury SUV is an excellent option for city living.
The 2022 model is available with two traditional engine options: a 2.5-liter I-4 that delivers 203 horsepower and 184 pounds of torque per foot and an upgraded 2.4-liter turbo I-4 that delivers a solid 275 horsepower and 317 pounds of torque per foot. Both engines should provide plenty of getup for city driving, though the strength of the base engine is just average compared to the other members of the class. There are also two hybrid engine options available for eco-friendly drivers.
While the engine may be average, the LX stands out with its value for money. With top-of-the-class gas mileage, a quality build, solid tech, active safety features, and an integrated touch-screen infotainment center, the ‘22 LX stands among the leaders in the compact luxury SUV segment.
2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class
One of the first companies that come to mind when you think of luxury vehicles is Mercedes-Benz. Its 2022 GLB-Class offering builds on its former MotorTrend SUV of the Year honors with an elegantly-designed compact SUV.
The top-selling Mercedes-Benz model in the United States, this luxury compact SUV seats five and is designed to be sleek enough to handle tight city streets. Starting at $43,850, the GLB-Class sits on the higher end of the cost spectrum for base models in the luxury compact SUV class.
Under the hood, the base model offers a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that delivers 255 horsepower and 273 pounds per foot of torque. Sitting at about 22 miles per gallon in the city, the GLB-Class won’t necessarily be a gas-guzzler, but it doesn’t have the fuel mileage of some other models in the class.
You can also upgrade to a trim level featuring a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, delivering 385 horsepower on just 18 miles per gallon in the city; however, the base model’s combination of torque and gas mileage may be a better choice for city drivers at the price point.
Another reason many drivers are attracted to the GLB-Class is its enhanced safety features. In 2021, the IIHS chose the GLB-Class as its Top Safety Award winner, and the NHTSA issued the 2022 model a five-star safety rating. The vehicle offers rear cross-traffic monitoring, crosswind assist, blind-spot monitoring, and an optional driver assistance package. The optional package includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering, automatic emergency braking, and road sign recognition.
2022 BMW X3
The 2022 BMW X3, which placed at the top of the US News and World Report’s list of the top luxury compact SUVs for 2022, is another excellent option for city drivers. Starting at $43,700, the X3 is among the most expensive options in the class; however, it can be argued that the comparatively high price point is worth the investment.
For the 2022 model year, the X3 introduced several newly-standard equipment features and a revamped exterior. While the sporty and instantly-recognizable exterior of the X3 is a selling point, the revamped interior may be even stronger. With a futuristic-looking control island in the center console and perforated faux-leather seats, rides in the X3 are comfortable and elegant.
Under the hood, the X3 offers a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbo engine, which provides 248 horsepower and 258 pounds per foot of torque; these capabilities allow the X3 to compete with the specifications of any other vehicle in the class. Offering a solid 23 miles per gallon, the X3’s fuel economy is near the top of the class, making the X3 an excellent choice for city drivers looking for a luxury compact SUV with some performance.
2023 Infiniti QX50
The 2023 Infiniti QX50, starting at $40,025, features a rounded yet sporty body that is compact enough to navigate tight city streets while offering the elegance of a luxury vehicle. However, where the QX50 really stands out is under the hood.
The QX50’s VC-Turbo I-4 (the “VC” standing for variable compression) has been called the largest step forward for the internal combustion engine in years. Capable of dynamically altering its compression ratio for fuel economy or power depending on how you’re driving it, the Infiniti’s newly-revamped engine is its calling card for this fun-to-drive model and why it is one of the best choices for city driving.
Another attractive component of the QX50 is its standard safety features. These include adaptive cruise control, lane-centering assistance, blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerting, and front-end automatic emergency braking.
However, there are some drawbacks to the vehicle. Even with the variable compression engine, the QX50 gets about 22-23 miles per gallon, placing it towards the bottom of its class for fuel efficiency.
There have also been complaints about the transmission and how it interplays with the VC engine, with some commenters claiming it feels rubbery or loose. The infotainment center has also been the subject of some user complaints, with some customers reporting that the interface is not user-friendly.
These complaints are a bit of a nitpick, but they are also something to keep in mind when selecting your next vehicle. Overall, the QX50 is among the leaders in the luxury compact SUV class.
2023 Audi Q5
Audi’s Q5 offering for 2023 provides a perfect balance of luxury, economy, and tech in a compact package that is perfect for city drivers. Starting at $43,500, the Q5’s base price falls on the high end among the leaders of the luxury compact SUV class.
The Q5’s renowned and high-tech interior is full of luxurious features: an easy-to-use infotainment center, multi-color ambient lighting, heated rear seats, and a top-of-the-line 19-speaker audio system.
Under the hood, the standard Quattro AWD system provides all the quickness you’ll need in a city setting. With a base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Q5 comes in two performance options: one capable of providing 201 horsepower and one capable of delivering 261 horsepower. Its 23 miles per gallon city fuel economy rating sits among the other leaders of the class, adding to the well-rounded experience enjoyed by Q5 drivers.
SUViews Can Help You Find the Right SUV
With so many attractive options in the luxury compact SUV class, it can be challenging to decide on the best SUV for you. SUViews can help you decide with our in-depth reviews and recommendations. With the help of our knowledgeable SUV experts, you can find the perfect luxury compact SUV.