11 Best Luxury Subcompact SUVs in 2021 – Affordable Premium Cars

best luxury subcompact suv

If you are looking for a luxury vehicle for your small family at an affordable price, then the best luxury subcompact SUVs are a great option for you. It has little cargo space but is well equipped. 

These most reliable luxury cars offer you the sufficient seating position of large SUVs, good fuel economy, and greater functionality. 

Luxury small SUVs are more affordable and have many of the same features or options as larger sedans for a lower price. 

Driving a small car as a daily passenger is also beneficial for better driving behavior and greater maneuverability. 

Most new buyers want technology, features, and driving dynamics that meet their expectations of the latest smaller vehicles

The robustness of the mixed traffic environment is hard to beat the size of the small car for parking in busy areas. 

We’ve ranked the best subcompact luxury SUV based on their features.

What Are The Best Luxury Subcompact SUVs?

All of these vehicles, which offer good fuel economy, high performance, easier parking and maneuvering, and a fun and different driving experience at a lower price, are the best luxury subcompact SUVs.

For this reason, the major automobile manufacturers are currently working on the dynamics and comfort on the road for this type of machine.

Scroll down to see the list of the top of the best subcompact luxury SUV.

  1. 2021 BMW X1
  2. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
  3. 2021 Audi Q3
  4. 2021 Lexus UX
  5. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class
  6. 2021 BMW X2
  7. 2021 Volvo XC40
  8. Cadillac XT4
  9. 2021 Jaguar E-Pace
  10.  Buick Encore GX
  11.  2021 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Why Are Subcompact SUVs is Best Choice For You?

A subcompact SUV, also known as a “small vehicle,” is a vehicle that combines many of the design elements and features of standard and small cars.

If you’ve ever wished that a car could be a little more spacious, or that an SUV could drive better and consume less fuel, this could be the vehicle for you. 

Not sure whether to buy a car, sedan, or small SUV? Let us outline the top four reasons why they are good for you. You may find that a small SUV is exactly the type of vehicle you are looking for.

Great Fuel Efficiency

They have sleek, sporty body lines and smaller engines that allow for reasonable fuel economy. They also offer the stability of an SUV while being built on the same platform as most of their sedan counterparts.

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Car-Like Handling 

A typical subcompact SUV uses a body-on-frame design. In other words, the body and frame of an SUV are usually separate components.

The body-on-frame design allows the vehicle frame to rotate slightly while driving, ensuring better off-road handling.

Affordable Price

Individuals or couples who want to buy their first car should consider a compact car at a lower base price.

Small cars are the cheapest cars and offer many of the same features or options as larger sedans at a lower cost.

Practicality & feature-richness

Despite their small size, mini SUVs have all of the latter’s features, including dual-zone HVAC, sunroofs, automatic transmissions, and turbo gasoline engines.

In addition, their cubicles offer many cubicles for storing jewelry. Finally, users can further increase luggage capacity thanks to the flexible seating options in these vehicles.

11 Best Luxury Subcompact SUVs Review in 2021

Subcompact luxury SUVs are now trending in the US automotive world, and they give you great functionality and a luxury look within the budget. 

And these vehicles take up less space than other cars. Now, the big automakers are building SUVs for small cars because their demand is increasing day by day and they have become the best selling cars

Some automakers in the small-car luxury crossover SUV class are already established, such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. Some are newer to the scene, like the Lexus UX and the Mercedes-Benz GLB.

In our collection, some vehicles are based on a good performance and others focus on high-tech features. To help you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best subcompact luxury SUVs.

1. 2021 BMW X1

The BMW X1 is the best luxury subcompact SUV for less price with excellent handling when turning. It is not only fun on the road, but also offers plenty of space for luggage with its large loading area. 

luxury subcompact suv united states

All models are equipped with the same 228 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; It’s strong enough to handle the small luxury vehicle.

It also offers good fuel economy. All X1 models have an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, integrated GPS maps, and satellite radio.

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The optional AWD system works well and improves performance on the highway or in loose conditions.

Key Specification Of BMW X1

  • MSRP: $35,400 – $37,400
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 228 hp
  • MPG: 24 City / 33 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the BMW X1?

The X1 received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA. The X1 achieved the highest rating of Good in all six IIHS crash tests.

2. 2021 Mercedes Benz GLA-Class

If you are looking for a luxury small SUV with great acceleration, the Mercedes-Benz is for you. The early models aren’t that pretty, but the second generation 2021 model has improved over the existing GLA, both in terms of material quality and space. 

best subcompact luxury suv

GLA gets good gasoline performance and also offers a comfortable ride. Inside, both rows of seats are spacious and an intuitive infotainment system is at the top of the list of features.

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Basic models are equipped with two 7.0-inch displays, one for displaying the driver display and one for the infotainment system, two 10.3-inch displays are optional.

Key Specification Of Mercedes Benz GLA-Class

  • MSRP: $36,230 – $54,500
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 221 hp
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 2021 GLA.

3. 2021 Audi Q3

The Audi Q3 is the best luxury subcompact SUV with a great exterior design that can be seen mainly as expensive cars.

best small suv

But you get this at an affordable price because your cabin is lined with many of the same fine materials and technical features. 

The Q3 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 184 or 228 hp; Either way, it’s equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive as standard.

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In its latest model, it has a significantly improved driving position, an easy-to-use control layout, and more elegant materials.

Key Specification Of Audi Q3

  • MSRP: $34,000 – $39,300
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 184 hp
  • MPG: 22 City / 30 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the Audi Q3?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the Audi Q3 2022 to a crash test.

4. 2021 Lexus UX

2021 Lexus UX is a perfect luxury compact SUV that is small and of the highest quality at a premium price. 

luxury subcompact suv

It has a multitude of standard functions and an impressive design, as well as an attractive interior.UX uses a hybrid powertrain that ensures high fuel efficiency.

There is also enough space in the cabin for four adults to sit comfortably. This crossover is easy to maneuver around corners, it is equipped with all-wheel drive as standard.

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Inside, thanks to its attractive design and stylish materials, Lexus ensures that passengers know that this is the best subcompact luxury SUVs.

Key Specification Of Lexus UX

  • MSRP: $35,200 – $39,900
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 181 hp
  • MPG: 41 City / 38 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the Lexus UX?

The NHTSA gave the 2021 Lexus UX Hybrid an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The IIHS gave the 2021 UX Hybrid the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests.

5. 2021 Mercedes Benz GLB-Class

The Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class is a subcompact SUV with a size larger than the GLA-Class with a high-end interior with user-friendly technical functions. 

luxury subcompact suv review

When we add an optional third row, it becomes a small seven-seater best subcompact luxury SUV. 

The GLB rides comfortably on rougher road surfaces and feels more agile and confident when cornering.

Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine propels the SUV quickly while ensuring admirable fuel consumption.

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Furthermore, it is exceptionally comfortable, correspondingly luxurious, and equipped with attractive technology.

Key Specification Of Mercedes Benz GLB-Class

  • MSRP: $38,050 – $49,500
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 221 hp
  • MPG: 23 City / 31 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class?

Neither NHTSA nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has tested the safety of the GLB. 

6. 2021 BMW X2

The BMW X2 is similar to another sub-compact luxury SUV, the BMW X1 is one of the best handling cars and is more fun on winding roads.

best luxury subcompact suv

It also features four 302 horsepower potentiometers that make for a powerful, fire-breathing machine. The driving position is excellent and all controls of the X2 are easily accessible for the driver. 

The headroom in the rear seats is scarce, but otherwise, the passenger comfort should be acceptable for most. 

Although it has a sleek interior design and user-friendly technology, the ride can be tough and the second row is a bit narrow.

Key Specification Of BMW X2

  • MSRP: $36,600 – $46,450
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 228 hp
  • MPG: 24 City / 32 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the BMW X2?

The 2021 X2 hasn’t been crash-tested by the NHTSA, and it was not named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. 

7. 2021 Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 is a large SUV with plenty of cockpit space, fun to drive, and the ultimate luxury SUV in a subcompact.

best selling subcompact suv

Volvo offers two different four-cylinder turbo engines: the 184hp T4 comes with front-wheel drive, the more powerful 248hp T5 comes with all-wheel drive as standard.

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The interior is superbly designed and offers plenty of space and high-tech functionality. Volvo has equipped its SUV with a large infotainment touchscreen, leather upholstery as standard, and an optional powerful 248hp engine combined with all-wheel drive.

Key Specification Of XC40

  • MSRP: $33,700 – $41,450
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 187 hp
  • MPG: 23 City / 32 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the Volvo XC40?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the XC40 a five-star safety rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named it a Top Safety Pick. 

8. Cadillac XT4

The XT4 has one of the most spacious options among the luxurious subcompact SUV discussed, which will help attract those who appreciate the extra interior space.

luxury subcompact suvs

Aside from the easy-to-use infotainment system, the interior is dominated by a lot of hard plastic, and even the optional leather upholstery looks and feels cheap.

The interior of the XT4 is comfortable and spacious, but not as high-quality as we would expect in this premium segment.

Key Specification Of 2021 Cadillac XT

  • MSRP: $35,795 – $42,495
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 237 hp
  • MPG: 24 City / 30 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the 2021 Cadillac XT4?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Cadillac XT4 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2021 XT4 the highest rating of Good in both crash safety tests it conducted.

9. 2021 Jaguar E-Pace

The 2021 Jaguar E-Pace is a seductive luxury SUV and the best small car with agile handling that makes it easy to drive.

best subcompact luxury suv

Jaguar is updating the E-Pace line in 2021 with a new interior and exterior design and several new features.

The interior of the E-Pace surrounds the driver with a slanted dash design that places all controls close to the driver’s hands.

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The E-Pace’s infotainment system is driven by its 11.4-inch curved touchscreen, which sits in the center of the dash.

Key Specification Of 2021 Jaguar E-Pace

  • MSRP: $40,995 – $49,995
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 246 hp
  • MPG: 21 City / 26 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the 2021 Jaguar E-Pace?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash-tested the 2021 E-Pace.

10. Buick Encore GX

The Buick Encore GX is one of the most affordable luxury subcompact SUVs with a modern look with a base price starting at $24,200.

best luxury subcompact suv

The Encore GX sits at the larger, more luxurious end of the extra-small SUV segment. It has a wide range of available technology and safety features, as well as a more exclusive interior than most other competing SUVs.

 The quiet cabin of the Encore GX has leather upholstery, heated seats, and more space for passengers than the smaller Encore.

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Key Specification Of 2021 Buick Encore GX

  • MSRP: $24,200 – $30,600
  • Engine: 1.3 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 137 hp
  • MPG: 29 City / 31 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the 2021 Buick Encore GX?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Encore GX an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not evaluated the Encore GX.

11. 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

The 2021 Range Rover Evoque has the most attractive design among the best luxury subcompact SUV. it is very capable of getting off the beaten track.

luxury subcompact suv comparison

It has plenty of off-road capability and a large cabin that’s sleek and inviting, at least for front-seat passengers, as those who are too slow to draw attention can feel claustrophobic in the back seat. 

The Evoque is powered by a 246 turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and is equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard. 

All Evoque models are equipped with a 10.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that runs Land Rover’s Pivi Pro interface.

Key Specification Of Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

  • MSRP: $43,300 – $53,400
  • Engine: 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 246 hp
  • MPG: 20 City / 27 highway
  • Seating Capacity: 5
How Safe is the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque?

The Evoque has not been tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

What is the most reliable luxury subcompact SUV?

We researched many luxury small car SUVs and found that the Lexus UX is the most reliable SUV with minimal maintenance costs and it drives well for a reasonably low price.

What is the best luxury subcompact SUV for 2021?

To get the answer, take a look at this list of the top-rated subcompact luxury SUVs we’re prepared for after going through all the SUVs.

  1. 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA
  2. 2021 Audi Q3
  3. 2021 Volvo XC40
  4. 2021 BMW X1
  5. 2021 BMW X2
  6. 2021 Lexus UX
  7. 2021 Jaguar E- Pace
  8. 2021 Mini Countryman
Does Lexus have a subcompact luxury SUV?

Yes, Lexus offers a premium and comfortable option with the Lexus UX Crossover.

The Japanese luxury brand’s smallest SUV shows the attention to detail and exclusive features that buyers have come to expect.

What is the best-rated luxury SUV?

Our award for the best luxury SUV goes to Mercedes-Benz – the ever-popular GLE.

It was redesigned as a hybrid for 2021 and is on its way to shaping the future of sustainable sports utility vehicles.

What is the most luxurious SUV of 2021?

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the most luxurious SUV of the year 2021. This gigantic machine takes its name from a gigantic diamond, which is appropriate given the overwhelming opulence and the ultra-expensive price of the Ute from 330,000 US dollars.

Is BMW X1 worth buying?

Yes, it is. It’s a beautiful car with a true SUV attitude. BMW has provided ample room almost everywhere: head, leg, and trunk room. We prefer it to GLA or Q3. The after-sales service is also fantastic.

How good is the 2021 Lexus UX200?

The 2021 Lexus UX 200 is the best luxury compact SUV to buy. It’s smaller and cheaper than the larger Lexus SUV, the NX 300, but it’s still well-equipped with features. The interior is lined with many high-quality materials.

Is Volvo XC40 worth the money?

The 2021 Volvo XC40 has found a place in our ranking of the best luxury SUVs due to its complete driving dynamics and beautiful, spacious interior.

Its cabin is made of high-quality materials and a sleek design, and the cabin is good for such a small vehicle.

Final Thought

When evaluating small-size luxury cars, you should look for a comfortable and quiet ride, as well as a cabin with spacious seats, exclusive materials, and easy-to-use connectivity and entertainment information technologies.

With some strong competitors in this segment, determining the best subcompact luxury SUV depends on your personal priorities.  Don’t forget that a number of best-used luxury SUVs are also available. They are best for towing and moving passengers at a lower cost

Dylan Miller

I am a Chicago native and regular contributor to Locardelas.com and Carscache.com. I have a master's degree in English, am an automobile content creation specialist, and have written professionally for a variety of automotive companies over the past few years. I write on a variety of vehicles, from high-end luxury cars to ten-year-old gas guzzlers and everything in between. And I love sharing valuable car buying tips with consumers from all walks of life.

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