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Ranking the Top 15 Best Compact Luxury SUVs and Crossovers

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As a whole, compact luxury crossovers and SUVs are terrific. But they’re not all the same, and some are definitely better than others.

There are plenty of good reasons why you’d like compact versions of SUVs and crossovers. The smaller ones are still bigger than sedans, but they’re easier to drive and park than full-sized SUVs. They’re more stable, while the higher seats feel better than driving in a regular car.

It’s even better when you’re driving in the comfort of a luxury crossover. But which ones are the best? Here’s our ranking:

1. Porsche Macan. Who says crossovers can’t be sporty? Porsche proves that SUVs can be just as athletic on the road as its sedan counterparts. That’s especially true with the Macan S with the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine.

2. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. This is the enhanced version of the regular Stelvio, and it’s a station wagon on steroids. You’ve got a low-sling body and wide tires to go with the 505 horses in the engine. It’s great for families, with lots of cargo space and AWD.

3. Mercedes-AMG GLC43/GLC63 SUV. These are based on the GLC300, except that they’re more powerful and allow for aggressive handling. The 43 comes with a turbo 6-cylinder, while the 63 has a robust twin turbo V8 with 469 horses.

4. BMW X3. This is one magical combo of everyday driving and riding comfort with sporty handling. Pick between the 2L inline-4 with 248 HP and the 3L inline-6 with 355 horses. Either way, this is one sweet crossover to drive.

5. Jaguar I-Pace. This is fully electric, with a range of 234 miles per full charge. It handles very sportily, and the positioning of the huge battery makes for reliable stability. Start it up and you beat everyone on the road when the light turns green.

6. Volvo XC60. This is smaller than the XC90 and bigger than the XC40—and it’s just right in size. The interior is quite classy, and it’s big on safety gear like any other Volvo. You have lane-keeping assist and automated emergency braking, along with options like semi-autonomous driving mode.

7. Porsche Macan Turbo. This has a somewhat tighter cabin and cargo space, which is why the regular Macan is placed higher. But it offers a lot of driving exhilaration and road performance that you’d expect from the Porsche brand.

8. Audi Q5. Lots of people seem to think that the Q5 is perfect. That’s because there are no glaring weaknesses or drawbacks. It does everything well enough. It offers a turbo 4-cylinder along with a nice ride and sharp handling and it even looks great.

9. Audi SQ5. The “SQ5” means it’s the sporty Q5, and there’s no denying it. You have a turbo V6 with 349 horses, yet it rides very well with little noise and harshness.

10. Lexus RX. The original RX heralded the vehicle category about 2 decades ago, and its modern incarnation is still great. The look is impressively aggressive yet it’s a comfy ride.

11. Alfa Romeo Stelvio. So what if it doesn’t have the 505 HP that you get from the Quadrifoglio? It still gives you 280 HP, and that’s more than what you usually get from other 4-cylinder engines out there. Besides, it still looks terrific and unapologetically sporty, and you still get AWD.

12. Jaguar F-Pace. A lot of people like to balance their practical needs with their need for some sporty driving, and the F-Pace offers that nice balance without a doubt. It’s also great for families with the larger cargo space compared to other SUVs out there. Just get the supercharged V6 so you have the horses and torque you need, though you can always go with the F-Pace SVR with its V8 engine and 550 horses.

13. Audi e-tron. This is the fully electric Audi SUV, except you can’t tell from just a glance. This is the brand’s first ever mass-produced EV, and it has the feel and look of the regular Audi luxury crossover. You also enjoy a range of 200 miles for each full charge.

14. Mercedes-Benz GLC300. This is another winner, with a premium interior to go along with its comfy handling. The turbo 4-cylinder engine is surprisingly good, and you and your family enjoy lots of standard safety gear.

15. Acura RDX. This is one sporty car with 272 horses from its turbo inline-4 engine and torque-vectoring AWD. Even its look is expressively sporty as well. It’s just that the rear seats are a bit tighter and the unusual infotainment system that have kept this from climbing higher up our list.

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