Car Buying Tips

Best Compact Luxury SUVs to Consider in 2024

Compact luxury SUVs are massively popular and so many new models have popped up in recent years as automakers keep up with demand. With taller seating, available traction at all four wheels, extra ground clearance, plenty of luxury features – and maybe a hint of driving performance – there are too many reasons why luxury brands sell so many compact SUVs.

AutoTrader's panel of experts has considered every single vehicle in this segment and voted on the best ones to help you narrow down your options so you feel more confident if you're shopping for a small luxury SUV and don't know where to start. Alphabetically, here are the new 2024 compact luxury SUVs our experts feel raise the bar and feel confident recommending to their own family and friends.

2024 BMW X3 / X4

It’s not only our AutoTrader experts who think BMW’s compact luxury SUV is a winner. The X3 and its X4 coupe/SUV variant have been the German automaker’s best-selling models in Canada for years. This generation has been around since 2018, but it still blends the best qualities of a BMW luxury sports sedan with the day-to-day practicality of an SUV.

For 2024, the range starts with the $56,700* X3 xDrive30i. It has a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder gas engine that develops 248 horsepower. If you want similar performance and are OK with plugging in, the $64,990 xDrive30e PHEV plug-in hybrid makes the same power as the xDrive30i but can be driven on electricity for up to 29 kilometres. Are you looking for more performance? The $72,300 X3 M40i xDrive has a smooth, turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder with 382 hp, boosted by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, while the $97,000 X3 M is blessed with a 503-hp version of the same inline-six and performance upgrades from BMW’s M Division.

The trio of sleeker-looking X4 variants don’t come with the plug-in unit, but the $60,500 X4 xDrive 30i, $75,600 M40i xDrive, and $98,800 X4 M share powertrains with the X3. All X3/X4 models use an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive (AWD).

2024 Genesis GV70 / Electrified GV70

Like BMW’s compact luxury SUV, the GV70 is based on a rear-wheel drive luxury sports sedan – in this case, the excellent Genesis G70 with its multi-link suspension. Like every model from Hyundai’s upstart luxury brand, the 2024 GV70 offers competitive build quality, refined driving dynamics, and lots of standard equipment that German rivals charge extra for.

Not surprisingly, the base $60,000 GV70 2.5T Advanced is powered by a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine making 300 hp. A more powerful 375-hp twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 powers the $73,500 3.5T Sport trim. The standard AWD has a rear-axle bias and can send 100 per cent of the torque to the rear wheels, and an optional electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential can further help put the power to the road. Both gas engines connect to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The only battery-electric vehicle our experts included on this list, the $84,500 Electrified GV70 Prestige AWD, doesn’t externally distinguish itself from its gas counterparts too much. However, it has a long list of standard equipment, an output of 429 hp, and a driving range of up to 380 kilometres. Although some rivals offer more range, the Genesis can fast charge its battery from 10 to 80 per cent capacity in just 18 minutes.

2024 Lexus NX

Backed by the Toyota luxury brand’s solid reputation for making reliable vehicles, having highly rated dealers, and retaining excellent resale values, the Lexus NX is the most affordable compact luxury SUV here. The AWD Lexus SUV also offers plenty of powertrain choices. Most 2024 NX specs have carried over from the 2023 refresh, starting at just $50,100 for the base NX 250 and its 203-hp 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine.

More in line with the power offered in the base trims of rivals mentioned here, the $57,900 NX 350 uses a turbo 2.4L four making 275 hp, while the $52,900 350h hybrid makes less power (240 hp) and less fuel. If you want the most potent NX – and the one that can be driven up to 61 km using any fuel – we suggest the top-line $59,900 NX 450h+ plug-in hybrid with 304 hp.

All 2024 NX trims are equipped with high-quality materials and comfortable front seats that are excellent for longer trips, and the batteries of both hybrids don’t hinder the NX’s rear cargo space. Although the 350 and 450h+ can be optioned with the F Sport packages, whatever type of power you choose, all NX variants deliver a traditional Lexus driving experience: comfortable, refined, and quiet.

2024 Porsche Macan

While we wait for the first all-electric Macan to arrive, the existing 2024 gas-only models still rank with our experts as some of the best compact luxury SUVs to consider. Since it arrived in 2015, the AWD Macan has been the top-selling Porsche in Canada, with prices starting at $65,200 for the base Macan with a 261-hp version of a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder. The Macan’s interior also feels like a Porsche – finished with high-quality materials and with an obsessive attention to detail.

Beyond its relative affordability, Porsche’s smallest SUV is also incredible to drive, feeling more like a hot hatch than an SUV. While the base Macan is desirable, the $70,600 Macan T adds performance features like launch control and Active Suspension Management. If you want your compact luxury SUV to act more like a sports car, the 375-hp $78,500 Macan S is blessed with a twin-turbocharged 2.9L V6. The ultimate Macan, the $93,400 GTS, boosts the six-cylinder to 434 hp and a host of performance tweaks that will make you forget you’re in an SUV on a twisty back road. Regardless of the trim level, even over rough Canadian roads, the Macan’s ride is smooth and controlled, and steering is surprisingly accurate.

2024 Volvo XC60 / XC60 Recharge

With a focus on safety and sustainability, Volvo’s compact luxury SUV is a Swedish-style alternative. With a distinctive exterior and subtle, modern cabin, the XC60 delivers an easy-to-live-with choice in a segment that tends to hype performance. For 2024 in Canada, both XC60 trims use a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine with some form of electrification. The XC60 mild hybrid, starting at $55,000, makes 247 hp, while the $59,950 XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid gets a larger battery, resulting in 317 hp and up to 58 kilometres of electric driving. An eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD are included.

Regardless of which XC60 you choose, you’ll find an interior cabin that is comfortable and filled with technology. Volvo’s reputation as a safety leader means the XC60 scores the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) highest rating of five stars, thanks to the standard blind-spot monitoring with steering assist, rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. It’s not a full self-driving feature, but Volvo’s Pilot Assist (standard on the Plus and Ultimate trim levels) provides steering assistance with adaptive cruise control to make longer road trips less tiring.

*Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices and trim availability in Canada as of March 1, 2024.