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The 2020 Audi Q5 is our highest-rated small luxury SUV, is a Best Buy award winner, and gets a plug-in hybrid option. Two categories in particular showed near parity: convenience features and fuel costs, the latter designed to account for the Cadillac’s regular-gasoline requirement rather than focusing on mpg. 2018 Kia Niro. Child-seat accommodation: The QX50 earned the most points in our Car Seat Check, where it proved the most accommodating to our various seat types, receiving only one demerit for recessed outboard seat belt buckles. More Leagues. Research the 2018 Cadillac XT5 | Search Inventory | Car Seat Check | Photo Gallery, 3 2019 Infiniti QX50 Essential, 689 points, Zero-to-60 mph (seconds): 6.54, third fastest Seven seats are standard, but only kids will find the third row truly comfortable … Its powertrain (six years/70,000 miles) and bumper-to-bumper (four years/60,000 miles) warranties are the best combination in the Challenge. Also noted: A relatively simple center control panel, the only 110-volt household outlet, two USB ports for the backseat, “fantabulous” braking response, standout styling and a model name rather than alphanumeric hieroglyphics — “a branding identity that doesn’t include a number or the letter X,” Masterson observed. The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox, By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy, Best SUVsBest Subcompact SUVs Best Compact SUVsBest Midsize SUVsBest Large SUVsBest Subcompact Luxury SUVsBest Small Luxury SUVsBest Midsize Luxury SUVsBest Large Luxury SUVs, Best CarsBest Small CarsBest Midsize CarsBest Small Luxury CarsBest Midsize Luxury Cars, Best Trucks and MinivansBest Pickup TrucksBest Minivans. “The leather was of good quality, and the soft-touch surfaces extended to the dash.” Mays said, “Overall quality isn’t a complete slam dunk — the detailing isn’t terribly intricate, and too many buttons still have flat, uninviting textures,” which may be why the Caddy ranked second to the Volvo in this category. Some of its shortcomings are due to its small size, which our consumer judge Bodhanwala crystalized when he said, “It feels more like a hatchback than an SUV.”. Regular gasoline: “The XT5 makes up for its dismal EPA gas mileage with the group’s only recommendation for regular gas, not premium, which costs some 20 percent more these days,” Mays said. Also noted: Lacking remote start and both a heated and power tilt/telescoping steering wheel helped put the X3 at the bottom of the convenience features scoring. 4 2018 Cadillac XT5 Luxury, 663 points The verdict: The XT5’s size provides most of its advantages in cargo room and a useful backseat, but the snooze-inducing drive and frustrating … The 2018 Audi Q7 is one of the highest-ranked luxury midsize SUVs. Best 2013 Small Luxury SUVs. Share; ... and came up with our top five small SUVs for 2018. Also noted: The “weirdly low resolution” of the backup camera and displays with too-small text that wash out in sunlight. Masterson added, “The pinch-and-zoom abilities are even slower than the XT5’s CUE map.”. Bodhanwala noted, “The screen is wide but not tall enough. The Lexus NX brings bold styling and legendary reliability to the compact luxury SUV group, offering shoppers a hard-to-resist mix of SUV practicality and Lexus value. As luxury vehicles go, the compact SUV is now the heart of the market. SUVs are a commanding force across the automotive landscape. Cargo storage: “The XT5 was the biggest vehicle in the Challenge and made good use of that size with the most cargo room,” Wong said. Also noted: A conventional gear selector, a large and vertical touchscreen, and high-resolution backup camera image. Interior quality: “From cut-rate plastics to rickety controls, cabin quality isn’t up to snuff for this crowd,” Mays said. Estimated city/highway/combined mpg (gas grade): 22/29/25 (premium) Typical of Audis in our Challenges, the Q5 proved well-rounded and had no last-place finishes in any scoring categories, and it led or tied for first in three. The Lexus had the least points in this category. Reliability: 3.5/5 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.8/10 | $40,050. Braking distance: At 122.7 feet from 60-to-zero mph, the Q5 had the shortest braking distance. 2018 Honda Pilot. Braking distance (60-to-zero mph, feet): 123.6, third shortest Mercedes’ entry SUV has the driving dynamics to back up its sporty stance, but it’s also easy to navigate around town, as noted in our full review: “The GLA’s tidy size makes it a friend in cities and urban environments, where its easy-to-park manners and maneuverability help it slither through congestion.”. Estimated city/highway/combined mpg (gas grade): 22/28/24 (premium) Handling: “There was a substantial amount of body roll, and the steering felt vague in corners,” said Masterson. KBB.com Consumer Rating. The title of best family SUV has to go to the Honda Pilot. In Small SUVs, there are 23 cars. “A simple swipe of the foot underneath the rear bumper proved responsive.”. Transmission response for passing was also average. 2021 Ford Expedition vs. 2021 Nissan Armada Comparison, Tesla Halts Orders for Standard Range Model Y. Safety and autonomy: The top-rated Volvo not only had all of the features you could expect, it also executed them well. Save cars. Multimedia system: Though its overall multimedia offering rated average, judges missed Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and complained that the two displays looked like they came from different SUVs, “with separate resolution and swipe speeds,” Mays said. So you won’t see much mention of fuel issues, but read on to see how the vehicles ranked — and why. Research the 2018 BMW X3 | Search Inventory | Car Seat Check | Photo Gallery, Zero-to-60 mph (seconds): 5.33, fastest The CX-5 has fantastic driving dynamics, a luxe interior, low projected … read more » 8.7SCORE $16,483 - $20,769 AVG PRICE PAID It has a good predicted reliability rating and … read more ». Best 2014 Small Luxury SUVs. As-tested price: $52,435. As-tested price: $47,645. Not Quite, But Here Are 5 Takeaways for the 2022 Kia Carnival, What Owners Should Know About Ford’s Latest Takata Recall, 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5: The Next Tesla Challenger Is Coming, 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Honey, I Shrunk the S-Class, Kelsey Mays, Cars.com senior consumer affairs editor, Brian Wong, Cars.com Los Angeles bureau chief. It has great driving dynamics, strong engines, good safety ratings, and a read more » 8.0SCORE $33,018 - $40,986 AVG PRICE PAID A sleek dashboard and available two … “It’s composed without being soft.” The X3 was second only to the Alfa in handling. Backseat: “My favorite backseat of the bunch, with tons of headroom and excellent visibility with a panoramic moonroof, giant side windows and rear air vents mounted in the pillars,” said Wong. Quietness: “Very good cabin isolation from the composed ride and good sound deadening make the Q5 a nice sanctuary from the outside world,” said Wong. The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC earns its spot near the top of our luxury compact SUV rankings. 2018 BMW X5 In its final year before a complete … The XC60 rated below average for handling. Already the best-selling compact luxury SUV in America, for 2018 the NX aims to stay ahead of the competition with updated looks, improved suspension, and a redesigned interior. These aren’t standard even on the highest trim level. The Q5’s above-average-rated handling stands out partly because it’s teamed with ride comfort. Just about every luxury brand has one of these right-sized five-seat crossovers or SUVs. The 2018 XC90's undeniable elegance proves that you don't need … 2021 Ford Expedition Access them anywhere. Powertrain: 310-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; eight-speed automatic; all-wheel drive The Pilot comes in five … The windshield is low. Powertrain: 250-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; eight-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive What’s New With Diesel Vehicles for 2021? Our in-market consumer, Bodhanwala, called the XT5 “a step up from my previous experience with Cadillacs.” The most expensive luxury compact SUV contestant as equipped took or tied for first place in two categories but placed last in three. “It had decent off-the-line punch, but 2nd and 3rd gear were both way too tall and stamped out your momentum, making the car feel very sluggish.” The all-wheel drive was “clearly a reactive system.” Mays added. “The Q5 had arguably the thinnest A-pillars of any competitor, which translates to clear views,” said Masterson. The XC60 racked up eight wins outright and tied for first in one other judging category. Wong said, “The redesign for 2019 did wonders for the QX50’s comfort as well as cabin materials.” The Infiniti tied with the Cadillac for second-most points in this category. Masterson lauded “the best accelerator response of the pack,” while Mays called out “visceral, old-school quickness: noticeable lag at first, then boundless power — turbo whooshing and all — as the boost kicks in.” The transmission’s conventional PRND-style gear selector got some love versus the “side-to-side or Tetris-esque up-and-down movements of some electronic gear shifters,” Masterson said, and Wong merely lamented the lack of shift paddles. Estimated city/highway/combined mpg (gas grade): 22/27/24 (premium) The difference between the thirstiest models and the most miserly was only $125 per year. Wong described it as “connected to the road without a punishing ride.”. The A-pillars are chunky. And you will be for a little while longer.... Mercedes’ entry SUV has the driving dynamics to back up its sporty stance, but it’s also easy to navigate around town, as noted in our, Audi’s smallest, most affordable SUV is an Audi to the core, as touched upon in our, Buick has expanded the Regal line to include two compelling models — the Sportback fastback, replacing the sedan, and the TourX wagon — both of which have starting prices lower than $35,000. Also noted: The two-screen concept, and both 12-volt and USB outlets for the backseat. In Small Luxury SUVs, there are 14 cars. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 ranks near the top of the compact SUV class. There's no shortage of style with the CX-3, although rear passenger space is limited. Worth the money: Even after considering its low price as equipped, judges didn’t see much value in what the X3 offered. Powertrain: “BMW knows how to build engines,” Wong said. Each luxury SUV model was also awarded points based on zero-to-60-mph times, panic-braking distances, fuel costs, the advanced active-safety and driver-assistance features with which the test vehicle was equipped, and its grades in our Cars.com Car Seat Check, which gauges the accommodation of various child-safety seats. “No cabin felt as open as the Volvo’s.” Judges also praised the narrow pillars and exclusive remote-collapsible backseat head restraints. “It’s responsive up and down the rev range and gives the X3 plenty of pep around town.” The X3’s powertrain rated second after the Alfa Romeo’s, subjectively, and delivered the fourth-quickest zero-to-60 sprint of 6.66 seconds. The Cadillac collected the most points in this category. Backseat comfort: Features like a sliding adjustment, heated seats and climate vents and controls bolstered our Q5’s backseat to an average score, but “the bench itself suffers a low seating position, modest knee clearance and flat, unsupportive cushions,” Mays said. “Using it while driving is way too cumbersome and potentially unsafe,” Wong said. Visibility: “It stinks,” Mays said of the lowest-rated outward visibility in the Challenge. Ride and handling: “I enjoy the luxurious ride; it feels comfortable and nice, and would be good for a long trip,” noted Bodhanwala of the top-rated ride quality in the test. 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds Research the 2019 Infiniti QX50 | Search Inventory | Car Seat Check | Photo Gallery, Zero-to-60 mph (seconds): 6.15, second fastest The screen is also washed out and hard to use in direct sunlight.” The backup camera displays on only a sliver of the screen. Multimedia system: Rated below average, “The multimedia system is hard to use, and there isn’t much recourse since the display isn’t a touchscreen and you’re stuck using the giant, clunky puck,” Wong said. The Cadillac CTS laid the groundwork by showing that America’s premier luxury brand could build a sport sedan to compete with Germany’s best. Interior quality: “There’s no doubt that the XT5 was among the plushest of the competitors,” said Masterson. These are our picks in each … Better equipped to take on competitors like the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Q50 delivers just about everything most buyers want in a small luxury sedan. “It’s nuts that parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has a user-friendly touchscreen in most SUVs but left Alfa with this mess,” Mays said. As-tested price: $49,190, The Lexus NX brought up the rear, leading the points totals in no respects and placing last in seven (category rankings are based on point totals and not judges’ averages). Child-seat accommodation: The NX 300 got the lowest rating in our Car Seat Check, losing points for cramped quarters, having recessed seat belt buckles, a wonky top-tether anchor and a middle shoulder belt that comes from the ceiling, complicating booster fit. Mays cited “shifty body motions” at higher speeds. 1. Also noted: No USB ports in the backseat. Mays cited “width to spare.”. Bodhanwala summarized: “It does well on the luxury side of things but lacks a fun driving experience.” The Cadillac rated last for handling. View full gallery. Being the only contestant with a small rather than panoramic moonroof made the NX feel even more cavelike. Best 2018 Small SUVs ranked by users. Judges also dinged body roll and all-wheel drive that reacts to slippage rather than proactively powering the rear wheels to pull out of a corner. Also noted: The only rear window shades in the test, the only front-seat thigh cushion extensions and a roomy cargo area under a spring-tensioned cargo floor. The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is one of the sportiest small SUVs you can buy. One judge also experienced a frozen screen while using Android Auto. “A finger slider to change stereo volume? Moving into the luxury realm, the X2 is the latest addition to BMW’s crossover lineup. Audi SQ8 Vs. Q8: Is the SQ8's Powertrain Better Than the Q8's? “This was the only V-6 in our test, but it didn’t pay dividends,” Wong explained. ... Apple CarPlay first became available in 2018, when it was sold as a stand-alone option. 2020 Land Rover Defender: 5 Things We Like and 3 Things We Don’t, Ford Already Recalling 2021 Bronco Sport — for Suspension Issue. “The information you’re shown takes up a fraction of the screen, leaving a baffling amount of negative space that could be used for larger visuals or more information,” Masterson said. It features a potent turbocharged engine, athletic handling, and ple read more ». But the luxury SUV action right now is in a smaller size class, so Cars.com has staged its first Luxury Compact SUV Challenge, pitting seven models from around the world against one another in more than a week of testing in the city, suburbs and on a drag strip. Also noted: Convincing faux leather, a sporty Eco mode, console padding by the driver’s right knee, a conventional gear selector, a barely detectable floor hump in the otherwise cramped backseat, a large and high-resolution display, and dashboard panels with “overlapping seams and perforated inserts that have an element of richness,” said Mays. If you think you’re paying a little more at the pump this week, you’re right. Braking distance (60-to-zero mph, feet): 128.8, fifth shortest It's a limited edition of one. Estimated city/highway/combined mpg (gas grade): 18/25/21 (regular) Powertrain: 248-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; eight-speed automatic; all-wheel drive Active-safety features: “Despite running just $285 less than the priciest-as-tested XT5, our Q5 lacked safety and autonomous technology like curve-adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control and any lane departure mitigation,” Mays said. 4.2 / 5. The big brother of the CR-V is at the top of the list of best SUVs to buy each year. Handling: “This has a good combination of sporty handling and luxurious ride,” said Bodhanwala. Backseat comfort: With the lowest rating by a good margin, “The NX 300 was easily the most cramped, claustrophobic backseat experience of the group, from the tight head, hip, knee and shoulder room to the Stelvio-esque small windows,” Masterson said. Best 2016 Small Luxury SUVs. Handling: “It’s head and shoulders above the pack,” said Mays of the top-scoring Stelvio. Mays agreed: “With decisive shifts and less kickdown lag, it’s more responsive than rivals’ seven- and eight-speed units.”, Hands-free liftgate: “The NX 300 was the only car equipped with the hands-free feature that we could get to work,” Masterson said. Best 2018 Midsize Luxury SUVs ranked by users. Powertrain: Despite the quick accelerator response noted above, the XT5 collected the fewest powertrain points. It trailed the Alfa and Lexus by a point and a half to bring up the rear in this category. Front-seat comfort: Front comfort wasn’t a great point of distinction in the test, but Cars.com and consumer judges praised the Lexus because sport seats are often done poorly. Braking distance (60-to-zero mph, feet): 122.7, shortest The duo offers the benefits that come with the Buick badge, as highlighted in our, Texas Cold Weather Crisis Triggers Gas Price Increase, 2022 Mars Rover: Improved Self-Driving Mode, Larger Wheels, $200,000,000 Price Bump, Cars Got More Affordable in January for the Third Straight Month, 2022 Kia Carnival First Look: The Modern Family Box, Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation Asks Jeep to Stop Using Cherokee Name. This contestant’s scores trended higher and included first-place rankings in two categories. 2018 Audi Q7. Featuring something for just about everyone in search of luxury for less, here’s our list of the 10 best luxury cars under $35,000 according to Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price. … Only the X3 rated as poorly. Worth the money: Despite the XC60’s mid-pack as-tested price, judges nevertheless deemed it the best value for the features and attributes it included and how well they’re executed. Indeed, the A3 doesn’t feel like a lesser Audi, just a smaller one. 360-degree camera system: Wong and Bodhanwala cited the Around View Monitor, and Masterson said it stood out because “the two-screen setup allows you to see not just an above-vehicle graphic, but also live cameras from the bumpers.”. Multimedia system: The Cadillac User Experience system’s numerical rating was average, but judges were put off by the literal interface, where human and machine meet, such as the touch-sensitive buttons. 7 2018 Lexus NX 300 F Sport, 574 out of 1,000 points, Zero-to-60 mph (seconds): 7.33, slowest of seven All categories combined for a possible maximum score of 1,000 points. Front-seat comfort: Though margins were thin, the XT5 tied with Infiniti for the second-best front-seat comfort. Average 2016 BMW X1 transaction price: $26,338 Worth the money: The QX50 was just two points behind the top-rated Volvo for value. Once a luxury sedan wallflower, the updated-for-2018 Acura TLX now has the eye-catching good looks it deserves. A capacitive hazard light button? Log In. We set a price target of $50,000 as equipped, plus or minus $3,000, and requested volume-selling engines. In Midsize Luxury SUVs, there are 17 cars. Four judges individually awarded points in 13 categories: interior quality, front-seat comfort, backseat comfort, cargo storage, in-cabin storage, multimedia features, convenience features, handling, powertrain, ride quality, noise, visibility and worth the money (see our methodology in the How We Tested article). Braking distance: The Stelvio stopped just a few inches longer than the second-place BMW. “It had the group’s only lane-centering steering, and it worked all the way to a stop,” Mays said. The worst-equipped vehicle in the test, though nearly $3,000 less than the group’s target price, had too few baked-in qualities for judges to see much potential beyond what was before their eyes. And with Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Prices that reflect real-world transaction prices thousands under its already advantageous sticker prices, the Q50 is arguably the segment’s bang-for-the-buck champ. Also noted: No USB ports for the backseat, the XC60’s thumbwheel drive-mode selector and being reminded onscreen that you didn’t buy navigation but still can. “BMW remains stingy with must-have features like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, which most rivals in the test include standard,” Mays said. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments. Let’s see how they compare. 2018 BMW X3 May Be Among the Best Luxury Compact SUVs 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Launches New Name and Face for Midsized Luxury SUV Show comments ( ) commenting powered by Facebook Powertrain: Rated below average, the XC60’s powertrain was characterized as merely passable, unremarkable, with decent linearity but an “agricultural” sound and a tendency to cling to 3rd gear too long in both Comfort and Sport modes. Best Luxury SUVs for 2021. Cargo storage: “The cargo area is both deep and tall, with a best-in-group 32 inches of height at its opening, and the sliding backseat means you can expand the space even more,” Mays said. Best 2012 Small Luxury SUVs. Interior quality: “From the rough, unfinished edging on the door panels to the rubbery, industrial-grade vinyl seats, it’s clear BMW didn’t sweat the details on cabin quality,” Mays said of the lowest-rated interior. Cargo space: At just 37.5 inches wide, the Stelvio’s cargo area was narrowest by at least 3.5 inches, and it scored just one point above the last-place Lexus. Multimedia features: Sharing top honors ahead of the knob-based Audi system, the XC60’s 9-inch touchscreen is what many feel is a superior interface — in theory. Best 2015 Small Luxury SUVs. Visibility: “The rear window seems enormous from the driver’s seat, and the mirrors are set off from the A-pillars for a commanding view out the front,” said Masterson. Soft surfaces: Also rated a close third for interior quality, the Infiniti drew praise for its generous padding: “Whether it was along the window where your elbow would go or across the dash, Infiniti took some care with stitched vinyl and real leather surfaces that feel uniform in either case,” Masterson said. The SQ8 's powertrain Better than the XT5 was among the plushest of the.. Cadillac ranked last in this category second to the Alfa one of highest-ranked! 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