1 Top Choice for Small Luxury SUV According to Consumer Reports | So Good News
As SUVs continue to be one of the best-selling segments of the American market, manufacturers are painting them in all sizes. Gone are the days of land yachts being the only option with high altitude on the road. Cadillac Escalades, Infiniti QX80s, and Mercedes-Benz GLS 450s are still popular, but smaller competitors are gaining ground.
Car buyers can now find a pint version of almost any luxury SUV. Subcompact SUVs offer a slightly longer range than established small cars. Although they share the car’s architecture, they are not technically subcompacts, given the extra cargo space. However, buyers may think they are getting a great deal for a small investment, but there is one big problem.
What should small SUV buyers consider?
Small SUVs can carry at least five people, usually comfortably. However, if the back seat is not used frequently, its flexibility comes into play. Consumer Reports (CR) recommends looking for folding seats to make the most of the remaining cargo space.
With so many options in the front-wheel-drive (FWD) segment, removing the rear steering wheel helps lower the floor. Subcompact SUVs may not offer the most commanding space, but they do offer easy entry and exit. In addition, the floor of the room supports the cargo area that is needed.
When it comes to driving arrangements, it’s important to choose between FWD and all-wheel drive (AWD), with four-wheel drive (4WD) SUVs being a dead model. AWD is a light-duty, essentially FWD-based system that stays focused on the power generation path between the front and rear wheels as needed. AWD is suitable for bad weather and dusty roads but will reduce fuel consumption. SUV buyers who travel mostly on dry and flat terrain and in hot weather should consider a FWD model, saving at the pump and on the purchase price.
CR says safety and driver assistance technologies are top priorities when buying a luxury small SUV. Features such as emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, and forward collision warning should be standard on most, if not all, systems. In addition, there will be additional practices in the higher category. For example, many offerings from Audi, BMW, and Lexus feature 360-degree cameras. Although small SUVs are easier to park than their larger counterparts, a camera system is a good feature to ensure that the wheels do not lock up.
Something that luxury car dealers may not have considered
The above features and modifications may appeal to many buyers, however there is an unmentioned elephant in the room. Because the mini-SUV from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, or Infiniti is small, that doesn’t say anything about the price tag.
Small SUVs from luxury brands are exactly what the name implies: luxury. Impressively designed upholstery, high-end entertainment modules, and powerful performance come at a price. CR also notes that luxury small SUVs can cost as much as midsize SUVs from mainstream, non-luxury brands. A few subcompact SUVs have a starting price in the high $20,000s. However, most high-end models start at $35,000 and often end up at $50,000. Some are more expensive than full size SUVs.
For example, the eight-passenger 2022 Hyundai Palisade has a starting MSRP of $35,250. The Audi Q3, a five-passenger SUV, starts at $38,500. Even with several options, the Audi will cost about $50,000. In addition, this is one of the cheaper models. The Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG costs $55,400 to start without extras.
How will consumers approach the luxury small SUV market?
Prices for small compact SUVs can be steep. Although they come with high-quality interior materials, technical capabilities, and driving dynamics, they can be too expensive for many. So, how should one do this?
Take the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG, for example. The site’s cars list includes used models under $35,000 with high mileage on the odometer. Elsewhere, with the Audi Q3, Autotrader shows many models under $35,000 with 20,000 miles on the clock.
Buying a used subcompact SUV will undoubtedly save you money over buying a new one. However, buyers can also choose a popular brand and check it out with a high standard and high quality accessory options.
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