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Best Luxury Compact SUVs: Reviews, Photos, and More | CarMax

Luxury SUVs come in all shapes and sizes. The best compact luxury SUVs offer a wide variety of standard features in addition to coming in smaller, easier to live with sizes. The SUVs compiled below represent some of the best options on the market. They offer standard features such as Bluetooth ® connectivity, satellite radio, leather seating, and sunroofs. Your next adventure could be behind the wheel of one of these compact luxury SUVs.

To help you on your search, we've compiled a list of the 10 best compact luxury SUVs for 2019 shoppers, based on CarMax vehicle and sales data from June 1, 2018 through November 30, 2018.

10. GMC Terrain Denali

9. Honda CR-V Touring

8. Subaru Forester 2.5I Limited

7. Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

6. Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

5. Acura RDX AWD

4. Jeep Compass Limited

3. Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

2. Toyota RAV4 Limited

1. Nissan Rogue SL


GMC Terrain Denali

GMC Terrain Denali | CarMax

We start this list of the best compact luxury SUVs with the Terrain from GMC. While it's the smallest vehicle in the GMC lineup, it's definitely not short on luxury. When equipped in with the Denali trim (offered 2013 to present), things are taken to the next level! The Terrain trim was updated for 2018 with a refreshed second-generation design.

The top trim in the lineup, the Denali, features standard features on 2017-2019 model years such as:

  • Heated leather seating with optional cooled seats (2018-2019)
  • Parking assistance
  • Navigation

2017 Terrain Denali models come standard with a 182 horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder, six-speed automatic, and optional All-Wheel-Drive (AWD). 2018 and newer models are equipped with a new 2.0L turbocharged engine with 252 horsepower mated to a nine-speed automatic and optional AWD.


Honda CR-V Touring

Honda CR-V | CarMax

The Honda CR-V has been around since 1995 and pioneered the compact crossover segment. Now in it's fifth generation, (2016 to the present) the CR-V has continued to offer a mix of practicality and luxury in the Touring trim level. Check out the CR-V Touring and expect standard features for 2017-2019 model years such as:

  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • Navigation
  • Satellite radio
  • Heated leather seating
  • Sunroof

All 2017-2019 CR-V Touring models come standard with a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder with 190 horsepower mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). AWD is optional on the CRV-Touring. Cargo space behind the rear seats is a generous 39.2 cubic feet.


Subaru Forester 2.5i Limited

Subaru Forester | CarMax

Subaru's Forester has continuously delivered a mix of off-road capability with day-to-day practicality. The Limited trim ups the luxury factor for the Forester even more. For the model year 2018, Subaru updated the Forester for its fifth generation, but all 2017-2019 Forester Limited models feature great standard features such as:

  • Heated leather seats
  • Sunroof
  • Bluetooth connectivity

Subaru offers standard AWD across almost all of it's lineup, the Forester included. All Forester Limited models between 2017-2019 come with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing between 170 horsepower (2017-2018) and 182 horsepower (2019).


Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

Jeep Renegade Trailhawk | CarMax

The Renegade came onto the scene in 2014 and brought a cute face to Jeep's off-road focused lineup. The smallest vehicle in the lineup, the Renegade is a fun alternative to the big SUV. Don't let its small size fool you though, the Trailhawk trim brings a fantastic mix of sport and luxury.

Expect standard features on the 2017-2019 Renegade Trailhawk such as:

  • Satellite Radio and Bluetooth connectivity
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels (2018 and up)
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Leather heated steering wheel (2018 and up)
  • Folding rear seats

All 2017-2019 Renegade Trailhawk models come with a standard with four-wheel drive for the best off-road experience. Also expect a standard 2.4L four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and a nine-speed automatic (2017-2018). For the 2019 model year, Jeep switched to a 1.3 cylinder turbocharged engine with 177 horsepower and retained the nine-speed automatic.


Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | CarMax

Jeep returned the legendary Cherokee name in 2014 with a new compact off-roader. With typical Jeep off-road capabilities, the Cherokee Trailhawk is an excellent addition to any compact luxury SUV shopping list.

Expect standard features on the 2017-2019 Cherokee Trailhawk such as:

  • HID Headlights
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • Heated and cooled leather seats
  • Active Drive Lock 4×4 system with Selec-Terrain drive modes, upgraded off-road suspension, a 1.0-inch suspension lift, and skid plates.

Cherokee Trailhawk models between 2017 and 2018 come standard with a 2.4L four-cylinder making 184 horsepower. For 2019, the Trailhawk came with an upgraded 3.2L six-cylinder making 271 horsepower. All three model years come with a nine-speed automatic and plenty of off-road goodies to make your next trip an adventure!

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Acura RDX AWD | CarMax

The Acura RDX makes a return to our list of the luxury compact SUVs with a host of new upgrades. The 2017 and 2018 models represent the second generation and are impressive in their own right. Starting in 2019, Acura unleashed a new third generation RDX that was even better. Standard across all 2017-2019 models are features like:

  • Heated leatherette seating
  • Satellite radio
  • Keyless ignition
  • Sunroof
  • Power liftgate (2018 and up)
  • LED headlights (2018 and up)

All 2017-2019 RDX AWD models feature AWD as standard and 2017 and 2018 models have a standard 3.5L 6-cylinder with 279 horsepower. Starting in 2019 the RDX came with a standard 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 272 horsepower.


Jeep Compass Limited

Jeep Compass | CarMax

Jeep is absolutely killing it on this list of best luxury compact SUVs with their third entry, the Compass Limited. Now in it's second generation, the Compass offers all of the normal Jeep off-road fun, with a sleek bodystyle and lots of luxury features. The Limited trim sits atop the Compass lineup and 2017-2019 model years feature standard features such as:

  • Heated leather seating with eight-way power adjustment.
  • 8.4-inch touchscreen
  • SiriusXM TM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay TMand Android Auto TM
  • 18-inch polished aluminum wheels

All 2017-2019 Compass Limited models between 2017 and 2019 come standard with the same 2.4L four-cylinder engine producing 180 horsepower. AWD is an option on Compass Limited models.


Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring | CarMax

Model year 2017 saw a brand new and improved second generation Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 was already a fantastic SUV, but the updated Grand Touring trim brought about an improved driving experience.

Select the Grand Touring trim between 2017-2019 and expect standard features like:

  • Bluetooth, navigation, and satellite radio.
  • Keyless ignition
  • Adaptive LED headlights, LED taillights and fog lights
  • Bose premium audio system
  • Power liftgate
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Heated leather seats
  • Sunroof

All 2017-2019 CX-5 Grand Touring models between 2017 and 2019 come with the same 2.5L four-cylinder putting out 187 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic. AWD was optional on all CX-5 Grand Touring models.


Toyota RAV4 Limited

Toyota RAV4 | CarMax

Model years 2017 and 2018 represented the last of the fourth generation Toyota RAV4. Starting in 2019 a brand new RAV4 came onto the market. Both generations feature a ton of great standard features.

Examples of standard features on the 2017-2019 RAV4 Limited include:

  • Keyless ignition
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Heated outside mirrors with turn indicators and blind spot warning lights
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Heated leatherette seating
  • Sunroof

Between 2017 and 2018 the RAV4 Limited came with a 176 horsepower 2.5L 4-cylinder. New for 2019 was an upgraded 2.5L four-cylinder putting out 203 horsepower. AWD is an option on all RAV4 Limited models.


Nissan Rogue SL

Nissan Rogue | CarMax

Topping our list of the best compact luxury SUVs for 2019 is the Nissan Rogue. Still in its second generation (2014 to present), the Rogue offers a lot of features in a smaller package.

Standard features between 2017-2019 include:

  • Lane departure , frontal collision , and object detection warning
  • 360 degree backup camera.
  • Adaptive cruise control (2018 and up)
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (2018 and up)
  • Navigation
  • Heated leather seats
  • Keyless ignition

All 2017-2019 Rogue SL models feature the same 2.5L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and a CVT transmission.

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Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.