Canadians love compact SUVs. So it only makes sense for buyers looking to treat themselves that automakers also offer these practical, all-wheel-drive vehicles with more features, upscale styling, technology and equipment customarily found in a luxury car. Based on the starting Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Prices, we’ve listed from most to least expensive the 10 most affordable luxury AWD compact SUVs for 2020.
10th place: 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque S P250 AWD - $47,950 CDN
Completely remade this year, the 5-passenger 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque has all the Range Rover visual clout found in larger models minus the exorbitant price. Although the look and size are familiar, this year's Evoque gets a significant boost in the areas of power, cabin technology and off-road ability, not to mention more rear-seat legroom and a larger cargo bay with up to 591 litres of cargo space. The base Evoque S P250 trim comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 246 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The Evoque's strongest selling point might be its interior. The simplistic, clean design is punctuated with premium materials and large elegant touch screens.
9th place: 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport S P250 AWD- $47,400 CDN
If you need more interior room in your compact Land Rover, try the 2020 Discovery Sport. Unusual for a compact SUV, the Discovery Sport's optional ($1,300 CDN) 3rd-row seats offer room for up to 7 passengers. There are 980 litres of cargo room with 5-seat versions, 967 when you opt for the third-row. Like the Evoque, the base Discovery Sport S P250 is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 246 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque using a 9-speed automatic transmission. And like every Land Rover, the Discovery Sport is big on off-road ability, with standard all-wheel drive, hill-descent control, and all-terrain progress control, the latter two acting as off-road cruise control, making driving in rugged terrain super easy.
8th place: 2020 Cadillac XT5 Luxury AWD - $46,598 CDN
Significantly upgraded and updated for 2020, the Cadillac XT5 distinguishes itself against the competition, from its styling and interior colour combinations to its power and performance. The base XT5 Luxury AWD trim offers good performance from its turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that makes 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque matched to a 9-speed automatic transmission. The 5-passenger XT5’s cabin is quiet and elegant, especially on long trips, yet it retains good steering feel and a solid grip on the road, even when driven aggressively. It’s also wonderfully comfortable. Kudos to the Cadillac’s sliding 2nd-row seat, which can allow for up to 850 litres of rear cargo room behind the rear seats.
7th place: 2020 Volvo XC60 Momentum T5 AWD - $46,350 CDN
The 2020 Volvo XC60 brings a refreshing Scandinavian style to the luxury compact SUV segment. Inside, the 5-passenger XC60 shares an upscale feel with its bigger brother, the mid-size XC90. The instruments are clear, and the panel features a driver-information centre between the speedometer and tachometer. The XC60 center stack is dominated by a large touch-screen, mounted vertically, a la Tesla. With its multiple menus and controls, this Sensus system helps to de-clutter the interior. Behind the rear seats, there are 634 litres of cargo room. The XC60 Momentum T5 AWD base model is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that creates 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
6th place: 2020 Audi Q5 45 TFSI quattro - $46,300 CDN
In the hotly contested luxury compact SUV market, the 5-passenger 2020 Audi Q5 stands out with its handsome styling, sophisticated interior and impressive performance. The base model Q5 45 TFSI quattro impresses with its efficient-yet-powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that produces 248 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A 7-speed automatic transmission is standard. The 710 litres of rear cargo space is competitive for the segment. The infotainment touch-screen is easy to see and operate, while proper knobs and hard buttons are retained in the heating and ventilation controls. On twisty mountain roads, the Q5 feels more like a sports sedan than an SUV. But that doesn’t mean it sacrifices comfort around town or on the highway, where you’ll find a quiet, well-controlled ride.
5th place: 2020 Infiniti QX50 Pure 2.0T AWD- $44,998 CDN
The 2020 Infiniti QX50 attracts buyers with its racy styling and advanced engineering. The base QX50 Pure 2.0T trim stands out with a lengthy list of standard driver assists, and its advanced variable-compression 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. From an efficiency standpoint, the 5-passenger 2020 Infiniti QX50 outshines many of its competitors with a spacious interior and generous cargo bay with up to 890 litres of rear cargo room. From a performance perspective, QX50 isn’t as fun to drive as the old rear-drive version of itself, but its straight-line acceleration and relatively controlled suspension easily place it in the same league as the Audi Q5.
4th place: 2020 Lexus NX 300 - $44,350 CDN
In an ever-growing sea of small-luxury SUVs, the 2020 Lexus NX stands out with futuristic styling, a long list of standard features and an impeccable reputation for reliability. Based on the previous-generation Toyota RAV4, the 5-passenger Lexus offers good interior room, an accommodating size and a competitive price tag. Inside, the NX’s cabin is as hushed as any Lexus sedan, with abundant creature comforts. Cargo space behind the rear seats is 501 litres. The base NX 300 model comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder generating 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque using a 6-speed automatic transmission. A more relaxed SUV overall than some rivals, the NX driving experience focuses on driving comfort more than driving excitement, which we think most luxury buyers will appreciate.
3rd place: 2020 Acura RDX - $43,990 CDN
The 2020 Acura RDX is in the second model year of its latest generation (the third), and it’s never been better. The RDX has evolved into an attractive package that includes value for money, excellent safety features, practicality, dependability, an athletic yet comfortable ride, and yes, even some road presence. The only powertrain option is a 272 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The chassis is up to its task of containing and exploiting this energy, while still keeping occupants in luxury-level comfort. Sticking with the usual 2-row/5-passenger formula means the Acura RDX can offer plenty of space for passengers and their trappings with up to 881 litres of rear cargo space.
2nd place: 2020 Lincoln Corsair Standard - $44,700 CDN
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is an all-new compact luxury SUV that replaces the outgoing MKC. The base Corsair Standard trim’s engine is a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine offering 250 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, sending power through an 8-speed automatic transmission. A dual-wall dashboard in the engine compartment does a superb job of isolating the cabin from engine noise, while premium materials and vivid colour choices offer a sumptuous cabin design. We like how the 5-passenger Lincoln’s interior’s second row can be slid fore or aft, allowing owners to choose between extra rear-seat legroom or up to 782 litres of rear cargo space. On the road, the Corsair has excellent balance and confidence-inspiring steering feel.
1st place: 2020 Buick Envision Preferred - $36,398 CDN
Beyond its affordable base price, the 2020 Buick Envision offers plenty of room for passengers and their gear, a luxurious interior and one of the industry's best infotainment systems. If we could pick just two of the Envision's best qualities, we'd have to go with its quiet interior and precise steering. The Buick's front seats are comfortable, with an interior layout that's easy to understand and use, and generally high-quality-feeling materials. And the Buick seat slides forward to help extend the cargo area for up to 762 litres of cargo space. One place where the Buick illustrates its low entry cost is under its hood. The base Envision Preferred trim gets a 197 horsepower and 192 pound-feet 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine hooked up to 6-speed automatic transmission.