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10 Most Affordable Luxury AWD Sub-compact SUVs for 2020

Looking to add some luxury to your next small SUV? Then check out our list of the least expensive premium sub-compact utility vehicles you can buy today.


Canadians love SUVs - even the smaller examples. So, it only makes sense that automakers now offer a variety of these functional vehicles with many of the features, technology and equipment normally found in a luxury car. Based on the starting Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Prices, we’ve listed from most to least expensive the ten most affordable all-wheel-drive luxury brand sub-compact SUVs for 2020. 


10th place: 2020 BMW X2 xDrive28i - $43,100 CDN 

The 2020 BMW X2 is a sportier, more stylistic take on the boxier X1 sub-compact SUV. As with the larger BMW X4 and X6 SUVs before it, the X2 is less practical by design, forsaking some of the X1’s cargo capacity for a more coupe-like profile and smaller 470-litre rear cargo hold. The all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger X2 xDrive28i comes with a 228-horsepower and 258-pound-feet of torque turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine. All-wheel-drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission are standard. As expected of a BMW, the X2 is premium by nature and boasts some high-end amenities and standard active-safety systems. 


9th place: 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC - $42,400 CDN 

The GLA is Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level SUV that walks the line between a tall hatchback and full-fledged SUV. Mercedes has completely redesigned the 5-passenger GLA for the 2021 model year and made it a hair shorter in length and slightly taller than the previous model to create more interior space, now with up to 481 litres of cargo room. The all-wheel-drive GLA 250 4MATIC also gets a new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that puts out 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque—up 13 horsepower over the previous model—mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 


8th place: 2020 BMW X1xDrive28i - $42,100 CDN 

The 2020 BMW X1 may be one of the least expensive and most enjoyable products in the BMW stable. The all-wheel-drive X1 xDrive28i’s sub-compact size, powerful turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine—with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission—and adept suspension harken back to a time when BMW’s primary mission was driving enjoyment. Inside, the 5-passenger X1 feels like a BMW. Materials have a premium look and feel, such as the soft-touch dash and wood accents. Rear-seat passengers have excellent legroom, and there are up to 505 litres of cargo room behind the rear seats. 


7th place: 2020 Lexus UX 250h AWD - $40,000 CDN 

The 2020 Lexus UX 250h AWD is one of the least expensive ways of getting into a brand-new Lexus. The gasoline-electric 250h AWD is a $2,550 premium over the non-hybrid UX 200, but it’s a better choice. Not just because of the extra electric muscle (181 horsepower compared to 169 from a shared 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine) and traction at all four wheels. The 5-passenger UX 250h AWD adds greater fuel efficiency to the mix with a combined 6.0 L/100 kms for the hybrid versus 7.2 for the gas-only version. In addition to 486 litres of cargo space behind the rear seats, every UX has a full array of active assistance and safety features, marketed as Lexus Safety System+ 2.0. 


6th place: 2020 Volvo XC40 Momentum - $39,750 CDN 

The 2020 Volvo XC40 seems to have the right combination of looks, size and features, not to mention a competitive starting price luxury-seeking SUV buyers seek. With a 187-horsepower and 221-pound-feet of torque 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive 2020 XC40 Momentum offers a competitive if not overwhelming base powertrain. Volvo has maximized a small space, creating unique cubbies and storage spots throughout the cabin. Volvo has always excelled at seat comfort. The XC40’s front buckets are no exception, offering excellent back and leg support, a high perch for improved outward visibility, and 460 litres of rear cargo room. 


5th place: 2020 Audi Q3 45 TFSI quattro - $38,900 CDN 

In the sub-compact luxury SUV segment, the 2020 Audi Q3 is an exceptional player. Elevating the level of luxury typically found in an entry-level model, the Q3 impresses with its standard-feature set, high-tech cabin and distinctive styling. While this all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger Audi isn’t as sporty as other models in the company’s lineup, it is an entertaining vehicle on twisty roads. Tall passengers will find the 2020 Audi Q3’s rear seating accommodating without infringing on the 530 litres of rear cargo space. In the base Q3 45 TFSI quattro trim, a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 


4th place: 2020 Cadillac XT4 Luxury AWD- $38,798 CDN 

The 2020 Cadillac XT4 is a small-ish luxury SUV—it’s not as big as the compact Mercedes-Benz GLC, for example, but slightly larger than the sub-compact Mercedes-Benz GLA. The base XT4 Luxury with all-wheel-drive is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard. Driving the 5-passenger Cadillac XT4 is easy. Ride quality is good for the class. The cabin design of the XT4 is businesslike rather than indulgent or adventurous. Rear-passenger space can accommodate large adults. Behind these rear seats, cargo space is a roomy 637 litres of space. 


3rd place: Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4 - $31,690 CDN 

As the largest Mini, the all-wheel-drive 2020 Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4 blends the brilliant driving dynamics of its smaller companions with a roomy and versatile interior. At the same time, it has more ground clearance than other Minis, so it’s totally at home on dirt roads. Unlike the smaller Mini 3- and 5-Door models, the 5-passenger Countryman ALL4 offers a roomy and comfortable rear seat, with plenty of legroom and up to 498 litres of rear cargo room. Standard power comes from a turbocharged 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine making 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque (nearly as much torque as the previous Cooper Countryman S) with an 8-speed automatic transmission. 


2nd place: 2020 Buick Encore GX AWD Preferred - $28,098 CDN 

The Encore GX is an all-new, sub-compact SUV for Buick. Compared to the older Encore, the Encore GX is a much more modern vehicle. Even the entry-level Preferred trim is generously equipped with a standard safety suite that includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian braking, and lane-keeping assist. The Encore GX comes with a more spacious interior than a non-GX Encore, with up to 716 litres of rear cargo space. Like the Mini Countryman ALL4, the Buick SUV’s engines are modest in power. Versions with AWD get a 1.3-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder producing 155 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. 


1st place: 2020 Buick Encore AWD Preferred - $26,598 CDN 

As Buick’s smallest and Canada’s least expensive luxury AWD SUV, the 2020 Encore still manages to feel somewhat upscale, with only a few cheaper-looking plastics in evidence. Standard technology features are plentiful with OnStar, Wi-Fi, smartphone integration and an 8-inch colour touch-screen for the infotainment system. All trims of the Encore use a turbocharged 1.4-litre 4-cylinder engine developing 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The power goes through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Although the Encore has seat belts for five, the rear accommodations shouldn’t be expected to take more than two adults. Cargo area is 532 litres behind the rear seats.  


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