Are you looking for a subcompact luxury SUV, but can’t quite make up your mind on which one to choose? That’s why every year, The Car Guide publishes its Best Buys in every vehicle category, including small upscale utility vehicles.
This year, it’s the Volvo XC40 that grabs the Best Buy title in its market segment. Introduced in Canada for the 2019 model year, the XC40 stands out with its unique exterior design and its nicely crafted cockpit, its rear-seat accommodations and its generous cargo area.
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In addition, it offers good performance thanks to its turbocharged, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower, sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Car Guide’s team liked the refinement of this powertrain, while the little Volvo also pleased for its ride comfort, cabin quietness and agility in city traffic. The XC40 retails from $40,300 before freight and delivery charges.
In second place in the subcompact luxury SUV category, we find the BMW X1 and X2 (MSRP from $41,500), which share the same architecture, but differ with their distinct exterior styling. A 228-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is on duty as the base powerplant, while the sportier X2 can also be chosen in M35i xDrive trim with a 302-hp engine. More spacious, the X1 is the more versatile of the two. We like the driving dynamics and the refinement of these two little SUVs.
In third place, the MINI Countryman (MSRP from $31,090) is available with one of four powertrains. Aside from a 134-horsepower, turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a turbo 2.0-litre four that develops 189 hp—or 228 hp in the John Cooper Works edition—we’re also treated to a plug-in hybrid system that produces 221 hp and allows for EV driving of up to 19 km on a full charge. The Countryman is the most practical MINI, and stands out in its segment for its undeniable driving pleasure.