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Published: Apr 26, 2023 7 min read
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Luxury crossover SUVs are one of the most popular segments of the market because they're unusually good at delivering performance and utility while also being comfortable and well-appointed. Unlike trucks and large SUVs, crossovers are based on car platforms, so they handle more like a car. They can better maneuver in tight spaces, too.

These luxury vehicles have roomy, well-appointed cabins that hold five people. They’re equipped with the latest technology features and safety equipment. Best of all, unlike the most luxurious larger vehicles, not all luxury crossovers come with a hefty price tag.

Underlining those relatively modest prices, we evaluated the luxury crossovers on the market and were able to find five to recommend that cost less than $50,000. Here they are, along with how each stands out from the pack in areas including value, safety, performance, handling and innovative technology. The specs listed below each review are for the trim level we assessed, which we judged to offer the best value.

Our Picks for the Best Luxury Crossover SUVs

BMW X1 — Best Overall and Best Value
Volvo XC60 — Best for Features
Mercedes-Benz GLC — Best for Handling
Audi Q5 — Best for Safety
Genesis GV70 — Best for Technology

Best Luxury Crossover SUVs Reviews

Best Overall and Best Value: BMW X1

Courtesy of BMW
  • Affordable starting price
  • Elegant interior
  • Most luxury amenities are optional extras

Starting just over $39,000, the BMW X1 is the most affordable luxury crossover on this list. The compact SUV is sporty, fuel-efficient and packed with features. J.D. Power deemed the X1 the highest-ranked small premium SUV for initial quality.

Inside, the X1 looks sleek and elegant, thanks to its Sensatec upholstery, black gloss trim and curved digital display (housing the digital instrument panel and 10.7-inch touch screen) stretching across the dashboard. All models come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and BMW’s Connected Drive Service, which offers remote access, real-time traffic data and hazard alerts. However, buyers will need to upgrade for many features that are typically standard in this category, such as heated seats, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof.

The BMW X1 is quick off the mark, sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. However, the Genesis GV70 is faster, getting up to speed in just 5.8 seconds.

Best for Features: Volvo XC60

Courtesy of Volvo
  • Especially comfortable, even for this class
  • Quick acceleration
  • Small touch screen

Starting at under $50,000, the Volvo XC60 midsize SUV is our choice for features with its impressive luxury, safety and technology amenities.

Leatherette upholstery, aluminum trim and a panoramic sunroof are standard. Upgrade to the Plus trim for true luxury features: leather upholstery, sleek limewood décor and power-folding rear headrests. The Plus trim also adds advanced safety equipment such as a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, and pilot assist, which provides gentle steering assistance if the car ventures outside of its lane.

All models include a user-friendly infotainment system with a built-in Google interface and a 9-inch touch screen. Buyers can add heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a rear-seat booster system.

The XC60’s mild hybrid powertrain accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds — which is faster than the Audi Q5 but slower than the BMW X1.

Best for Handling: Mercedes-Benz GLC

Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
  • Impressive ride
  • Sizeable touch screen
  • Minimal cargo capacity

The Mercedes-Benz GLC is a high-performance crossover. The 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain boasts a turbo-four engine that makes 255 horsepower. Like the BMW X1, the GLC sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds — second on this list only to the Genesis GV70. The GLC’s nine-speed automatic transmission provides a smooth and confident ride. For more traction, add Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system for $2,000.

The GLC’s base model comes with heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, and an 11.9-inch multimedia touch screen. Leather upholstery, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and wireless device charging are available. The GLC is also equipped with safety features such as forward collision warning, blind-spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert. The available Guard360 features uses cameras to keep tabs on your vehicle.

Best for Safety: Audi Q5

Courtesy of Audi
  • Rich in safety features
  • Energetic ride
  • Slower acceleration than rival luxury crossovers

The Audi Q5 midsize SUV was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Its standard Audi Pre Sense city feature scans the road ahead to alert the driver of potential obstacles and automatically brakes if needed.

Starting just above $49,000, the Q5’s Premium Plus trim adds advanced safety features such as active lane assist, a top-view camera system, and active lane assist, which helps keep the Q5 within its lane. It also comes with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit Plus, which lets you customize the display screen behind the steering wheel so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road.

The 201-horsepower Q5 jets from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, but the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLC are faster.

Best for Technology: Genesis GV70

Courtesy of Genesis
  • Huge touchscreen and other tech pluses
  • The fastest acceleration of the group
  • Average fuel efficiency

The Genesis GV70 is an elegant crossover that stands out for its unusually innovative technology features. All models come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless device charging. The infotainment system features navigation and a 14.5-inch touchscreen — the largest of any luxury crossover on this list — as well as fingerprint verification to start the car and Genesis Connected Services.

Named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the GV70 also comes with a slate of safety features such as smart cruise control with stop & go, intelligent speed limit assist, and highway driving assist. The Advance Package adds a surround-view monitor with remote image capture, a blind spot monitor and remote smart parking assist.

J.D. Power recognized the GV70 as among the three best compact premium SUVs for initial quality. Its 300-horsepower turbocharged engine zips from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, the quickest acceleration on this list.

Price $43,150
Mileage 22/28 mpg
Power 300 hp
More specs and model details

Jaclyn Trop is an award-winning journalist who road-tests and reviews vehicles and covers automotive news. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fortune, Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report, among other publications.