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These Are the Best Cheap Luxury SUVs for 2022

By Shawn Furman | June 21, 2022

Shoppers today might be surprised to learn that you can find a new luxury SUV for less than the average price of a car, currently around $42,500.

Finding something like a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, or Audi is surprisingly doable for around or under $40,000, even as vehicle prices have soared over the past two years.

Even though it may just be a base model or lower trim level, there are plenty of options on the market right now, including several different small luxury SUVs from the most coveted of manufacturers.

Some manufacturers like Porsche, Land Rover, and Alfa Romeo have eluded our list as their cheapest luxury SUVs are just a little pricier than our target range, but there plenty of other affordable luxury SUVs from which to choose that fall around or below $40,000.

Here are our top picks:


2022 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

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Mercedes-Benz is known for making top-notch luxury vehicles, some of which come with some pretty incredible performance from their AMG division. They also have a huge range of vehicles from which to choose, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 showcases that. It looks more like a lifted luxury car than an SUV, it comes standard with front-wheel-drive, and it only has 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats – very un-SUV-like characteristics.

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What it lacks in several areas, it makes up for in others. It has a relatively low MSRP of $36,400, it comes with a spunky turbocharged engine that produces 221 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque, it has a quick-shifting eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and it gets great fuel economy: 24 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway.

Features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display, and Mercedes-Benz’s excellent MBUX infotainment system all come standard. Blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and a driver attention monitoring system highlight the GLA 250’s standard safety features list.

Browse 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class listings here.


2022 Volvo XC40

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Volvo is known for making safe and beautifully-styled vehicles. The subcompact Volvo XC40 treads the line between keeping all the benefits of an SUV over a car without compromising styling. It features 20.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, 57.5 with the rear seats folded, and is filled with high-quality materials throughout the cabin.

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Front-wheel drive and a 187-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine are standard on the base model Volvo XC40 Momentum. It has a starting price of just over $36,000 after the destination fee is added. Even though the Momentum is only one of the two trim levels buyers can technically get for under $40,000, it is well-equipped for its relatively low MSRP.

A 9-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, leather seating, heated front seats, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning all come standard.

Browse 2022 Volvo XC40 listings here.


2022 Lincoln Corsair

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It can be easy to overlook Lincoln as a true luxury brand, but they have moved away from the “it’s just an upscale Ford” stigma over the past several years. Look no further than the Lincoln Corsair for proof. It has an MSRP of just over $36,500, it features a 250-horsepower turbocharged engine, and it is one of the best-looking SUVs on the market.

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The base model Lincoln Corsair Standard features front-wheel drive, an 8-inch touchscreen, Ford’s easy-to-use SYNC 3 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 10-speaker audio system, a WiFi hotspot, remote start, dual-zone automatic control, and a power liftgate.

On the safety side of things, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and pre-collision braking all come standard. It may not be a German vehicle, but it is safe, practical, reasonably priced for a compact crossover SUV, and well-equipped at its starting price.

Browse 2022 Lincoln Corsair listings here.


2022 Genesis GV70

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We cheated a little here since the Genesis GV70 has an MSRP of $41,500, but it is too good not to consider. If you can spend a little more than $40,000 you will still undercut several of its competitors and experience why it has made so many other automakers look over their shoulders. It does most everything well, and it is arguably the best luxury crossover SUV at its price point.

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It comes standard with an impressive powertrain: A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 300 horsepower on tap, and all-wheel drive. Additionally, it features one of the best interiors in the compact luxury SUV segment, nearly 29 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 and 28 MPG in city and highway driving respectively.

A large 14.5-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation highlight the standard infotainment features while adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, safe-exit assist, pedestrian detection, and driver drowsiness monitoring highlight some of its best standard safety features.

Browse 2022 Genesis GV70 listings here.


2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class

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The Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 follows in the footsteps of the GLA class, but it looks more like a traditional SUV, it has a more upscale interior, it is larger, and it has a higher MSRP of $38,600. Buyers get 27 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, over ten more than the GLA 250. One thing it does share with the smaller GLA 250 is the same base powertrain with 221 horsepower and front-wheel drive as standard.

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Safety features like blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert come standard. The same MBUX infotainment system present in the GLA 250 is found in the GLB 250, along with a 7-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

One of the GLB’s tricks is that it is available as a three-row SUV. One of the only non-midsize or large SUVs to have this option, it is an $850 upgrade on both the base and AMG trim levels, It will only be useful in a pinch, though, since the GLB is still a small SUV.

Browse 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class listings here.


2022 BMW X1

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The BMW X1 sDrive28i – the base trim level– is one of the most fun-to-drive subcompact SUVs on the market, even with its standard front-wheel-drive layout. It has a punchy turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that puts 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque to the pavement. The fuel economy does not suffer too much either. EPA estimates of 24 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway put it higher in the class compared to rivals.

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Unfortunately, for its relatively low starting price of around $36,500, there are some compromises. Some cabin materials feel cheap and un-BMW-like. Beyond that, your hard-earned money still gets you a well-rounded BMW crossover “sports activity vehicle.” A sporty, yet comfortable ride and 27.1 cubic feet of cargo space are just some of its best features.

An 8.8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a seven-speaker audio system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, and parking sensors round out the standard features list. If you really need it, the all-wheel-drive BMW X1 xDrive28i is identical to the front-wheel-drive X1 in terms of features, and it costs $2,000 more.

Browse 2022 BMW X1 listings here.


2022 Audi Q3

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The base Audi Q3 Premium trim ironically has a nearly identical starting price as the BMW X1. There are trade-offs to both, though. The Q3 comes standard with all-wheel drive, a more well-appointed interior than the X1, and an 8.8-inch touchscreen display, just like its rival. The Q3 also has less cargo space, with 23.7 cubic feet, and slightly worse fuel economy numbers: 23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway.

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Its engine is also less powerful, and therefore, makes the Q3 a little less fun to drive. 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder motivate the subcompact crossover. What the Q3 lacks in possibility, it makes up for in comfort.

Audi’s Pre Sense safety system comes standard on the Q3, along with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Standard tech features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, a 10-speaker audio system, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power sunroof, and heated front seats.

Browse 2022 Audi Q3 listings here.


2022 Lexus UX

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Lexus’ smallest and cheapest entry-level SUV, the UX 200, only has a base price of around $35,025 with the destination fee included, but it does come with some compromises. It has a small cargo capacity of just over 17 cubic feet and its only available powertrain – a four-cylinder engine producing 169 horsepower and continuously-variable transmission powering only the front wheels – is quite uninspiring compared to others in the class.

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There are some upsides to the UX as well. It has a great interior with high-quality materials, especially for its low price point. It also gets stellar fuel economy with up to 37 MPG on the highway and 29 MPG in the city. Standard safety features are plentiful with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, and pedestrian detection as standard.

A 7-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hotspot, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, and power-operated front seats are also standard. Unfortunately, Lexus’ infotainment system can be tricky to operate with its Remote Touch controller.

Browse 2022 Lexus UX listings here.


2022 BMW X2

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The BMW X2 is like the BMW X1 if it was injected with a little caffeine. Even though it slots in numerically higher, the X2 is smaller than its sibling. Its more streamlined styling hampers rear-seat headroom and cargo capacity drops by 5.5 cubic feet from the X1. The fuel economy also drops slightly with the X2, returning estimates of 24 and 32 MPG in the city and on the highway.

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A starting MSRP of $36,000 gets buyers the base BMW X2 sDrive28i in the same powertrain as the X1: a 228-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. It also gets buyers the same standard 8.8-inch touchscreen from the X1 with Apple CarPlay, a navigation system, and a seven-speaker audio system.

Standard safety features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors, and automatic emergency braking, all good things since the X2 is arguably one of the most fun-to-drive subcompact SUVs on the market.

Browse 2022 BMW X2 listings here.


2022 Cadillac XT4

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The Cadillac XT4 is the first American-made offering on the list. As one might expect, it struggles to match its European rivals in overall refinement and driving feel, but that does not mean it has nothing to offer buyers. Its handsome exterior styling, starting MSRP of $35,795, roomy interior, and relatively large cargo capacity of 22.5 cubic feet make it appealing.

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Even though its cabin is not as refined or high-quality as other subcompact luxury SUVs, there is plenty of room in both the front and rear seats for even adult passengers. The standard turbocharged engine makes 235 horsepower, enough to scoot everybody around town easily while returning 24 MPG. Highway mileage goes up to 30 MPG.

Standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, four USB ports, remote start, dual-zone climate control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection, GM’s teen driver system, and a safety alert seat.

Browse 2022 Cadillac XT4 listings here.


2022 Lexus NX

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Even though the Lexus NX 250 is essentially a Toyota RAV4 deep under its skin, it stands out as a true compact luxury SUV in several ways. It has been fully redesigned for 2022 with slightly more reserved, yet still edgy styling compared to the NX in years past. A more opulent interior than the outgoing model, an more user-friendly infotainment system, and a host of standard safety features make the Lexus NX a good choice for an entry-level luxury SUV.

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The NX 250 starts at $39,425 with the destination fee included. Its base powertrain is a 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway place it high in the class on the fuel economy front.

Standard tech features include a 9.8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Lexus’ virtual assistant, and a 7-inch digital gauge cluster. The previously standard and notoriously hard-to-use Lexus Remote Touch controller is gone for the 2022 model year. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, front and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beams, and safe exit assist are all standard as well.

Browse 2022 Lexus NX listings here.


2022 Infiniti QX50

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Nissan’s answer to the Lexus NX 250 is the Infiniti QX50. It offers more cargo space – 31.4 cubic feet – than its Japanese rival, more horsepower, just as nice of an interior, and just as comprehensive a list of standard safety features as the NX. That said, its Lexus rival has a slightly lower starting price, better fuel economy, and more refined powertrain, despite having less power.

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All QX50 trim levels are powered by a 268-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine a continuously variable transmission, and front-wheel-drive. It achieves 23 MPG in the city and up to 29 MPG on the highway, fine numbers for a compact SUV.

Along with its standard dual touchscreen displays, wireless Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hotspot, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian detection, automatic high-beams, and ProPilot assist round out the QX50’s features list.

Browse 2022 Infiniti QX5 listings here.


2022 Buick Envision

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Some would argue that the Buick Envision is an upscale non-luxury compact SUV more than a true luxury compact. It certainly does have several shortcomings, but its commonalities with the Cadillac XT4, very low starting price, comprehensive list of standard safety features, and standard tech features help it just squeak onto our list.

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A low base MSRP of $31,500 makes the Envision attractive even though its interior is not up to snuff with other luxury rivals. Still, its standard 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot, six-speaker audio system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and Teen Driver system make help bolster its appeal.

The same 228-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder from the Cadillac XT4 also powers the Envision’s front wheels. Plentiful passenger space, 25.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, 52.7 cubic feet behind the front seats, a comfortable ride, and attractive styling at its low price point should be enough to give the Envision a chance against rivals.

Browse 2022 Buick Envision listings here.


2022 Acura RDX

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Even though the base Acura RDX has an MSRP of $40,600, just a hair over our $40,000 threshold, it is worth the little extra it will take to get one. It is still less expensive than some others in the compact luxury SUV segment like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and Volvo XC60. 30 cubic feet of space is available behind its second row, only nine less than its larger midsize MDX sibling.

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Powering all RDX models is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, pumping out 272 horses through a ten-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive is standard. Also standard is a large 10.2-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, a nine-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, dual-zone climate control, and a panoramic sunroof.

EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway are reasonable for the class. Forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beams, lane departure warning, and road sign recognition round out the long list of standard safety features.

Browse 2022 Acura RDX listings here.