Thursday Throwdown: 2014 Luxury Compact Crossovers

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In today’s Thursday Throwdown, we’re looking at compact crossovers in the luxury market. These include vehicles marketed as luxury offerings in the mid- and upper-price range. When they were new vehicles, most had a starting price over $35,000.
Our top picks are chosen for their driving dynamics, fuel efficiency and safety. These 2014 luxury crossovers are beginning to appear as used cars and dealer demonstration vehicles now, so be sure to check the CARFAX Vehicle History Report for one you might purchase used, and use our Used Car Listings to find one for yourself.

Side-by-Side Comparison Chart of Top Picks

2014 Luxury Compact SUV New $ MPG Safety (of 10)
Acura RDX $34,520 20/28 9
Audi Q5 $37,300 20/28 8
BMW X1 $30,900 23/34 5
Infiniti QX50 $34,850 17/25 7
Mercedes-Benz GLK $37,480 19/26 7
Range Rover Evoque $41,100 21/30 7
Volvo XC60 $34,850 18/26 10

2014 Top Luxury Compact Crossovers Picks

Lowest Entry Price: BMW X1Best Fuel Economy: BMW X1Quietest Ride: Infiniti QX50, Volvo XC60Most Refined Overall: Mercedes-Benz GLKMost Refined Interior: Range Rover Evoque, Acura RDXMost Fun To Drive: Audi Q5, Infiniti QX50

2014 Acura RDX

2014 Acura RDX

(Honda North America)

In terms of bang for the buck, it’s hard to argue with the Acura RDX’s proposition of a relatively low entry price, strong fuel economy, well-powered V6 engine and smart interior ergonomics. It’s spacious, well-made and has good safety ratings as well. The 2014 RDX earned accolades from several automotive outlets for these reasons.

2014 Acura RDX
Base price new: $34,520
EPA MPG (city/highway): 20/28
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – G/N/G/G/G, NHTSA – 5-Stars

[Thursday Throwdown: Best Infotainment Systems]

2014 Audi Q5

2014 Audi Q5

(Audi of America, Inc.)

The Audi Q5 is agile and fun, as well as a great family hauler to boot. Although 2014 Q5’s starting price is a bit higher than many competitors, it offers a lot of luxury, excellent fuel economy and standard all-wheel drive. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission are high points, though many reviewers prefer the more expensive diesel engine option. The Q5’s ride is slightly firm, so those who prefer a more cushioned experience may wish to look elsewhere.

2014 Audi Q5
Base price new: $37,300
EPA MPG (city/highway): 20/28
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – G/N/G/G/G, NHTSA – 4-Stars

[Thursday Throwdown: 2014 Sports Cars and Convertibles]

2014 BMW X1

2014 BMW X1

(BMW of North America, LLC)

A station wagon-style crossover, the BMW X1 comes with great handling characteristics and good engine options. The 2014 X1’s base turbocharged four-cylinder engine is peppy and spirited, though its start-stop system is a bit unnerving. High fuel economy is a selling point here, but a high price tag for options packages detracts from that appeal a bit. The wagon styling also means that the X1 has a smaller interior when compared with others in this lineup.

2014 BMW X1
Base price new: $30,900
EPA MPG (city/highway): 23/34
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – G/M/G/G/G, NHTSA – N/A

[Thursday Throwdown: 2014 Affordable Full-Size Sedans]

2014 BMW X3


(BMW of North America, LLC)

The BMW X3 is a great entry, offering sporty engine choices and good driving dynamics. Road noise can be a bit loud in the 2014 X3. Most buyers will likely be interested in the additional power that the optional turbocharged six-cylinder engine provides. As with most BMWs, the interior of the X3 is spartan, but tasteful and well-made.

2014 BMW X3
Base price new: $39,800
EPA MPG (city/highway): 21/28
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – G/N/G/G/G, NHTSA – N/A

[Thursday Throwdown: Best Minivans of 2014]

2014 Infiniti QX50

2014 Infiniti QX50

(Nissan North America, Inc.)

The Infiniti QX50 is luxurious and sporty and on those terms, may be the top choice on our list. However, it suffers from a cramped interior, low fuel economy for the segment and a ride that can be harsh over imperfect roads. The 2014 QX50 offers a lot of luxury and fun for the price, making it a good choice for buyers that want an enjoyable driving experience.

2014 Infiniti QX50
Base price new: $34,850
EPA MPG (city/highway): 17/25
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – G/N/N/G/G, NHTSA – N/N/N/4

[Thursday Throwdown: 2014 Compact Crossovers]

2014 Land Rover LR2

Land Rover LR2

(Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC)

For those looking for off-road capability with some luxury as a bonus, the Land Rover LR2 is the choice. Of our group, it’s the best in off-pavement activity. Ride comfort is not as good as others, which is a trade-off for that off-road ability. However, general comfort and interior refinement is very good, which befits the 2014 LR2’s position as a luxury vehicle.

2014 Land Rover LR2
Base price new: $36,600
EPA MPG (city/highway): 17/24
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – N/A, NHTSA – N/A

[Thursday Throwdown: 2014 Subcompact Cars]

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

(Mercedes-Benz USA)

Few would argue that of our overall list, the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class is the most upscale and beautiful of the lineup. The 2014 GLK-Class has earned its place as the most refined overall here. On the other hand, good fuel economy is hampered by a slightly small interior, especially in the back seat. Our fuel economy numbers come from the popular V6 model, which is the sportiest and most nimble of the GLK-Class lineup. A diesel option is available as well.

2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
Base price new: $37,480
EPA MPG (city/highway): 19/26
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – G/N/G/G/G, NHTSA – N/A

[Thursday Throwdown: Winter Sports Cars]

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

(Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC)

Land Rover is most well-known for its luxurious off-road offerings, and the small Range Rover Evoque epitomizes that aim. Cargo space and on-road comfort are the chief drawbacks for the 2014 Evoque, but a very well-made and comfortable interior is a high point. Fuel economy is also very good for a vehicle this athletic and capable.

2014 Range Rover Evoque
Base price new: $41,100
EPA MPG (city/highway): 21/30
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – N/A, NHTSA – N/A

[Thursday Throwdown: Full-Size Pickup Trucks]

2014 Volvo XC60

2014 Volvo XC60

(Volvo Cars of North America)

The Volvo XC60 is the only small crossover on our list here that has achieved a near-perfect safety rating, which is in keeping with Volvo’s core mission. The 2014 XC60 is also a roomy, comfortable and classy little crossover that is great as a family hauler and everyday driver. Fuel economy is only about average, but the XC60 is poised and confident in all driving conditions.

2014 Volvo XC60
Base price new: $34,850
EPA MPG (city/highway): 18/26
Crash Test Rating: IIHS – TSP+, NHTSA – 5-Stars

[Thursday Throwdown: Best Midsize SUVs of 2014]

About the Safety Ratings

Safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are given for each vehicle on our list.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is tasked with crash testing vehicles for the federal government; it rates vehicles with up to five stars in each of three categories. We list them as follows: Overall Rating – Frontal Crash/Side Crash/Rollover. You can find out more about the NHTSA’s testing procedures here.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a cooperative among automotive insurers that tests vehicles as a non-profit aimed at guiding insurance rates and risks for vehicles and to give consumers a better understanding of the safety of the vehicles they purchase.

The IIHS scores on five separate tests which measure crash worthiness and crash avoidance. Scores are rated as Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. We present these as G, A, M, P or N (not tested) in the IIHS presentation standard in order of testing:

  • Moderate Overlap Front
  • Small Overlap Front
  • Side Impact
  • Rear Crash Protection
  • Roof Strength.

You can find out more about the IIHS’ testing here.

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By | 2018-02-13T20:58:12+00:00 February 12th, 2015|Model News|0 Comments

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