While many SUV buyers may not consider luxury models because of their perceived cost, shoppers interested in leasing a new SUV may be surprised at how affordable an upscale brand can be. We've outlined some of our favorite luxury SUVs that offer lease rates below $450 per month, combining a reasonable monthly payment with utility, generous equipment and a high-end ownership experience.

Acura RDX

Acura's recently redesigned RDX is a good choice for shoppers interested in an entry-level luxury SUV. For shoppers looking to lease, Acura is currently offering two deals: one with monthly payments of just $399 after $2,999 at signing, and another with nothing down but payments of $460 per month. Either offer is reasonable considering the RDX's standard 273-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and fuel economy ratings that reach as high as 28 miles per gallon in highway driving. The RDX also offers a long list of standard equipment that includes a power sunroof, a reversing camera, automatic headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

BMW X1

Although it's still weeks from arriving on dealer lots, BMW's compact X1 crossover is the only model in the automaker's growing lineup to offer lease rates below $450 per month. And while many budget-minded shoppers may be unhappy to learn BMW's freshly redesigned X3 is out of their price range, we think the X1 offers many of its larger stablemate's best attributes for less money. Indeed, for just $399 per month after $3,800 down, shoppers can own a rear-wheel drive X1 sDrive28i, which offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a standard 8-speed automatic. Stepping up to an all-wheel drive model adds just $20 per month to the lease rate, making the X1 affordable for shoppers in a wide variety of climates.

Buick Enclave

With a base price of more than $37,000 after destination, Buick's large Enclave crossover would normally be hard to find for under $450 per month. But thanks to Buick's new "Experience Buick" program, the SUV is currently available with a 24-month lease for just $299 per month after $3,500 at lease signing. Best of all, Experience Buick includes two free years of GM's OnStar telematics system, two free years of scheduled maintenance, and two free years of SiriusXM satellite radio. The SUV also includes a generous list of standard equipment that features items like a power rear liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Infiniti EX35

While Infiniti isn't currently advertising any special offers on its compact EX, the gadget-filled crossover is certainly available with lease rates of around $400 per month after $3,000 at lease signing. Inside, that rate includes a long list of equipment like a standard 7-speed automatic transmission, a rearview camera and push-button starting, while the EX offers a 297-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 under the hood. Buyers willing to wait for the 2013 model will be even more pleased with the crossover, as Infiniti is adding its muscular 3.7-liter V6 to the EX for the new model year - likely with only a minimal price increase.

Mercedes GLK

If you can stomach a hefty $4,600 initial payment at lease signing, Mercedes' upscale GLK350 may be the SUV for you. That's because the upscale SUV offers monthly payments of just $419, regardless of whether buyers choose rear-wheel drive or snow-friendly all-wheel drive. The GLK also includes a robust 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 mated to a smooth 7-speed automatic transmission, which compares favorably to four-cylinder engines in many rivals. Icing on the cake is the GLK's long list of standard equipment, which includes Bluetooth, power front seats, automatic headlights and 19-inch alloy wheels. For shoppers interested in better fuel economy than the SUV's current rating of 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, Mercedes says a diesel-powered GLK250 BlueTec is on the way.

Volvo XC60

Shoppers interested in Volvo's safety-minded XC60 crossover will find base models available for just $399 per month after $3,394 at lease signing. While that offer only applies the XC60 3.2, the turbocharged T6 is also available within our budget, albeit with a slightly higher down payment. We recommend that model, in part because of its brawny 300-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder powerplant. We also like the T6 because it adds power front seats, a power sunroof, leather upholstery, and 18-inch wheels to the 3.2's already generous equipment list. For shoppers with wanderlust, we recommend Volvo's tremendous overseas delivery program, which offers up to eight percent off the XC60 and includes two complimentary roundtrip tickets to the brand's factory in Gothenburg, Sweden.

 

What it means to you: Our list proves shoppers on a budget can still indulge themselves on a premium SUV.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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