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6 Compact SUVs That Are More Luxurious Than You Might Think

If you’re interested in a new SUV with some high-end features, you don’t necessarily have to buy an expensive new model from an upscale luxury brand such as Lexus, Acura, Mercedes-Benz or BMW. For proof, check out these six compact SUVs, which offer a wide range of luxury features and high-tech gadgets without the luxury-car price premium.

Buick Encore Premium

Think of the Buick Encore as a premium SUV from a premium brand with a very mainstream price tag. That’s especially true if you go with the aptly named Encore Premium, which boasts an amazing array of equipment, including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, automatic wipers, a Bose sound system, leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel. Think a Buick SUV with those features will cost too much for your budget? Think again: The Encore Premium starts at just $31,700 with shipping, and it includes a fuel-saving 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which boasts up to 25 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

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Ford Escape Titanium

The Ford Escape changed a lot with its 2013 redesign, and one of the biggest updates was an upscale luxury-oriented model dubbed the Titanium. No, it doesn’t have a luxury brand’s badge on the front, but it does include an 8-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a remote starter, a power lift gate with hands-free operation, dual power front seats with driver memory and a 10-speaker Sony sound system. You can even add xenon headlights, an automated parallel-parking system and a panoramic sunroof if you want. The best part? Even with all those features, an Escape Titanium still starts at a budget-friendly $30,500 with shipping.

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Honda CR-V Touring

The Honda CR-V Touring offers so many high-end features that it may make you wonder why you should even bother considering an Acura. Admittedly, the CR-V Touring has a high starting price — around $33,000 — but it includes a lot of bang for your buck, offering features including a power lift gate, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, a navigation system, leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control as standard equipment. And if the CR-V Touring is a little over your budget, you might make up the difference at the pump: The crossover’s standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine returns an impressive 27 mpg city/34 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive or 26 mpg city/33 mpg hwy if you opt for all-wheel drive.

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Hyundai Tucson Limited

The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover that offers a wide range of trim levels, from a budget-priced base model right up to a highly luxurious Limited version. It’s the Tucson Limited that we’re recommending, as it offers a long list of features such as an 8-in touchscreen infotainment system with standard navigation, LED headlights, leather upholstery, dual power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. And you can get all those features without spending a fortune: A new Tucson Limited starts at just $30,800 with shipping.

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Jeep Cherokee Limited

Although we never thought we’d associate Jeep with cutting-edge technology, the Cherokee Limited proves us wrong. Starting at around $29,900 with shipping, the Cherokee Limited touts a wide array of modern features, including a remote starter, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. It also offers an impressive list of options that includes an automated parking system, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, a navigation system and ventilated front seats. Option it to the gills, and a Cherokee can be among the most luxurious compact SUVs on the market — and the most capable if you ever plan on making your way to some trails or rough roads.

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Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Although entry-level versions of the Mazda CX-5 are all about affordability and fuel economy, the high-end Grand Touring trim instead touts a wide array of luxurious options and features. Specifically, the CX-5 Grand Touring comes standard with automatic headlights and wipers, leather upholstery with heated front seats, a push-button starter, a blind spot monitoring system and, if you opt for the Technology package, automatic forward-collision braking, adaptive xenon headlights and a navigation system. Pricing is reasonable too, as a CX-5 Grand Touring starts at around $29,200 with shipping or $30,600 if you add the Technology package.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More

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