So, my wife and I are in the market for a new car as our older “tank style”, gas guzzling, SUV just doesn’t fit our lifestyle anymore. However, we still need something a little bigger as we’re replacing the family car and our other car is a coupe. This has been a trend in the US for quite some time as in 2013 passenger cars accounted for half of all of the vehicles sold in the US and that number has dropped all the way down to 29%. So today we’re looking at the battle for the new frontier between a Compact SUV/Crossover and a Hybrid and an EV.
Firstly, the first thing everyone always talks about is the mileage. As gas prices continue to climb, especially on the West Coast, and with current climate around the world it doesn’t look like they are going to come down anytime soon, so it’s a justifiable concern. That said let’s look at the ROI for the average vehicle in each category.
Ave. Compact SUV/Crossover 28 city/34 highway with the Nissan kicks being the best at 34/39
Ave. Hybrid 43 city/49 highway with the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid being the top at 57 mpg city/59 mpg highway
Average EV 125-175 range with the Hyundai Kona Electric being the top at 258
Ok, you would expect the EVs to take round 1 and they did, but not all of us are only concerned with how far we can go before we have to plug in again, we were looking for something with a little more style than a shoebox. So, our second criteria was style/comfort/luxury and that’s when the SUV/Crossovers were in their element. You simply can’t compare the lines and style of the best in breed in this class vs. the others. This was a major component for us because you may have kids but that doesn’t mean you’re going to stay at home and not go to dinner or to other events as a family and you want to be comfortable when you do so and not feel like you’re missing something by taking the “other car”. That said here are our top cars for combination of style, comfort, and luxury.
2019 Porsche Macan – Had a performance ranking that was off the chart by Car and Driver, which is no surprise coming from Porsche. The cabin and interior are something you find in a larger luxury car and they make the most of the compact space. JD Power gave it a 5-star for reliability and seats 5. The 18/23 mileage stats kept the Macan out of contention for the first category but it more than made up for it here.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC – the 2018 finalist for best luxury compact SUV for families is back in 2019 with an improved model and intent on taking the title this year. It has both a roomy and sophisticated front cabin, with all of the necessary features such as Apple Play, Satellite Radio, heated front seats, and three-zone climate control. If there is a negative it is the size of the trunk in the coupe models but you can really tell the time that went into designing this car and making it worthy of the name. What could be the most notable, particularly to those with families, is that the GLC scored a 9.8 out of 10 in safety by U.S. News.
2019 Audi Q5 – This car just beat out the BMW X3 for third place on the list and rest assured we were really splitting hairs but this car may have been the most top-to-bottom complete cars on the list. It has all of the standard features that you would expect that come with a luxury brand, many of which we’ve mentioned but then throw in the most agile handling of any car in its class, a very comfortable ride, and a power engine, and you’ve got a recipe for success. The q5 has the same body size as the others but it’s horsepower of 248-349 is a little more than the others on the list. It’s higher base price of $42,950 might take it out of the compact SUV range and bring some additional competition from slightly bigger models.
Before you can make your final choice you have to consider overall cost and that includes things like a replacement battery for an EV, gasoline for the hybrids, and car insurance for the luxury SUVs. The battery life is a major thing to consider when purchasing an EV, and most manufacturers are offering an 8-year/100k mile warranty however an extended warranty insurance can be purchased but it is very expensive for electric vehicles and hybrids. More over because of the expensive parts that are needed to put together an EV and the dearth of manufacturers that can make them, auto insurance is considerably more expensive than traditional autos. To put it into perspective, something simple like a Ford Focus would cost 18% more the same electric version of the same car. That’s the least expensive, the Fiat 500 is the most, a whopping 32% higher. That cost only escalates if you’re considering a luxury SUV vs. it’s hybrid or electric version so certainly get a comparison of the best insurance quotes before you make your decision.
When all was considered, we decided to go on the direction of the luxury compact SUV as we didn’t want all of the bulk of our previous large one, wanted it to be comfortable and have some luxury to it. AT the end of the day as much as we wanted to make a substantial change in our environmental when compared side by side the cost was about the same so we’ll have to wait for the next one when the cost come down to make the switch.