Editor's Picks - The Best Compact Executives SUVs

Ben Chia
17 Apr 2019

Want an SUV? Sure you do. There’s essentially one for every kind of driver these days, from the man on a budget to the upper class elite. Even mid level executives are plumbing for SUVs these days in place of their usual BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Here are some of the best compact executive SUVs that you can consider if you want to match your peers in the office carpark.

DS 7 Crossback Puretech 225

Something out of the left field, the DS 7 Crossback hails from France, and blends style and tech into one compelling package. 

While the DS 7 Crossback may be based upon its distant siblings, the Peugeot 3008/5008, you probably wouldn’t even notice the connection, for their characters are so different. The DS 7 is very much a premium product, with plenty of space and practicality, blended with a high quality interior filled with neat touches such as the stylish B.R.M timepiece that takes pride of place on the dashboard. A 555-litre capacity boot ensures that you’ll have lots of room for any fancy knick-knacks you pick up from the French flea market. 

Power comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that produces 221bhp, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the drive can generally be described as smooth. A clever feature on the DS 7 is its Active Scan Suspension, which works with a camera mounted on the windscreen to scan the road ahead, and adjust accordingly to suit the surface. Ooh la la indeed.

Infiniti QX50 Sensory

If you’re looking for maximum bang for your buck in this segment in terms of space, then the Infiniti QX50 is the SUV for you. 

The QX50 is by far the biggest offering in its class, dimensions wise, and that means that there is plenty of space for you and your colleagues to lounge in comfort on the lunch run. The boot is absolutely humungous, boasting a whopping 881 litres of space, enough to load up on office supplies for everybody at work, and then some. You can even enjoy some bangin’ tunes on your way back post-lunch too, thanks to the QX50’s premium BOSE 16-speaker sound system. 

On the go, the QX50 is generally smooth and efficient. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces a decent 268bhp, and features what Infiniti calls Variable Compression Turbocharging, a clever system that can alter the engine’s compression ratio on the go to suit different driving conditions, achieving greater efficiency. Clever technology mixed with generous space puts the QX50 well ahead in the line of promotion to top ranks in its department.

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro S Tronic

Teutonic tech usually means Audi, and the Q5 is the classic representation of that, in compact executive SUV form.

Most of the usual Audi qualities are present and correct here: well-built premium interior, lots of tech gadgets, and luxurious premium space. The cockpit is familiar to Audi fans, with the usual MMI infotainment system featuring alongside the cool-looking Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel. Space is generous all round, both for occupants and cargo, with a 550-litre boot space adjustable to 610 litres if you push the rear seats forward, underling the Q5’s versatility,

Performance is delivered with the usual German efficiency, with the Q5 featuring a 2.0-litre TFSI engine that produces 252bhp, and a seven-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro system. The result is a smooth-driving SUV that offers excellent poise and balance on the roads. The Q5 is very much right at home whether you’re on the expressway, on a small windy road, or even just the office carpark.

BMW X3 xDrive30i M Sport

If you’re trading in your 3 Series for an SUV, but still want to stay ‘on brand’, then the X3 is the answer to your requirements.

Effectively a 3 Series in SUV form, the X3 boast many of the same qualities that have made the BMW name such a favourite among executives. Key highlights include a well-built interior, as always, along with new premium features taken from higher ranked models like the 5 Series and 7 Series. They include the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system incorporating Gesture Control, Qi wireless charging for your devices, and a smart key that allows you to start the car remotely, among other things.

All round cabin space is excellent, with plenty of room for five top-level managers, and 550-litres of boot space to accommodate whatever it is that executives carry around (probably just suits and documents). As you’d expect from a BMW, the drive is smooth and effective, with its 2.0-litre powerplant delivering 252bhp, and offering a drive that reveals its sporty nature. As a compact executive SUV, the X3 hits pretty much all its key performance indicators, and is very much on target to meets its customers’ needs.

Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design

If you don’t mind standing out from your colleagues, and going down a slightly different route, then the Volvo XC60 makes for an excellent choice in this hotly-contested segment.

A sporty-looking exterior opens up into a minimalist Scandinavian-style interior, with the huge iPad-style screen taking pride of place in the centre console. Almost everything you control is via this massive touchscreen, and as you’d expect with Volvo, the XC60 is packed with safety features, including the likes of Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keeping Aid, and many many others.

Interior space is decent, with some nice touches like a full-length glass sunroof, and boot space is decent at 505-litres, with the optional air suspension being able to lower itself to aid with the loading and unloading of heavy goods. The XC60 also offers a grin-inducing drive, with its 2.0-litre T6 engine producing a whopping 320bhp, giving it the performance of a hot hatch. It’ll make your victory in the office carpark race very Swede indeed.

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