Baby-sized luxury SUVs
Things have really been heating up in the small luxury SUV market.
In 2018 we’ve already seen the Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40 step into the ring to challenge baby-sized contenders from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other established brands.
And the decision isn’t about to get any easier for buyers. Lexus has just joined the battle and several established names are in line for either total regeneration or a serious upgrade in 2019. Here’s everything you need to know.
Audi’s original small SUV, the Q3, has entered its second generation and – since Audi’s other baby SUV, the Q2, caters to those who put style and sporty driving first – it’s taken on a more practical bent. It’s a roomier, more versatile proposition than the old one, and Audi reckons it’s quieter and more comfortable, too, while a trick new all-digital dash and various semi-autonomous safety aids headline a wholesale technology upswing. It’s due in showrooms in mid-2019. Price TBA.
BMW X2 M35i
BMW’s smallest SUV “coupe” has been updated for 2019 and the big news is this new range-topping high-performance model. It’s powered by a feisty 225kW 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine – enough, says BMW, to push it from standstill to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds – and the suspension, steering, brakes, body and cabin treatment have been given a sporting once-over for good measure. It’s due to hit local roads in the first half of 2019. From $68,900.
Lexus was one of the first luxury brands to get into the SUV game but a small-sized contender has been a while coming. The wait is over, however, with the recent launch of this edgy-looking number, which is tasked with tempting a younger kind of buyer into the Lexus fold. With its look-at-me exterior, sporty driving qualities, competitive pricing and choice of petrol or hybrid drivetrains it should snare a few. From $44,450.
Porsche’s smallest SUV has won a small but loyal following with the baby-SUV segment’s most hard-core performance, handling and plenty of other tempters, too. Now an updated version has broken cover in Europe with refreshed styling, a massaged cabin treatment, upgraded suspension, various tech advances and other changes Porsche isn’t talking about yet. Look out for it in showrooms in the first half of 2019. From $81,400.
Range Rover Evoque
Range Rover’s smallest mud-plugger has come in for a full generational refresh. While the new one looks an awful lot like the old one, it’s almost entirely new, from its fuel-saving mild-hybrid drivetrains and roomier, more contemporary cabin (with the same fancy dual touchscreen interface as its Velar big brother) to its trick forward-view camera, which allows you to “see” through the bonnet to the front wheels for more precise off-road crawling. It’s due to hit local shores in the second quarter of 2019. From $64,640.