Small or compact SUVs are becoming more and more popular recently, and there are many reasons why. First of all, they offer a raised-up SUV driving position which is great for all-around visibility and maneuverability. Furthermore, they are capable of mild to moderate off-roading without sacrificing road driving.
As such, manufacturers are constantly fighting to come up with the best compact SUV, and it seems like the market is full of potential options. The most powerful compact SUV on the market is the BMW X3M Competition, and the second most powerful is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
Continuing the list of the most powerful compact SUVs, closely trailing on the third spot is the Mercedes AMG GLC 63 S. Next one on the list is the incredibly popular and equally good-looking Porsche Macan Turbo S, and the 5th most powerful compact SUV is the Audi RSQ4 Sportback Coupe SUV.
All of these compact SUVs are extremely popular and extremely good. Between these, the Porsche and the Alfa are the sportiest ones, closely followed by the BMW, then the Mercedes, and then the Audi.
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BMW X3M Competition
The BMW X3M Competition and the BMW X4M Competition are basically the same cars. The only difference is that the X4 offers a sleeker design while everything else is more or less the same. These two German powerhouses offer a 3.0L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine with up to 510hp.
Such numbers are fairly crazy for a compact SUV, but these two BMWs are fairly athletic and fun to drive, and it seems like the power output is just enough. 0-60mph is done in less than 3.8 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 155mph.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifogglio
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a true breath of fresh air because it offers a driving experience that is characteristic of fast Italian cars. A flamboyant fast-looking exterior design paired with a focused interior design makes the Stelvio look and feel like it was born and bred by Ferrari.
However, Ferrari was indeed involved in developing this compact SUV and the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan. Both of these feature a supposedly Ferrari-derived 2.9L Twin-Turbo 6-cylinder engine which pushes out 507hp. The top speed is rated at 176mph, and the 0-60mph time is just 3.6 seconds.
Mercedes Benz GLC 63 AMG S
The GLC 63 AMG S is a compact Mercedes SUV designed for those who want a so-called ‘’brute in a suit’’. This GLC derivative is able to completely blend in while cruising downtown, but when the national speed limit hits, the fruity 4.0L BiTurbo V8 makes sure that the AMG DNA comes to the surface.
The range-topping GLC AMG model offers a healthy 505hp which pushes the GLC 63 AMG S from 0 to 60 in around 3.6 seconds and the speed is also limited to 155mph. The main party trick of this compact SUV is the engine which is way bigger and more exciting than the ones offered in every other compact SUV.
Porsche Macan Turbo S
The Porsche Macan Turbo S is probably the most sophisticated and best engineered compact SUV on this list. Thanks to a 2.9L twin-turbo V6, the Macan offers a healthy 434hp which enables it to sprint 0-60mph in around 4 seconds while the top speed is also limited to 155mph.
The main reason why one would opt to buy the Macan over the rest of these compact sporty SUVs is that it offers the highest standards of quality which are always associated with Porsche engineering. Besides being superiorly upmarket, the Macan also holds its value very well and is the most reliable of the bunch.
Audi RSQ4 Sportback
The Audi RSQ3 and the RSQ4 are also basically the same car just like with the X3M and the X4M. However, these two are even smaller than the X3 and the X4 because Audi for some reason is not making an RS version of the Audi Q5. Nevertheless, the RSQ3 and the RSQ4 are both so good that there is no need for any additional Audi RS SUVs.
Design-wise, the RSQ4 looks stunning, especially if you opt for a more daring color. Besides the design, these two also offer a legendary 2.5L 5-cylinder turbo engine which is arguably even better than the V8 found in the GLC. Horsepower is caped at 400 while 0-60mph takes 4.3 seconds.
Does it make any sense to buy a performance compact SUV?
These compact SUVs are not designed to be athletic, and it begs the question of why would one ever buy one. However, these SUVs are selling like crazy because people love powerful cars that look and sound good.
Even though a lesser-powered sports car can destroy these on the racetrack, these SUVs are better at everything else. So yes, it does make sense to buy such a powerful compact SUV because it offers excitement levels that are undoubtedly missing from this segment.
Why should I buy a small SUV over a mid-size or a full-size SUV?
Compact SUVs and crossovers are selling like crazy because they offer almost everything. If you live in an urban environment and you don’t need extra space, there is no reason to buy a mid-size SUV solely because of the size, and that’s especially true for a full-size SUV.
Furthermore, compact SUVs are cheaper while being equally as well-built. Nonetheless, if you need more space or you are more serious about off-roading, buying a larger SUV does make sense, but be sure to test them out first.
What’s the quickest electric compact SUV?
The fastest electric compact SUV is the fairly recent Tesla Model Y Performance. This sleek-looking EV is capable of a 0-60mph of just 3.5 seconds. The Jaguar I-PACE does 0-60mph in just over 4.7 seconds, while the Audi e-Tron Sportback does it in a little bit less than 4.7 seconds.
The Mercedes Benz EQC does 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds just like the brand new Ford Mustang Mach-E. However, as time goes on we are surely going to witness sportier electric compact SUVs with even more power and even more speed.