Chances are, you’ve seen about three of each of these cars just today. Small luxury crossovers are probably the most popular sorts of cars today. While they used to be cars we made fun of, they’re actually becoming quite good to drive. So Carwow put the three most popular luxury crossovers to the test to see which is best — the BMW X1, Audi Q3 or Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.
In third place came the Mercedes-Benz GLA. While Mat Watson of Carwow deemed it the best looking car of the three, it lacked elsewhere. The interior, surprising for Mercedes, was let down by poor quality, cramped passenger space, an odd lack of any light coming from the outside and subpar technology. It’s also not that good to drive, with Watson calling the steering “wooly” and the suspension was a bit too uncomfortable.
Second place was the Audi Q3. The Q3 is an weird car because it’s extremely practical for the average buyer but about as exciting as a lecture rom Ben Stein. It has good interior space, solid interior build quality, a comfortable ride and smart looks, inside and out. Its technology is a bit dated but still works better than the Mercedes’. However, it’s just so dull to drive. We drove one back-to-back with a BMW X1 last year and it was one of the least enjoyable cars we’ve ever driven. However, most buyers in this segment just want something comfortable, practical and sharp looking. By that regard, the Audi Q3 is a good buy.
But it’s the BMW X1 that takes top honors and we agree. Many BMW fans will bellyache about how the new X1 is front-wheel drive-based so it’s not a proper BMW or how it isn’t as fun to drive as the previous model. It’s all useless babble. Is the new X1 as sharp to drive as the car it replaces? No, it isn’t. Is it still fun to drive and does it feel like a proper BMW? Yes. In fact, some enthusiasts (myself included) feel that it has better steering than many other current BMWs, including the precious 3 Series. It’s also incredibly practical, more so than the other two cars in the bunch and has by far the most interior space. Its technology is also the best, by leaps and bounds. The BMW X1 is by far the best crossover in its class so it wins this test.