Top 10 2020 Compact Premium SUVs by Customer Satisfaction

As it has done for decades, every year J.D. Power surveys thousands of verified vehicle owners to understand their experiences with their recently acquired vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The information gathered in this effort forms the basis of three benchmark auto industry studies. In this post, we examine one of them — the annual J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.

2020 BMW X4 Front Quarter View

The APEAL results offer a telling look at car owners' opinions regarding the design, performance, safety, usability, comfort, and perceived quality of their vehicles. The mountain of detailed data enables J.D. Power researchers to create an index that allows quick comparison between models. Both the overall index score and the model's ranking in its category offer pertinent information on the vehicles that best satisfy their owners in areas consumers care about. In APEAL the higher the index score, the better the model delivers overall customer satisfaction.

Here we profile the 10 highest-rated 2020 compact premium SUVs in customer satisfaction, based completely on the opinions of the consumers who own them. The models are listed in order by APEAL index score with the highest-ranking vehicle at the top and the rest in descending order. The average index score for this segment is 856.

1. 2020 BMW X4 – Highest Compact SUV in Customer Satisfaction According to Consumers! - Find the best BMW deals!

The 2020 BMW X4 is a compact premium SUV with a stylish roofline reminiscent of a sports coupe. It is available only in all-wheel-drive trim, and for 2020 new X4 M and X4 M Competition models have joined the lineup. Powertrains include a 248-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, 382-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder plus the two performance M packages delivering 473 and 503 horsepower. The iDrive infotainment system features a 10.2-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay integration and standard navigation. In addition, this BMW has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and offers infotainment gesture control.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 BMW X4 is 883, and the BMW X4 receives an APEAL award in the Compact Premium SUV segment. 

2. 2020 Lincoln Corsair - Find the best Lincoln deals!

All-new for the 2020 model year, the 2020 Lincoln Corsair is a 5-passenger compact premium SUV that replaces the MKC in the Lincoln lineup. The base version is a front-drive vehicle, and all-wheel-drive is available too. Under the hood is the choice of a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 295-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder, both fitted with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The standard infotainment system has an 8.0-inch display, and includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Wireless phone charging and a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display are optional.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Lincoln Corsair is 870. 

3. 2020 Porsche Macan - Find the best Porsche deals!

For 2020 the Porsche Macan offers wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging for the first time. The 5-passenger compact premium SUV includes standard all-wheel-drive and offers three engine choices including a 248-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, 348-horsepower turbocharged V-6, and 434-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6. Each is teamed with a 7-speed automatic transmission, and Porsche makes a Sport Chrono package available across all Macan trims, giving the SUV a bump in performance. The infotainment system features a 10.9-inch touchscreen, and it includes a 10-speaker audio system and integrated navigation.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Porsche Macan is 869. 

4. 2020 Volvo XC60 - Find the best Volvo deals!

The 2020 Volvo XC60 is a compact premium crossover SUV that seats five passengers. The variety of powertrains include a standard 250-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, a turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder good for 316 horsepower, and a plug-in hybrid version that delivers as much as 415 combined horsepower. Oncoming traffic mitigation and run-off-the-road mitigation and assist are two leading-edge systems in this Volvo SUV’s vast safety array. The Sensus infotainment system with a 9.0-inch touchscreen not only controls audio and navigation but also heating and air conditioning and other functions.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Volvo XC60 is 863. 

5. 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB in a tie with the Mercedes-Benz GLC - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB compact SUV is new to the American market. With seating for five, the GLB is offered in front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations. The standard tech offering is a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment interface plus a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and the uplevel option is a 10.25-inch touchscreen, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 12-speaker Burmester audio system. The GLB's lone drivetrain is a 221-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine coupled to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB is 862 in a tie with the Mercedes-Benz GLC.

5. 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC in a tie with the Mercedes-Benz GLB - Find the best Mercedes-Benz deals!

Mercedes-Benz gives its GLC lineup a refresh for 2020. The compact premium SUV is a 5-passenger crossover that offers rear-drive as its base configuration with all-wheel-drive optional. It is available with a broad list of powertrain options including the 255-horsepower base model, a 315-horsepower plug-in hybrid, and three separate AMG versions that culminate in the 503-horsepower AMG GLC 63 S. Tech includes an infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Dedicated navigation, Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless phone charging are optional.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC is 862 in a tie with the Mercedes-Benz GLB.

6. 2020 Cadillac XT4 - Find the best Cadillac deals!

The 2020 Cadillac XT4 offers seating for five, and it is available with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. Standard tech is an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and USB-C ports in addition to previous-generation USBs. A Bose surround-sound audio system plus wireless phone charging are on the options list. A 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is the single powertrain choice, and it is teamed with a 9-speed automatic transmission. On the safety front, Cadillac has made automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning standard items for 2020. 

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Cadillac XT4 861.

7. 2020 BMW X3 - Find the best BMW deals!

The 2020 BMW X3 compact premium SUV is a 5-passenger vehicle available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. For 2020, new variants are the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid, X3 M, X3 M Competition. The new plug-in supplies about 20 miles of electric driving before reverting to gasoline-electric hybrid operation, while the X3 M offers up to 503 horsepower from its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. The BMW iDrive infotainment system has an 8.8-inch touchscreen, and it includes dedicated navigation and Apple CarPlay integration, but Android Auto is conspicuously absent. Wi-Fi hotspot capability and wireless phone charging are among the options.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 BMW X3 is 858.

8. 2020 Jaguar F-Pace - Find the best Jaguar deals!

Not one but two sub-models are new to the Jaguar F-Pace line for 2020. This Jaguar is a 5-passenger compact premium SUV available only with all-wheel-drive. Multiple powertrain choices offer between 247 and 550 horsepower, made by turbocharged 4-cylinder, supercharged V-6, and supercharged V-8 engines. The standard infotainment system uses a 10-inch touchscreen, and it offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An interesting feature is the optional "activity key," an electronic wristband that gives you keyless access to the vehicle.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Jaguar F-Pace is 854.

9. 2020 Lexus NX - Find the best Lexus deals!

The 5-passenger 2020 Lexus NX is a compact premium SUV that is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. Largely unchanged for the 2020 model year, it offers the choice of a 235-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine or a hybrid powertrain that includes a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine plus electric motors drawing from a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Tech includes a standard 8.0-inch display with a 10.3-inch screen available, and the interface is a console-mounted touchpad. Apple CarPlay is included but this Lexus is not offered with Android Auto. 

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Lexus NX is 851.

10. 2020 Acura RDX - Find the best Acura deals!

Redesigned just last year, and somewhat of a hot rod among compact premium SUVs, the 2020 Acura RDX sports a 272-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The RDX is available with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive, and five passengers will find ample room inside of this Acura. Every RDX includes standard AcuraWatch driving assistance and collision avoidance technology. The standard 10.2-inch infotainment display requires the use of a touchpad.

The APEAL index score for the 2020 Acura RDX is 849.