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The RLX’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Panamera doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
To help make backing safer, the RLX’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Panamera doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the RLX and the Panamera have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RLX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Panamera has not been tested, yet.
Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Porsche covers the Panamera. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Panamera ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 42 percent more Acura dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RLX’s warranty.
The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Panamera have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.
On the EPA test cycle the RLX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid running its gasoline engine (28 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Panamera requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The RLX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Panamera doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Panamera.
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The RLX has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Panamera doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
The RLX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Panamera’s standard 45 series front tires.
The RLX offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Panamera; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
The RLX has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Panamera can only carry 4.
With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the RLX offers cargo security. The Panamera’s hatchback body style and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
The RLX Sport Hybrid has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Panamera doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The RLX’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Panamera.
The RLX Sport Hybrid has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and tachometer readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Panamera doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the RLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Panamera can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RLX has standard extendable sun visors. The Panamera doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Insurance will cost less for the RLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RLX will cost $550 to $15528 less than the Panamera over a five-year period.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura RLX will be $25745 to $99663 less than for the Porsche Panamera.
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