2019 BMW X3 vs. 2019 Lexus UX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The UX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X3 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The UX Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the X3 and the UX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The BMW X3 weighs 429 to 970 pounds more than the Lexus UX Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The UX Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The X3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the UX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the UX Series.

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X3’s warranty.

Engine

The X3 s/xDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 79 more horsepower (248 vs. 169) and 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 151) than the UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The X3 s/xDrive30i’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 67 more horsepower (248 vs. 181) than the UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The X3 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 174 more horsepower (355 vs. 181) than the UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the UX Series Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the X3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the UX Series Hybrid.

The X3’s standard fuel tank has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X3 M40i’s standard fuel tank has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series’ standard fuel tank (17.7 vs. 12.4 gallons).

Transmission

The X3 M40i’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The UX Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the UX Series:

 

X3

X3 M40i

UX Series

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.5 inches

11.1 inches

The X3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the UX Series are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the UX Series (F:245/45R20 & R:275/40R20 vs. 225/50R18).

The X3’s optional 245/40R21 front and 275/35R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the UX Series’ 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X3 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The UX Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The X3 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 UX Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The X3 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The UX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X3 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The UX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X3’s wheelbase is 8.9 inches longer than on the UX Series (112.8 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X3 is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than on the UX Series.

The X3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the UX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the X3 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The front grille of the X3 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The UX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X3 has 11 cubic feet more passenger volume than the UX Series (101.4 vs. 90.4).

The X3 has 3.9 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear headroom, 3.3 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the UX Series.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X3’s rear seats recline. The UX Series’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the UX Series (28.7 vs. 21.7 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X3’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The UX Series doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Payload and Towing

The X3 has a 4400 lbs. towing capacity. The UX Series has no towing capacity.

The X3 has a higher maximum payload capacity than the UX Series (937 vs. 890 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The X3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The UX Series uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the X3 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the UX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the X3 and the UX Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The UX Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The UX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The UX Series F SPORT’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The X3’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Both the X3 and the UX Series offer optional heated front seats. The X3 M40i also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the UX Series.

The X3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The UX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the BMW X3 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The BMW X3 outsold the Lexus UX Series by over 135 to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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