2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Lexus RX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RX Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the RX Series.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RX Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RX Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

Warranty

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 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 RX 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 X5’s warranty.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (335 vs. 295) and 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive40i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (335 vs. 308) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 148 more horsepower (456 vs. 308) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive40i gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350 AWD (20 city/26 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the RX Series Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the X5’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 RX Series Hybrid.

The X5 has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X5 has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series’ standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 19.2 gallons).

Transmission

The X5’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 RX Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the RX Series (265/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the RX Series. The X5’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the RX Series.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RX Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The RX Series doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RX Series.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the RX Series (117.1 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the RX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RX Series (8.7 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the RX Series can only carry 5.

The X5 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The X5 5-Passenger has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the RX Series with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 18.4 cubic feet). The X5 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the RX Series with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 56.3 cubic feet).

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The RX Series’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RX Series’ (6603 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus RX Series is only 3500 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the X5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The X5’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 RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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