2019 Buick Envision vs. 2018 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Envision and RXL have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Envision has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The RXL’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

Both the Envision and the RXL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Envision for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the RXL.

There are almost 9 times as many Buick dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Envision’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 15th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Envision Premium 4x4 turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350L 4x4 (20 city/25 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, the Envision’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 RXL Hybrid.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Envision uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Envision Premium for maximum performance). The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Envision Premium, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the RXL.

Brakes and Stopping

The Envision stops shorter than the RXL:

 

Envision

RXL

 

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The Envision’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RXL’s standard 65 series tires. The Envision Premium’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the RXL’s optional 55 series tires.

The Envision has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The RXL doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Envision’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The RXL doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Envision Premium handles at .81 G’s, while the RX 350L pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Envision Premium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the RX 350L (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Envision’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the RXL’s (36.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis

The Buick Envision may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 800 pounds less than the Lexus RXL.

The Envision is 1 foot, 1.2 inches shorter than the RXL, making the Envision easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

The Envision uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The RXL doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Envision has .2 inches more front headroom and 6.6 inches more rear legroom than the RXL.

Towing

The Envision’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RXL’s (1500 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Envision Premium’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RXL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Envision is less expensive to operate than the RXL because typical repairs cost much less on the Envision than the RXL, including $679 less for a water pump, $81 less for a muffler, $283 less for a starter, $104 less for fuel injection, $1194 less for a timing belt/chain and $1179 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Envision third among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RXL isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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