2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2018 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Lexus RXL doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The RXL doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The RXL doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Acadia and the RXL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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.


There are over 7 times as many GMC dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.


The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (310 vs. 308) than the RX 450hL’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the RX 350L 3.5 DOHC V6:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.6 MPH

91.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 19.2 gallons).

The Acadia 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 RXL doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Acadia stops shorter than the RXL:





60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RXL (245/65R17 vs. 235/65R18).

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Lexus RXL only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia 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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the RXL (112.5 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The Acadia SLT AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the RX 350L pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the RX 350L (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s).


The GMC Acadia may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Lexus RXL.

The Acadia is 3.3 inches shorter than the RXL, making the Acadia easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. 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 Acadia 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 Acadia has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 8.8 inches more rear legroom, .9 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom, 7.6 inches more third row legroom and 8.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the RXL.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the RXL.




Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

33.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

70.7 cubic feet


The Acadia’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RXL’s (1000 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus RXL is only 3500 pounds. The Acadia offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the RXL because typical repairs cost much less on the Acadia than the RXL, including $653 less for a water pump, $75 less for a muffler, $337 less for a starter, $6 less for fuel injection, $838 less for a timing belt/chain and $989 less for a power steering pump.

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

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