2019 Lexus NX Series vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus NX Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The NX Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The NX Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the NX Series and the Rav4 Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the NX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Rav4 Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The NX Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Rav4 Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Rav4 Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Rav4 Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The NX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Rav4 Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Toyota is ranked second.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the NX 300 is faster than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid:

 

NX Series

Rav4 Hybrid

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

90.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The NX Series’ standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Hybrid (15.9 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the NX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4 Hybrid:

 

NX Series

Rav4 Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12 inches

The NX Series stops much shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid:

 

NX Series

Rav4 Hybrid

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

143 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the NX Series F Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Rav4 Hybrid (235/55R18 vs. 225/65R17).

The NX Series F Sport’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE/Limited’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The NX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The NX Series 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 Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The NX Series has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The NX 300h AWD handles at .80 G’s, while the Rav4 Hybrid XSE pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The NX Series has 1.8 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front hip room and 6.2 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4 Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the NX Series. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The NX Series’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4 Hybrid’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is limited to 1750 pounds. The NX 300h AWD offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

The NX Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Rav4 Hybrid does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The NX Series’ standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 Hybrid LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The NX Series has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Rav4 Hybrid has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XSE/Limited.

The NX Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Rav4 Hybrid.

When the NX Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Rav4 Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The NX Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Rav4 Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The NX Series’ standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Rav4 Hybrid’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Model Availability

The NX Series is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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