2019 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Audi Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RX Series offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Allroad doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RX Series and the Allroad have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, 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 available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Allroad was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Allroad. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Allroad ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series second among midsize premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Allroad isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, 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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Engine

The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 47 more horsepower (295 vs. 248) than the Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 60 more horsepower (308 vs. 248) than the Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the RX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Allroad doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Allroad (17.2 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RX Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Allroad (19.2 vs. 15.3 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Lexus RX Series at emission levels ranging from “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Audi Allroad is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus RX Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Allroad.

The RX 450h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Allroad doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RX Series offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Allroad’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RX Series is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Allroad.

For greater off-road capability the RX Series has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Allroad (8.2 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the RX Series to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The RX Series has .3 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Allroad.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Ergonomics

The RX Series has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The RX Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Allroad doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the RX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Allroad can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RX Series has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Allroad only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The RX Series’ available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Allroad’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

The Allroad’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The RX Series’ 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.

When the RX Series 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 Allroad’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RX Series offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Allroad doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

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

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Audi A4/S4 by over two to one during 2018.

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

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