2019 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 BMW X6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RX 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 BMW X6 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RX Series are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X6 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 X6 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the RX Series’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X6 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RX Series and the X6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and around view monitors.

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 X6 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X6. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X6 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine

The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 6 more horsepower (308 vs. 302) than the X6 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the X6 xDrive35i (31 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the RX Series gets better fuel mileage than the X6:

 

 

RX Series

X6

 

2WD

V6/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

6 cyl.

4WD

V6/Auto

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

6 cyl.

Transmission

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 X6 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RX Series’ turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the X6’s (38.8 feet vs. 42 feet).

Chassis

The Lexus RX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 pounds less than the BMW X6.

The design of the Lexus RX Series amounts to more than styling. The RX Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the X6 (.34 to .35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the RX Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The RX Series has 3.8 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 2.4 inches more rear legroom than the X6.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the RX Series’ rear seats recline. The X6’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 X6 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

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 X6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RX Series has a standard rear wiper. The X6 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 X6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RX Series is less expensive to operate than the X6 because it costs $207 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RX Series than the X6, including $38 less for a water pump, $936 less for a muffler, $110 less for front brake pads, $130 less for fuel injection, $316 less for a fuel pump, $358 less for front struts and $170 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

The Lexus RX Series outsold the BMW X6 by over 12 to one during 2018.

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

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