2019 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

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 Chevrolet Blazer doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear 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 Blazer doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RX Series and the Blazer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 Blazer has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

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

The RX Series’ 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Blazer runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

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

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 Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 102 more horsepower (295 vs. 193) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (268 vs. 188) than the Blazer’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 3 more horsepower (308 vs. 305) than the Blazer’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

RX Series

 

FWD

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

 

AWD

400h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

31 city/28 hwy

 

 

350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Blazer

 

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

 

 

3.6 DOHC V6

20 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

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

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 Blazer doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Blazer:

 

RX Series

Blazer

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.64 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

12.4 inches

The RX Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Blazer are solid, not vented.

Suspension and Handling

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

The RX 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 Blazer’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

Passenger Space

The RX Series has 3.1 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.9 inches more rear hip room than the Blazer.

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 22% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

The RX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Blazer doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The RX Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Blazer’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.

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 Blazer can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RX Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Blazer’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Blazer doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the RX Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Blazer doesn’t offer cornering lights. The RX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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 Blazer’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Recommendations

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

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

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