2019 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Porsche Macan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RX Series has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Macan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Macan 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 Macan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the RX Series and the Macan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact 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, 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 Macan has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

There are over 26 percent more Lexus dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RX Series’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series second among midsize premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Macan 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 Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked second.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Porsche is ranked 11th.

Engine

The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 47 more horsepower (295 vs. 248) than the Macan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

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 Porsche Macan 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 Macan.

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 Macan doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

For greater off-road capability the RX Series has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Macan (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the RX Series to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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 Macan (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the RX Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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

Cargo Capacity

The RX Series has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Macan with its rear seat up (18.4 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The RX Series has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Macan with its rear seat folded (56.3 vs. 52.9 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk can open the RX Series’ available liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Macan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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 Macan 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. An easy entry system costs extra on the Macan.

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 Macan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Macan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the RX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Macan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Macan 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 Macan 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 Porsche Macan by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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