2019 Lexus RXL vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RXL 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the RXL and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Lexus RXL is safer than the Q7:

 

RXL

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

156

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

30 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

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 RXL the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Q7 was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RXL 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RXL second among midsize premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Q7 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 350L’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 42 more horsepower (290 vs. 248) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RX 450hL gets better fuel mileage than the Q7 (29 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the RXL Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q7 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The RX 450hL 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The RXL has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RXL’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.8 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Lexus RXL may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Audi Q7.

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the RXL’s middle and third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The RXL’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

RXL

Q7

Behind Third Seat

16.3 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

The RXL has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Q7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the RXL’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Q7 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RXL has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the RXL’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Q7’s headlights, which were rated “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 RXL’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Q7’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The RXL 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The RXL is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RXL is less expensive to operate than the Q7 because it costs $180 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RXL than the Q7, including $290 less for a muffler, $43 less for front brake pads, $287 less for a starter, $443 less for fuel injection, $1 less for a fuel pump and $595 less for front struts.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus RXL and the Audi Q7, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Audi Q7 by over two to one during 2018.

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

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