2019 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre-Collision System in the Rav4 as “Superior.” The NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the Rav4 and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.


Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the NX Series.

There are over 5 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rav4’s warranty.


The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (203 vs. 194) than the NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Rav4 is faster than the NX 300h:



NX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

8.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

84.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 gets better fuel mileage than the NX Series:








2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy



LE 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/34 hwy



2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

NX Series



300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy



300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy



300 F Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Rav4 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.


An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Toyota Rav4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the NX Series.

Brakes and Stopping

The Rav4 stops much shorter than the NX Series:



NX Series


70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited has standard 19-inch wheels. The NX Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Rav4’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the NX Series (105.9 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is .7 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the NX Series.

The Rav4 Adventure handles at .84 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 LE/XLE’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the NX Series’ (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the NX Series AWD’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.8 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 LE/XLE has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (8.4 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Rav4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s minimum ground clearance is 1.7 inches higher than on the NX 300 (8.6 vs. 6.9 inches).


The Toyota Rav4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The front grille of the Rav4 Adventure/Limited uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The NX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Rav4 has 27.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (98.9 vs. 71.6).

The Rav4 has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the NX Series with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the NX Series with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 54.6 cubic feet).


The Rav4’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (1500 vs. 0 pounds).


Both the Rav4 and the NX Series offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the NX Series.

The Rav4 Adventure has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The NX Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.


The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Lexus NX Series by almost seven to one during 2018.

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

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