2020 Acura RLX vs. 2020 BMW 530e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/30

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Acura RLX 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 530e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The RLX has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 530e doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the RLX and the 530e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 530e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 530e ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the 530e has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

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The RLX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 62 more horsepower (310 vs. 248) than the 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid. The RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 129 more horsepower (377 vs. 248) and 31 lbs.-ft. more torque (341 vs. 310) than the 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the RLX’s fuel efficiency. The 530e doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (15.1 vs. 12.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RLX’s standard fuel tank has 6.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (18.5 vs. 12.1 gallons).

The RLX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 530e doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 530e.

The RLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 530e doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RLX stops much shorter than the 530e:

RLX

530e

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The RLX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 530e’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RLX has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the 530e.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RLX is 1.2 inches wider in the front than on the 530e.

Chassis

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The Acura RLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the BMW 530e.

The RLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 530e doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The RLX has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 530e (102.1 vs. 98.8).

The RLX has .9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 530e.

Cargo Capacity

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The RLX has a larger trunk than the 530e (14.9 vs. 14.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 19% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RLX has standard extendable sun visors. The 530e doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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