2020 Audi e-tron Sportback vs. 2020 Lexus RX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The e-tron Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the e-tron Sportback and RX Series have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron Sportback has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The RX Series’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RX Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To allow off-road and deep snow capability, Four-Wheel Drive is standard on the e-tron Sportback. But it costs extra on the RX Series.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron Sportback helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The RX Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the e-tron Sportback and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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 and rearview cameras.

The Audi e-tron Sportback weighs 1014 to 1532 pounds more than the Lexus RX Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The e-tron Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

There are over 25 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the e-tron Sportback’s warranty.

Engine

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The e-tron Sportback’s electric motors produce 107 more horsepower (402 vs. 295) and 222 lbs.-ft. more torque (490 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The e-tron Sportback’s electric motors produce 94 more horsepower (402 vs. 308) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the e-tron Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the RX 450h (76 city/78 hwy MPGe vs. 31 city/28 hwy).

Transmission

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The e-tron Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RX Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the e-tron Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:

e-tron Sportback

RX Series

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the e-tron Sportback has larger standard tires than the RX Series (255/50R20 vs. 235/65R18). The e-tron Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (265/45R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The e-tron Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The e-tron Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron Sportback has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the RX Series. The e-tron Sportback’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the RX Series.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the e-tron Sportback uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the RX Series, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The e-tron Sportback’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The RX Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-tron Sportback’s wheelbase is 5.2 inches longer than on the RX Series (115 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

Chassis

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The design of the Audi e-tron Sportback amounts to more than styling. The e-tron Sportback has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .25 Cd. That is significantly lower than the RX Series (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the e-tron Sportback get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the e-tron Sportback uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The e-tron Sportback has .8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.1 inches more rear legroom than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The e-tron Sportback has a much larger cargo volume than the RX Series with its rear seat up (27.2 vs. 18.4 cubic feet).

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus RX Series is limited to 3500 pounds. The e-tron Sportback offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the RX Series, the e-tron Sportback Prestige has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The e-tron Sportback Prestige has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the RX Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron Sportback has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RX Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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