2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2020 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Traverse’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Lexus RXL doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Traverse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The RXL doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The RXL doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

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

Warranty

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There are over 12 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Traverse’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Traverse has a standard 600-amp battery. The RXL’s 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (310 vs. 290) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 263) than the RX 350L’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 2 more horsepower (310 vs. 308) than the RX 450hL’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Traverse is faster than the RX 350L 3.5 DOHC V6:

Traverse

RXL

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.6 MPH

89.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Traverse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Traverse FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 19.2 gallons).

The Traverse 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 RXL doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Traverse, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the RXL.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Traverse stops shorter than the RXL:

Traverse

RXL

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Traverse has larger tires than the RXL (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Lexus RXL only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Traverse has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The RXL doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 11.1 inches longer than on the RXL (120.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Traverse is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the RXL.

The Traverse RS AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the RX 350L AWD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Traverse RS AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the RX 350L (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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

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

Passenger Space

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The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the RXL can only carry 7.

The Traverse has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 7.5 inches more rear legroom, 1.1 inches more rear hip room, 4.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.4 inches more third row headroom, 10 inches more third row legroom, 4.7 inches more third row hip room and 11.8 inches more third row shoulder room than the RXL.

Cargo Capacity

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

Traverse

RXL

Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

16.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

33.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

70.7 cubic feet

Towing

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/05

The Traverse’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RXL’s (1500 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus RXL is only 3500 pounds. The Traverse offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The RXL doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The RXL doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Traverse’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The RXL’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Traverse Premier/High Country has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The RXL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $1195 to $4965 less than the RXL over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the RXL because typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the RXL, including $577 less for a water pump, $172 less for a muffler, $345 less for a starter, $788 less for a timing belt/chain and $1576 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Traverse will be $181 to $9219 less than for the Lexus RXL.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/05

The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Lexus RX Series by almost two to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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