2020 Lexus LS Series 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 2020/06/03

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus LS Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 530e doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lexus LS Series 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.

Both the LS Series and the 530e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the LS Series 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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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Engine

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The LS 500h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 106 more horsepower (354 vs. 248) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 310) than the 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid. The LS 500’s standard 3.4 turbo V6 produces 168 more horsepower (416 vs. 248) and 132 lbs.-ft. more torque (442 vs. 310) than the 530e’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lexus LS Series is faster than the BMW 530e:

LS 500h

LS 500

530e

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.3 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

13.7 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

103 MPH

95.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the LS 500h gets better mileage than the 530e running its gasoline engine:

MPG

LS Series

RWD

500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

25 city/33 hwy

AWD

500h 3.5 V6 Hybrid

23 city/31 hwy

530e

RWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl. Hybrid

23 city/29 hwy

The LS 500h’s fuel tank has 10.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 530e (22.2 vs. 12.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

The LS 500h 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 530e doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the LS Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the 530e:

LS Series

LS Series F-Sport

530e

Front Rotors

14 inches

15.7 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

13.1 inches

14.1 inches

13 inches

The LS Series stops much shorter than the 530e:

LS Series

530e

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The LS Series F Sport’s 275/40R20 rear 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 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the LS Series has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the 530e. The LS Series offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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The LS Series F-Sport offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The 530e doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The LS Series has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The LS Series’ 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 530e doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the LS Series’ wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the 530e (123 inches vs. 117.1 inches).

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

The LS Series 500 F Sport handles at .88 G’s, while the 530e pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The LS 500 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 530e (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the LS Series’ turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the 530e’s (36.8 feet vs. 39.5 feet). The LS Series AWD’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the 530e xDrive’s (39.4 feet vs. 40.1 feet).

Chassis

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The LS Series 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 LS Series has .1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.4 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the 530e.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the LS Series’ available rear seats recline. The 530e’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The LS Series has a much larger trunk than the 530e (17 vs. 14.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 34% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The LS Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 530e doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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

The LS Series has standard front air conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 530e doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

Both the LS Series and the 530e offer optional massaging front seats. The LS Series also offers optional massaging rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging rear seats aren’t available in the 530e.

The LS Series 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 530e doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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The LS Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the LS Series will retain 37.67% to 38.79% of its original price after five years, while the 530e only retains 34.72% to 35.21%.

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