2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2019 Audi Q8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/10/23

The RX Series has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q8 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RX Series offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Q8 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RX Series and the Q8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Lexus RX Series is safer than the Audi Q8:

RX Series

Q8

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

53

60

Chest Movement

.7 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

110 G’s

128 G’s

Hip Force

214 lbs.

260 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

594 lbs.

684 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q8. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q8 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Q8 isn’t in the top three.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, 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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the Q8 (31 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/22 hwy).

Transmission

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The RX 450h 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 Q8 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the RX Series’ turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the Q8’s (38.8 feet vs. 43.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the RX Series has a 2.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Q8 (8.2 vs. 5.8 inches), allowing the RX Series to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Lexus RX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 800 pounds less than the Audi Q8.

The RX Series is 3.8 inches shorter than the Q8, making the RX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus RX Series amounts to more than styling. The RX Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Q8 (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the RX Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more rear headroom than the Q8.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the RX Series’ optional rear seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Q8 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 24% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RX Series has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q8 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the RX Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q8 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The RX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The RX 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 Q8 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The RX Series is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q8 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RX Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RX Series will cost $1535 to $6215 less than the Q8 over a five-year period.

The RX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RX Series will retain 46.6% to 51.56% of its original price after five years, while the Q8 only retains 45.57% to 45.71%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RX Series will be $26680 to $29454 less than for the Audi Q8.

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 2019/10/23

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Audi Q8 by over 41 to one during 2018.

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

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