2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RX 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 Honda CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 CR-V Hybrid 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 CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The RX Series offers an optional Panoramic View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CR-V Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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

The Lexus RX Series weighs 459 to 1091 pounds more than the Honda CR-V Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The RX Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CR-V Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Honda covers the CR-V Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the CR-V Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The RX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CR-V Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

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 CR-V Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine

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The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 83 more horsepower (295 vs. 212) than the CR-V Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 96 more horsepower (308 vs. 212) than the CR-V Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CR-V Hybrid (17.2 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RX Series’ standard fuel tank has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CR-V Hybrid (19.2 vs. 14 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the RX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the CR-V Hybrid:

RX Series

CR-V Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

10.2 inches

The RX Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CR-V Hybrid are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CR-V Hybrid LX. The RX Series’ optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the CR-V Hybrid Touring.

The RX Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the CR-V Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The RX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CR-V Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The RX Series offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CR-V Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The RX Series has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RX Series’ wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the CR-V Hybrid (109.8 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RX Series is 1.5 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than on the CR-V Hybrid.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 2.8 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 6.6 inches more rear hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the CR-V Hybrid.

Towing

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The RX Series offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The CR-V Hybrid has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The RX Series uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CR-V Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 66% lower rating, Honda is ranked 23rd.

Ergonomics

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The RX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the RX Series and the CR-V Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RX Series is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CR-V Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The RX Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CR-V Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

The RX Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CR-V Hybrid LX’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the RX Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The CR-V Hybrid 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.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the RX Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The RX Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring.

When the RX Series is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CR-V Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RX Series’ standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CR-V Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the RX Series and the CR-V Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The RX Series also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the CR-V Hybrid.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the RX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The RX Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring.

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 CR-V Hybrid 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 CR-V Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/06/05

Consumer Reports® chose the Lexus RX Series as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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