2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

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 2020/08/06

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 Atlas Cross Sport 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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The RX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the RX Series and the Atlas Cross Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, 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.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RX Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Atlas Cross Sport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

The RX Series’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Atlas Cross Sport’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RX Series’ reliability 65 points higher than the Atlas Cross Sport.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Atlas Cross Sport 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 27th.

Engine

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The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 60 more horsepower (295 vs. 235) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (268 vs. 258) than the Atlas Cross Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The RX 350’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 19 more horsepower (295 vs. 276) and 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (268 vs. 266) than the Atlas Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 32 more horsepower (308 vs. 276) than the Atlas Cross Sport’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/08/06

On the EPA test cycle the RX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Atlas Cross Sport:

MPG

RX Series

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

450h 3.5 DOHC V6

31 city/28 hwy

3.5 DOHC V8

19 city/26 hwy

Atlas Cross Sport

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

18 city/23 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the RX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer a CVT.

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 Atlas Cross Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The RX Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the RX Series flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas Cross Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Atlas Cross Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the RX Series’ turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Atlas Cross Sport’s (38.8 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the RX Series has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Atlas Cross Sport (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the RX Series to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The RX Series is 3 inches shorter than the Atlas Cross Sport, making the RX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the RX Series has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The Atlas Cross Sport uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 2.5 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the Atlas Cross Sport.

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 Atlas Cross Sport 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 Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 50% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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The RX Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the RX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Atlas Cross Sport can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Atlas Cross Sport only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 Atlas Cross Sport has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Atlas Cross Sport SE/SEL.

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 2020/08/06

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

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by 36% during 2019.

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

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