2020 Lexus RXL vs. 2020 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RXL 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 X7 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RXL 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 X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The RXL 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 X7 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RXL offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The X7 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RXL and the X7 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, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RXL the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 119 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X7 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RXL 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 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 RXL’s reliability 18 points higher than the X7.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RXL first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The X7 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 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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450hL gets better fuel mileage than the X7 xDrive40i (29 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/25 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Lexus RXL at emission levels ranging from “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The BMW X7 is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

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The RX 450hL 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 X7 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The RXL stops shorter than the X7:

RXL

X7

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the RXL’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the X7’s (38.8 feet vs. 42.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Lexus RXL may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 900 pounds less than the BMW X7.

The RXL is 6.4 inches shorter than the X7, making the RXL easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus RXL amounts to more than styling. The RXL has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the X7 (.33 to .36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the RXL get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

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The RXL’s cargo area is larger than the X7’s in almost every dimension:

RXL

X7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

21.5”/48.5”/81”

18.5”/45”/81.5”

Max Width

51.8”

48”

Min Width

44”

43.5”

The RXL has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The X7 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

The RXL’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

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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To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RXL has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the RXL’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the X7’s headlights, which were rated “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 RXL offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The X7 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The RXL 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 X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The RXL is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RXL owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RXL will cost $2755 to $7225 less than the X7 over a five-year period.

The RXL will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RXL will retain 49.54% to 51.36% of its original price after five years, while the X7 only retains 37.87% to 40.24%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RXL will be $36287 to $50356 less than for the BMW X7.

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 2020/01/24

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus RXL and the BMW X7, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the BMW X7 by almost six to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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