2020 Porsche Panamera vs. 2020 Acura RLX

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 2020/01/17

Both the Panamera and RLX have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Panamera offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The RLX’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Panamera helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The RLX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Panamera and the RLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The Panamera’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RLX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

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 Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. Acura is ranked 28th.

Engine

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The Panamera has more powerful engines than the RLX:

Horsepower

Torque

Panamera 3.0 turbo V6

330 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6

440 HP

405 lbs.-ft.

Panamera GTS 4.0 turbo V8

453 HP

457 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 2.9 turbo V6

457 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo 4.0 turbo V8

550 HP

567 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid 4.0 turbo V8

677 HP

626 lbs.-ft.

RLX 3.5 SOHC V6

310 HP

272 lbs.-ft.

RLX Sport Hybrid 3.5 SOHC V6

377 HP

341 lbs.-ft.

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 2020/01/17

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera E-Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the RLX:

MPGe

Panamera E-Hybrid

AWD

2.9 turbo V6 Hybrid

48 city/54 hwy

4.0 turbo V8 Hybrid

46 city/51 hwy

MPG

RLX

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6 Hybrid

28 city/29 hwy

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The RLX must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regardless of its engine, Regenerative brakes improve the Panamera’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it (mild regeneration on non-hybrids). Acura only offers a regenerative brake system on the RLX Sport Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the Panamera’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Acura only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RLX Sport Hybrid.

The Panamera E Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 6 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 15.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Panamera’s standard fuel tank has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX’s standard fuel tank (23.7 vs. 18.5 gallons).

Transmission

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The Panamera’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RLX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Panamera’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RLX:

Panamera

Panamera 4S

Panamera E-Hybrid/GTS

Panamera Turbo

Panamera opt.

RLX

RLX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

16.1 inches

16.5 inches

12.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

14.4 inches

15 inches

16.1 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The Panamera’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RLX are solid, not vented.

The Panamera offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The RLX doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Panamera stops much shorter than the RLX:

Panamera

RLX

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Panamera has larger standard tires than the RLX (F:265/45R19 & R:295/40R19 vs. 245/40R19). The Panamera’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RLX (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The Panamera’s optional 275/35R21 front and 315/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RLX’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RLX’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Panamera 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 RLX doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The Panamera offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Acura doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RLX.

The Panamera has a standard 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. The RLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Panamera has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The RLX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the RLX (116.1 inches vs. 112.2 inches). The Panamera Executive’s wheelbase is 9.8 inches longer than on the RLX (122 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the RLX.

The Panamera’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the RLX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Panamera more stable handling and braking.

The Panamera 4S handles at 1.01 G’s, while the RLX pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.4 seconds quicker than the RLX (23.9 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Panamera w/Rear Axle Steering’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the RLX’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Panamera uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RLX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Panamera 4dr Hatchback a Large car, while the RLX is rated a Mid-size.

The Panamera has 5.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RLX (108 vs. 102.1).

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The RLX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Panamera has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the RLX (17.6 vs. 14.9 cubic feet).

The Panamera Sport Turismo has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the RLX (18.3 vs. 14.9 cubic feet).

The Panamera’s available rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The RLX doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Panamera’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The RLX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Panamera has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The RLX doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Panamera is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RLX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 27% lower rating, Acura is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RLX, the Panamera offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Panamera’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The RLX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The RLX doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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

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

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the Panamera’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The RLX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The Panamera offers optional massaging front and rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the RLX.

The Panamera Sport Turismo offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The RLX doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Porsche Panamera comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Acura RLX isn’t available as a station wagon.

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 2020/01/17

The Porsche Panamera outsold the Acura RLX by over five to one during the 2019 model year.

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