2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e vs. 2020 Lexus RX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The X5 xDrive45e’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The RX Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 xDrive45e has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RX Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5 xDrive45e. But it costs extra on the RX Series.

Both the X5 xDrive45e and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and available around view monitors.

The BMW X5 xDrive45e weighs 932 to 1450 pounds more than the Lexus RX Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The X5 xDrive45e’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 xDrive45e for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Lexus pays for maintenance for the RX Series (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X5 xDrive45e’s warranty.

Engine

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The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 94 more horsepower (389 vs. 295) and 175 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 268) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive45e’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 81 more horsepower (389 vs. 308) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the X5 xDrive45e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the RX 450h (47 city/54 hwy MPGe vs. 31 city/28 hwy).

The X5 xDrive45e can drive on battery power alone for up to 16 miles. The RX Series must run its internal combustion engine to move.

The X5 xDrive45e has a gallon more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.2 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The X5 xDrive45e’s 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 RX Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the X5 xDrive45e has larger standard tires than the RX Series (265/50R19 vs. 235/65R18). The X5 xDrive45e’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The X5 xDrive45e’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The X5 xDrive45e’s optional 275/40R21 front and 315/35R21 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 xDrive45e has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the RX Series. The X5 xDrive45e’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the RX Series.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 xDrive45e can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RX Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the X5 xDrive45e uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the RX Series, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X5 xDrive45e has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X5 xDrive45e’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The RX Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5 xDrive45e’s wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the RX Series (117.1 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 xDrive45e is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

The X5 xDrive45e’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (47.7% to 52.3%) than the RX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the X5 xDrive45e more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X5 xDrive45e has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RX Series (8.3 vs. 8.2 inches), allowing the X5 xDrive45e to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The front grille of the X5 xDrive45e uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The X5 xDrive45e offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the RX Series can only carry 5.

The X5 xDrive45e has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the RX Series with its rear seat up (33.1 vs. 18.4 cubic feet). The X5 xDrive45e has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the RX Series with its rear seat folded (71.2 vs. 56.3 cubic feet).

The X5 xDrive45e’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The RX Series’ rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The X5 xDrive45e’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RX Series’ (7200 vs. 0 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the X5 xDrive45e is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The X5 xDrive45e offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the RX Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 xDrive45e offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RX Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The X5 xDrive45e’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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