2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime vs. 2020 Lexus NX Series

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 Toyota Rav4 Prime 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 Lexus NX Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Rav4 Prime has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The NX 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 Rav4 Prime. But it costs extra on the NX Series.

Both the Rav4 Prime and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 Prime for 1 year and 15000 miles longer than Lexus pays for maintenance for the NX Series (2/25000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 5 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rav4 Prime’s warranty.

Engine

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The Rav4 Prime’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 108 more horsepower (302 vs. 194) than the NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Rav4 Prime’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 67 more horsepower (302 vs. 235) than the NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the NX Series:

MPGe

Rav4 Prime

AWD

Electric Motors

105 city/84 hwy

NX Series

MPG

FWD

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

300h 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

300 F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Prime running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the NX Series:

MPG

Rav4 Prime

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

40 city/36 hwy

NX Series

FWD

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

300h 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

300 F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

The Rav4 Prime’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 42 miles, about 26 times as far as the NX 300h’s 1.6-mile range.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Rav4 Prime uses regular unleaded gasoline. The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Rav4 Prime higher (7 out of 10) than the Lexus NX Series (3 to 7). This means the Rav4 Prime produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the NX Series every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Rav4 Prime’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the NX Series are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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The Rav4 Prime SE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the NX Series’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 Prime SE has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the NX Series. The Rav4 Prime XSE’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the NX Series.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Rav4 Prime’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the NX Series (105.9 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 Prime is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the NX Series.

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 Prime SE’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the NX Series’ (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 Prime SE has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the NX 300h (8 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Rav4 Prime to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 Prime XSE’s minimum ground clearance is 1.3 inches higher than on the NX 300 (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Rav4 Prime uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The NX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 Prime has 27.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (98.9 vs. 71.6).

The Rav4 Prime has .5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the NX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The Rav4 Prime has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the NX Series with its rear seat up (33.5 vs. 17.7 cubic feet). The Rav4 Prime has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the NX Series with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 54.6 cubic feet).

The Rav4 Prime’s cargo area is larger than the NX Series’ in almost every dimension:

Rav4 Prime

NX Series

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

39.2”

36”/71.5”

Max Width

59”

53”

Min Width

39.4”

44.3”

Height

33.2”

27”

Payload and Towing

© 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 2020/08/11

The Rav4 Prime’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the NX Series’ (2500 vs. 0 pounds).

The Rav4 Prime has a much higher standard payload capacity than the NX Series (1295 vs. 895 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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The Rav4 Prime offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Rav4 Prime has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the NX Series. The Rav4 Prime also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the NX Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Rav4 Prime XSE/Limited offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The NX Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Rav4 Prime XSE 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 NX Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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