Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 BMW X5 VS 2011 Lexus RX Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2011 BMW X5

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2011 Lexus RX

Safety Comparison

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

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X5’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The RX Series doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The X5’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The RX Series doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the X5 and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Lexus doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RX Series.

There are over 77 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The battery on the X5 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the X5’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RX Series’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine Comparison

The X5 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 25 more horsepower (300 vs. 275) and 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 257) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 xDrive35i’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (300 vs. 295) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 105 more horsepower (400 vs. 295) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 168 lbs.-ft. more torque (425 vs. 257) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the X5’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the RX Series:



X5 xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

5800 RPM

1200 RPM

X5 xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

1750 RPM

RX 350 3.5 DOHC V6

6200 RPM

4700 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The X5 has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X5 has 3.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series’ standard fuel tank (22.5 vs. 19.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:

X5 xDrive35

X5 xDrive50i

RX Series

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.2 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12.2 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RX Series are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the RX Series:


RX Series

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the RX Series (255/55R18 vs. 235/60R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 235/60R18).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 60 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 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 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The RX Series’ largest wheels are only 19 inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X5 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 Comparison

The X5 offers an optional 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 RX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X5 offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The RX Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the RX Series (115.5 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is .5 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

The X5’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49% to 51%) than the RX Series’ (56.8% to 43.2%). This gives the X5 more stable handling and braking.

The X5 handles at .82 G’s, while the RX 350 AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive35d executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the RX 450h AWD (27.5 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the RX 450h (8.7 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X5’s minimum ground clearance is 1.4 inches higher than on the RX 350 (8.7 vs. 7.3 inches).

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The X5 has .2 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X5’s cargo area is larger than the RX Series’ in almost every dimension:


RX Series

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






The X5’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.

Ergonomics Comparison

The X5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the X5 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X5 with a number “5” insurance rate while the RX Series is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The X5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the X5 will retain 62% to 64% of its original price after two years, while the RX Series only retains 56% to 60%.

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