Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 BMW X3 VS 2014 Lexus RX Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 BMW X3

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VS

2014 Lexus RX

Safety Comparison

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To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X3. But it costs extra on the RX Series.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X3’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The RX Series doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The X3’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 X3 and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The X3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RX Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required 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 should you ever need service under the X3’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

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The X3 xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 248) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. X3 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (300 vs. 295) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the X3 xDrive28i is faster than the RX 350:

X3

RX Series

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.8 sec

18.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7 sec

7.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.7 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

92 MPH

Top Speed

127 MPH

116 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the X3 xDrive35i is faster than the RX 450h:

X3

RX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99.2 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the X3 gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350:

X3

RX Series

2WD

V6/Auto

n/a

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

xDrive28i/Auto

21 city/28 hwy

n/a

xDrive35i/8-spd Auto

19 city/26 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

V6 8-spd

V6/6-spd Auto

n/a

18 city/24 hwy

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the RX Series Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the X3’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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RX Series Hybrid.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The X3’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 X3 stops much shorter than the RX Series:

X3

RX Series

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the X3 has larger tires than the RX Series (245/50R18 vs. 235/60R18).

The X3’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 60 series tires. The X3’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X3 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

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The X3 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X3’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the RX Series (110.6 inches vs. 107.9 inches).

The X3 xDrive28i handles at .86 G’s, while the RX 350 AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X3 xDrive35i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the RX 450h AWD (26.5 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X3 has a 1.6 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the RX 450h (8.5 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the X3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X3’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the RX 350 (8.5 vs. 7.3 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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The X3 is 4.8 inches shorter than the RX Series, making the X3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X3 xDrive28i is quieter than the RX 350 AWD:

X3

RX Series

At idle

37 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X3 has 1.7 inches more front headroom and 1.4 inches more rear headroom than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X3 easier. The X3’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.8 inches, while the RX Series’ liftover is 30.9 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The X3’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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The RX Series doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the X3 and the RX Series offer optional heated front seats. The X3 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the RX Series.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the X3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X3 will cost $505 to $2535 less than the RX Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the X3 is less expensive to operate than the RX Series because it costs $549 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the X3 than the RX Series, including $75 less for a water pump, $91 less for a starter, $99 less for fuel injection, $841 less for a timing belt/chain and $12 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW X3 outsold the Lexus RX Series by 32% during 2013.

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