Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW X5 VS 2015 Lexus RX Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW X5

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2015 Lexus RX

Safety Comparison

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

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 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. The RX Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

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.

The X5’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RX Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

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, 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 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 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (300 vs. 270) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 248) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The X5 s/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 150 more horsepower (445 vs. 295) than the RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

The X5’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 165 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 248) than the RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X5 is faster than the Lexus RX Series:

X5 s/xDrive35i

X5 xDrive50i

RX 350

RX 450h

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

4.3 sec

6.8 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

12.8 sec

15.3 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.1 MPH

106.9 MPH

91.4 MPH

92.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X5 gets better fuel mileage than the RX Series:


RX Series


6 cyl./8-spd Auto

19 city/27 hwy

18 city/25 hwy



6 cyl./8-spd Auto

18 city/27 hwy

18 city/26 hwy


V6/6-spd Auto


18 city/24 hwy

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the X5’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 X5’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.

The X5 has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (22.4 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X5 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series’ standard fuel tank (22.4 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 xDrive50i

RX Series

Front Rotors

13.1 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

110 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

155 feet

Consumer Reports

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 available 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 available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the RX Series.

The X5 offers an available 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 has a standard 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 xDrive35d handles at .82 G’s, while the RX 450h AWD pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the RX 450h AWD (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the RX 450h (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X5’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the RX 350 (8.2 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 1.5 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The RX Series doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RX Series doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the RX Series. The X5 also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the RX Series.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X5 and the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 second among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RX Series isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X5 outsold the Lexus RX Series by 59% during the 2014 model year.

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