HomeCar ReviewsLexus RX350 vs BMW X3: Two Top-Class Luxury SUVs

Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3: Two Top-Class Luxury SUVs

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SUVs have always topped the charts when it comes to luxury and safety. They typically feature roomy interiors with better-tuned suspension systems. Comparing the Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3 is tricky because both are top players in the mid-size SUV segment. Both cars are luxury SUVs sharing a similar price and performance category, and there are lots of deliverables to enjoy from both. 

Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3

Overview

The Lexus RX350 has dominated the mid-size SUV segment for years. It shares the same platform as the BMW X3, another best-selling option. The X3 is one of the cars like the RX350, but it sacrifices interior luxury for a sportier driving experience. Both cars feature the same outstanding driver assistant and safety tech. 

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For instance, the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 in the RX350 offers Active Driving Assistant, collision warning, lane departure warning, and blind-spot detection, which are standard. Similar features are packed in the BMW X3’s Active Protection System.

You can also benefit from the surround-view camera in a crowded parking lot. This 360 camera technology is available with both cars to help you easily maneuver out of tight spots. The car you choose boils down to what you want from your car. We are happy to help you make the right call, so we have compared the 2024 Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3 to help you pick your ideal option. 

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What’s New For The 2024 Models?

The 2024 Lexus RX350 sports the newly redesigned sharper exterior. The brand’s wide-mouthed grille and Lexus’s recognizable L-shaped running lights make the face more attractive. Also, the still delivers a calm ride across the two engine trims. This new model boasts an upscale interior packed with an improved infotainment touchscreen, among other things. The five-seater interior offers ample head and legroom and average cargo space.

On the other hand, the BMW X3 is based on the brand’s iconic 3-series four-door sedan. The X3 delivers a similar refined nature and engaging handling with a traditional SUV body style and capacity to haul more cargo. The 2024 model is offered in two trims with different powerful drivetrain setups. The interior is comfortable enough to be recognized as a luxury SUV without featuring the best materials. Moreover, it is well-matched to the exterior styling, looking orderly with integrated technology. 

If you prioritize luxury, you have one more reason to opt for the new RX350. However, the X3 is more driver-focused, delivering the most responsive drive in its segment. There are lots of points to discuss on these well-rounded SUVs. One aspect that cannot settle the Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3 debate is that we should move on to others. 

Engine and Performance

The latest generation of Lexus RX350 performs efficiently; it can go from zero to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds. The car runs on a new turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers up to 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission transfers power to the front wheels. The FWD layout is standard, but you can opt for an AWD for a more exciting ride. 

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Whereas the X3 has two gas-only engine trims; the base and the Motorsport models. The base trim runs on a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing up to 248 horsepower. You get to choose between the RWD sDrive30i and AWD xDrive30i. Both rely on an eight-speed automatic transmission. The driving experience in this car is sporty yet comfortable. 

On the other hand, if you are seeking more power, you will love the X3 M40i Motorsport trim. The car fronts a more muscular appearance with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine under the hood. This engine delivers up to 382 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. The same engine is featured in the M3 and M4, offering the same athletic and responsive driving experience. The X3 also.

The RX350 engine produces more power and torque than the base models, but the X3 is more efficient, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds (1 second less than the RX350). Therefore, in terms of drivetrain performance, the BMW X3 is better. Furthermore, if you settle for the X3, we strongly advise that you opt for one that features Dynamic Damper Control. It is an adaptive suspension system that adds Comfort, Sport, and Eco Pro driving modes to the xDrive30i. The adaptive M suspension on the M40i also lowers the chassis by 0.4 inches.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The interior design of RX350 is updated and sophisticated, providing a spacious cabin that can comfortably seat up to five passengers. Upper door panels feature textured fabric sections with elegant ambient lighting and open-pore wood trim. The infotainment screen is a giant 14.0 inches, and genuine leather upholstery seats are available on the more expensive trims. 

In comparison, the X3 boasts a stylish interior, with front seats that are 10-way power-adjustable and have adjustable side bolsters for maximum comfort on long trips. Rear seats have reclining seat backs. The cabin is equipped with high-end materials, tight panel gaps, and a faux leather dash and stitched door coverings for added luxury. The nickel-finish metal trim further enhances the look of the cabin. 

The Lexus is superior to the X3 in terms of luxury despite the X3 sitting above average in this segment. The RX is your best bet if you’re looking for ample cargo space. Additionally, the Lexus offers better head and leg room.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The latest iteration of RX350 now comes with a redesigned dashboard that includes a standard 9.8-inch infotainment touchscreen that boasts an intuitive interface. Higher-end trims offer an optional 14.0-inch screen. All infotainment systems come with the latest Lexus software interface. Additionally, standard features include Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

On the other hand, the X3 features BMW’s iDrive interface, which is accessible through a 10.3-inch infotainment display. This system also includes in-dash navigation, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. If you want more, you can upgrade to the 12.3-inch infotainment display. Standard features include Bluetooth phone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and one USB port. The wireless smartphone charging pad is an optional feature.

When it comes to infotainment and connectivity, both cars offer similar features with user-friendly interfaces. However, the RX has some advanced features, such as a head-up display and a Mark Levinson stereo system, that are optional and give it an edge over the X3. 

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

When it comes to safety and driver-assistance features, the comparison again ends as a tie. For the RX, you get an automated emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians as well as motorcyclists. 

The car also features an adaptive cruise control feature with lane-centering and standard lane departure warning. All these features are offered in the X3 as well, just maybe with different name tags. 

Pricing

Regarding sticker prices, the Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3 comparison will end as a draw. Furthermore, the tally begins to lean towards the German vehicle when you consider fuel economy, maintenance cost, and warranty packages. 

The price range for a new 2024 BMW X3 starts at $47,895 and can go up to $62,895, depending on the trim you opt for. Similarly, the RX350 starts at about $48,950 and goes up to $59,545. Let’s move on to compare other important costs. 

Fuel Economy – EPA-estimated Gas Mileage

For the RX350, the EPA estimates the gas mileage to be 22 MPG in the city and 29 on the highway for the FWD drivetrain (25 MPG combined). While the AWD option delivers at 24 MPG. On the other hand, the base model X3 delivers at 28 MPG, with the Motorsport trim at 26 MPG. These values are EPA-estimated gas mileage for the city and highway combined. 

This means the X3 has slightly better fuel efficiency despite running faster. The only downside is that it has a lower hauling capacity than the RX350. 

Additionally, if you want a RX350 with better fuel efficiency, take the 2024 hybrid RX350h. This trim has an EPA-estimated gas mileage of 31 MPG. The powertrain comprises a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine augmented by electric motors to produce up to 246 horsepower. For this setup, you get a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) powering the standard all-wheel drive system. 

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Lexus typically provides better warranty packages than BMW. The different warranty coverages for the RX350 are as follows; Limited warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles, Powertrain warranty of 6 years or 70,000 miles, and Hybrid components of 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Whereas for the BMW X3, we have a limited warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles, a Powertrain warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles, and Complimentary scheduled maintenance covered of 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Let’s Wrap Up…

Every car offers a unique set of features that cannot be replicated. It is difficult to pick between the Lexus RX350 vs BMW X3 as they both perform at the top of their game. If you seek efficiency and energetic performance, the BMW X3 has the advantage in these categories. However, the RX350 aces regarding reliability, interior technology, and warranty packages. Therefore, you have to consider your demands when making your choice since both sell for similar price ranges. 

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