2020 BMW X3 vs 2020 Lexus RX Comparison in Norwalk, CA

The 2020 BMW X3 is the Ultimate Driving Machine that's a perfect companion for all your adventures. Its capable all-terrain performance makes it a match for weekend getaways, while its luxurious interior and smooth driving experience mean that it's ideal for getting around the city. That's why BMW calls it an SAV, or "Sports Activity Vehicle:" it's suited to a variety of activities beyond mere utility. The BMW X3 is impressive enough when you look at its specifications alone, but it truly shines when you compare it to competitors. On this page, we'll see how it stacks up against the Lexus RX. Despite the Lexus' name, we think you'll find that the BMW X3 is just what the doctor ordered.

BMW X3 parked

BMW X3 vs Lexus RX: Design

BMW models are famed for their design, and one of the most iconic features is the kidney grille. The 2020 BMW X3 features a sculpted version of this grille that perfectly fits the bold design of this SAV. The grille on the front of the Lexus RX could perhaps best be described as a gaping maw. But even if you don't mind the Lexus' basking shark look, the design of the BMW X3 still has a lot more going for it. Take roof rails, for example. They're a perfect method of transporting larger cargo or gear like surfboards and bicycles, and they're standard on the BMW X3. To get these features on the Lexus RX, you'd have to pay extra.

In addition to its looks and capable exterior features, the design of the BMW X3 means that it also has more space than the Lexus RX. Not only is the passenger area roomier, but you'll also get 28.7 cubic feet in the BMW X3. Choose the Lexus RX and you'd get just 18.4 cubic feet behind the second row.


BMW X3 interior

BMW X3 vs Lexus RX: Interior Features

The interior of the BMW X3 is geared towards luxury, and it shows. To its credit, the Lexus RX also includes a well-fitted interior. Both SUVs share features like power front seats and folding rear seats, though we should note that even in these features there is a difference. The Lexus RX includes a 10-way driver's seat and an 8-way front passenger's seat, but the BMW X3 includes 10-way power adjustment on both front seats, as well as 2-way power side bolster adjustment and a driver's seat position memory system. To get a memory system in the Lexus RX, you'll have to pay more. But that's far from the only way these two vehicles differ. Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard in the Lexus RX, while the BMW X3 brings you tri-zone automatic climate control. Even when it comes to technology, BMW excels. The Lexus RX features a pretty standard instrument cluster, but the same is not true of the BMW X3. It features Live Cockpit Plus, a customizable digital display that lets you tailor the information you receive to your own needs.

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BMW X3 driving on rocky road

BMW X3 vs Lexus RX: Performance

At first glance, it might seem like the Lexus RX is the more powerful of these two SUVs. After all, its engine does generate more horsepower: 295, compared to the 248 in the BMW X3. But the Lexus RX also has a heavier curb weight, which means that you're unlikely to feel much of a difference. And when it comes to acceleration, the 2020 BMW X3 is by far the superior vehicle. It can get from 0 to 60 mph in just 6 seconds, but it takes he 2020 Lexus RX 7.7 seconds to reach the same speed.

When it comes to handling, these two vehicles take very different approaches. Though all-wheel drive is an available upgrade for both, the BMW X3 comes standard as a rear-wheel drive vehicle. This makes maneuvering easier, especially around corners. While the front-wheel drive layout of the Lexus RX may be better in poor weather and slick road conditions, it doesn't really do much good here in Southern California.


BMW X3 driving in a city

BMW X3 vs Lexus RX: Safety

The precise handling of the BMW X3 is just one of its many important safety features. Though both of these SUVs are impressively safe, the BMW X3 does have slightly better safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 BMW X3 a perfect five-star rating in the Frontal Crash category; in this same category, the Lexus RX got only four stars. Both SUVs come standard with driver assistance features like frontal collision warning and collision mitigation (including pedestrian detection), but the BMW X3 also comes with an Active Protection System. If an imminent accident is detected, this system will pretension the seatbelts, close the windows and moonroof, and activate post-crash braking.

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BMW X3 vs Lexus RX: Value

You've seen how much more the BMW X3 offers you. It manages to do this for a drastically lower price. The entry-level BMW X3 has a starting MSRP that's $2,200 less than that of the entry-level Lexus RX! This means that you could add features like genuine leather upholstery to the BMW X3 and still pay less than you would for a basic Lexus RX. Come experience BMW luxury in Norwalk.

2020 BMW X32020 Lexus RX
$41,950Starting MSRP*$44,150
25 City / 29 HighwayStandard Gas Mileage (MPG)20 City / 27 Highway
248Standard Horsepower295
258 lb.-ft.Standard Torque268 lb.-ft.
Rear-Wheel DriveStandard DrivetrainFront-Wheel Drive
6 SecondsAcceleration (0-60 mph)7.7 Seconds
Standard FeatureRoof RailsAvailable Upgrade
28.7 cu. ft.Cargo Volume18.4 cu. ft.
5 StarsNHTSA Frontal Crash Score4 Stars
Multi-LinkRear SuspensionDouble Wishbone

*MSRP excludes destination & handling fee of $995, tax, title, license, and registration.