Compared: 2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Lexus RX
Choosing between these midsize SUVs means picking between performance and silky-smooth luxury.
Lexus | BMW
There are few more popular luxury midsize SUVs than the Lexus RX. Toyota's luxury brand has dominated this segment for years, with buyers enjoying the RX's ability to deliver a comfortable and serene ride. The BMW X3, another strong-selling option at the same price point, skews towards a sportier experience, sacrificing some comfort and some of the Lexus' standard features in the name of performance.
2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Lexus RX: Price
The base 2022 BMW X3 sDrive30i trim costs about $44,000 and features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. Shoppers searching for more performance can opt for all-wheel drive (AWD), turbocharged six-cylinder M40i trim (almost $58,000) or the X3 M (about $70,000), which offers 473 horsepower and a host of mechanical, interior, and styling upgrades from BMW's in-house performance division.
The 2022 Lexus RX offers six-cylinder engines only. Pricing starts at about $47,000 for the base front-wheel-drive RX 350 trim with AWD available. The three-row RX 350L is available at just over $50,000 with FWD and about $52,000 with AWD. The AWD-only RX 450h gas-electric hybrid starts at around $50,000. The sportiest trim is the nearly $54,000 RX 450h F Sport.
2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Lexus RX: Features
The X3 and the two-row RX offer similar interior space for up to five passengers, while the BMW's boxier cargo hold provides more luggage space. If you want seating for seven, BMW dealers can point you toward the larger X5.
While both vehicles come well equipped, Lexus has a leg up on BMW when it comes to conveniences and luxuries. The RX includes a handful of standard features that are optional on the BMW, such as remote start and passive entry, which allows you to lock and unlock the vehicle with the key in a pocket or purse. Lexus's large 12.3-inch infotainment screen dwarfs the 10.3-inch unit in the BMW.
The BMW X3 is relatively quick, with the automaker claiming a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.0 seconds for the four-cylinder X3, just 4.4 in the M40i, and 3.9 for the high-performance M version. The quickest RX can get to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, according to Lexus. The X3 also comes with standard 19-inch wheels, compared to the 18-inch wheels in the RX. The bigger wheels may look more fashionable and the shorter tire sidewalls improve handling responses, but they also hurt ride quality.
Drivers who are happy to make that tradeoff may also consider sharpening the X3 with the Dynamic Handling package that arms the four-cylinder model with larger brakes, electronically adjustable shocks, and variable-ratio steering.
2022 BMW X3 vs. 2022 Lexus RX: Fuel economy
The most fuel-efficient model in this pairing is the two-row hybrid Lexus RX 450h AWD, which scores 30 mpg in EPA testing. The gas-only RX 350 versions are less efficient, returning 23 mpg in front-wheel-drive form and 22 mpg with AWD. The three-row versions of the Lexus are 1 mpg less efficient across the lineup.
The four-cylinder BMW is more efficient than the gas-only V6 Lexus, with the RWD sDrive30i models returning 25 mpg and the AWD versions at 24 mpg. Despite the extra power and AWD, the X3 M40i benefits from a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system and is rated at 23 mpg. As expected, the high-performance X3 M chugs fuel fastest, with 17 mpg.