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Lexus vs. BMW: Which is the Better Car?


Lexus is the new kid on the lock when it comes to the luxury car market. In 1989, Toyota made the decision to develop a luxury car brand under its auspices. Instead of branding it as a Toyota, the Lexus manufacturing company was born. The engineering team faced the challenge of creating a distinct brand that would stand out above the rest. With this in mind, They focused on the quality of build, reliability, and a luxury interior versus speed and performance. Although some Lexus models offer the full package, they have their pros and their cons. BMW is a German automaker with a history that goes back to the year 1916. It's been in business far longer than Lexus, but some drivers prefer Lexus over BMW and vice versa. There is an ongoing debate about which brand is better. To help bring a bit of clarity to the situation, we decided to compare the two to answer the question about Lexus vs BMW which is the better car?

2020 Lexus UX vs 2020 BMW X2

According to Lexus, The UX 200 and the X2 are rivals in the luxury SUV category. We begin our comparison of the two models with the engineering. The Lexus UX is equipped with an advanced 10-speed direct shift and continuously variable transmission. It enhances acceleration performance, the quietness of the cabin, and fuel efficiency, while BMW is fitted with a conventional 8-speed automatic transmission. When it comes to handling, the UX has an edge over the X2 with a smaller turning radius for making U-turns with greater agility and easier parking capabilities. It takes the prize in urban mobility

The UX is outfitted with a host of driver-assist and safety features that come standard. They're included in the base price with no need to upgrade. For similar features in the BMW, you're going to need to pay a high price for upgrades to get there. While the X2 offers 6 standard airbags, the UX comes with 10. The UX is blessed with extra front legroom with additional space for cargo behind the rear seats. It's more spacious than the X2 in these areas. When we compare the cockpits Lexus has been designed with creature comfort in mind with an interior laid of for driver convenience. The illuminated entry system includes exterior lights that come on as you near your vehicle after dark. This lights the way to help lessen the chances of encountering a hazard when the lighting is low. White LED illumination lights the cabin area. The UX is also loaded with updated vehicle technologies including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Lexus + Alexa. The X2 is equipped with Apple CarPlay but does not offer the other features.

Warranty comparisons

We compared the Lexus UX warranty with the BMW's guarantee. BMW offers a four-year 50,000-mile warranty on the X2. The UX on the other hand comes with a six-year warranty with 70,000 miles under coverage on the transmission, engine, and drive train.

BMW 3 Series vs Lexus IS Supercar battle

BMW 3 Series

Cars Direct stacks the BMW 3-Series up against the Lexus IS. The Series 3 received a total redesign in 2019, and it's still basking in the glory of the magnificent changes that were made. It's got curb-appeal and exceptional performance while the IS received a refresh for its 2021 model with the addition of an inch to its length. The 2021 model is a member of the third-generation IS with its origins in 2013. The BMW 3 Series received a few mild updates presenting a clean luxurious look and feel. It outperforms the Lexus IS in a few areas. The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine generates 255 horsepower with 295 lb-ft of torque. It moves from zero to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds. The Lexus IS equipped with its base turbo-four takes a little longer to achieve the same speed. It takes 6.9 seconds unless you opt for the IS 350 with a V6. This brings the sprint up to the same standards as the BMW, at a higher price for the higher performance engine.

The 3-Series has ample leg space with 35.2 inches in the rear for passengers, besting the IS by 3 inches. The cabin by comparison has a higher premium feel than the IS with a more modern dash and cleaner lines with an 8.8inch touchscreen and a 5.7-inch driver information screen. You can upgrade to a 12.3-inch touchscreen for a higher price. It's more fuel-efficient with an estimated 30 mpg combined compared to 25 mpg for the Lexus IS. The Lexus has still retained its gen 3 looks despite the refresh in 2021, but it did receive a sportier and sharper design which moves it to the lead in aesthetics. On the inside, the infotainment system has been improved to include an 8-inch touchscreen that is positioned closer to the driver for convenience. Although it's not up to the standards of BMW, it is an improvement. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but so does the 3 series.

Who is the winner of this battle?

The IS has a lower starting price for its base model when compared to BMW. It starts at $40,025, beating BMW's 3-Series by $2,220.The looks are sportier and sharper if aesthetics are a major concern. These are the only two areas that Lexus really competes. The BMW emerges as the clear winner in this battle with a more luxurious cabin and its superior performance and additional interior space.

Lexus vs BMW model range for SUVs

BMW of Brooklyn compares the range of choices in the SUV lineup for BMW and Lexus. The German automaker offers a choice of six different SUVs with starting prices at $33,900 for the X1 with a max starting price of $62,950 for the top of the line BMW X6 model. For base models, the engine is a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-r that cranks 228 horsepower. Upgrades to the most powerful engine take you up to a 4.4-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that generates a generous 445 horsepower. When it comes to Fargo space the maximum you'll find from BMW is 76.7 cubic feet.

Lexus holds its own also offering six models of SUV vehicles in their current offerings. The base prices start at $36,186 for the Lexus NX, topping out with $85,630 for the top of the line Lexus LX. Although pricier from start to finish, both offer a good range of choices in this vehicle class. The base engine for Lexus is a 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 that offers 235 horsepower, which has BMW beat for the base performance. The most powerful engine that Lexus has to offer in the SUV lineup is its 5.7-liter V8 engine with a maximum horsepower of 383. BMW takes the trophy for the most horsepower at the top of the line. Lexus follows this statistic with a maximum cargo volume of 83.1 feet if space is the deciding factor. When it all shakes out, there are pros and cons for each that for some would mean it's a tie.

Lexus vs BMW luxury sedans, coupes, and convertible models

Lexus IS Supercar battle

BMW currently offers the 2 Series Coupe with a base price of $35,300 and the i8 as the most expensive model with a price tag of $147,500. The base engine in these vehicle styles is a 2.0-liter turbo inline 4 that delivers 248 horsepower with an estimated mpg rating of 21 in the city and 32 on the highway. Lexus has a lineup of 8 sedans and 4 coupes to choose from with a starting price of $38,210 for the base model and on the high end, the LC hybrid coupe at $96,510. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbo inline 4 that generates 241 horsepower. The estimated fuel efficiency rating is at 22 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.

In this category, BMW has the lowest starting price for a base model, but on their high-end vehicles, the price is more than $40,000 more. BMW has a slight edge on horsepower for its base engine, but Lexus counters this with a slightly better fuel-efficiency rating across the board. We're going to give this one to Lexus, however, because the brand offers a larger selection of model choices in the luxury sedans, coupes, and convertible category.

Lexus vs BMW Eco-friendly models

The next competition between Lexus and BMW is in the eco-friendly category. We start the comparison with BMW. The brand offers a choice of four plug-in hybrid models along with two vehicles that are all-electric. The starting price is $45,600 in this category. The top EPA estimated fuel efficiency rating is 109 miles on a single charge combined efficiency for the MPGe model. Lexus offers a choice of six hybrid vehicles with two of them being hybrid SUVs. The starting price for the base model is $38,535 for the Lexus NX Hybrid. The EPA estimated fuel-efficiency rating is 40 mpg in the city and 39 for the combined rating. If you're looking for the most fuel-efficient eco-friendly vehicle, then BMW wins the competition with its MPGe model achieving a remarkable 109 mpg combined. If you're budget conscious then Lexus offers the most affordable base models in this category. With the exception of fuel efficiency, Lexus emerges as the winner because of its broader range of model options. BMW doesn't offer as many choices as Lexus, which comes out on top in this battle.

Lexus vs BMW Performance models

When it comes to performance vehicles, BMW offers the M2 Competition Coupe with a starting price of $58,900. The top track speed of the M2 has been recorded at 190 mph with the top acceleration performance that moves the vehicle from a standstill to 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds. Lexus offers a choice of four different performance models. The starting model is the Lexus RC F that has a base price tag of $64,650. Its top track speed is 168 mph with a top acceleration speed that moves the car from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. When it comes to performance vehicles, once again, Lexus offers a more broad range of choices with four options compared to only one currently offered by BMW. If the choice is a factor, then Lexus is the winner. If you're more interested in performance, then BMW takes the lead with the M2 that outshines the Lexus RC F with a difference in a top speed of 22 mph and faster acceleration by 1.3 seconds.

The final verdict


Our comparisons of Lexus vs BMW looks at the pros and cons of a broad range of vehicles across the board for each luxury brand. The key takeaway from the comparisons shows that overall, BMW has better performance ratings than Lexus. The engines generate more power with better acceleration in most categories. The brand also boasts the most fuel-efficient model of the two. In most cases, the BMW cars also offer more luxurious interiors with roomier cabins, especially in the rear where legroom becomes an issue. Lexus hasn't quite kept up in these areas, but where the brand does forge ahead is in reliability, and most competing models are offered at a substantially lower price tag. When it all shakes out, there are pros and cons for each brand, but one is not necessarily a better option than the other. Budget-sensitive drivers will find better deals in the Lexus lineup but those who require the best possible performance should look to BMW. It's really a matter of personal choice as both brands have a lot to offer modern drivers.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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