Motor Trend Comparison: Lexus RX 350 vs Volvo XC60 vs Audi Q5 vs Mercedes GLK350

Lexus RX 350 vs. Audi Q5 vs. Mercedes GLK 350 vs. Volvo XC60

Motor Trend has performed a comparison of the new 2010 Lexus RX 350 against the Volvo XC60, Mercedes GLK350 and the Audi Q5—the verdict:

With all so evenly matched, small blemishes become colossal warts. Numb steering and Spartan digs doom the comfortably competent GLK350 to fourth place while unwieldy styling and soulless performance relegate the loaded RX 350 to third. The XC60 offers surprising on- and off-road prowess and breathtaking good looks, but can’t quite match the overall refinement of our winner. Though its as-tested price is over $6000 more than the runner-up, the Audi Q5 takes first position by returning the most compelling drive. It’s not even close.

As is standard with any car enthusiast magazine, top marks go to the best handling and most powerful, so it’s no real surprise that the Q5 took first in the comparison. The RX interior continues to score high, and at least among these three competitors, the exterior comes across as unique and non-conventional.

(The comparison also highlights how Lexus seems to position their vehicles between segments, as the RX is more than 5.6” bigger than the next largest, the Volvo XC60.)

[Source: Motor Trend]



  1. Weird comparison. The Q5 and the XC60 are entry SUV’s. The RX, would definitely have to proof itself more with the likes of the X5 and the XC90. The XC60 and the Q5 are X3 competitors.

  2. What these magazines don’t understand these cars are not made to be performance cars. It seems like thats all they care about. The rest of the car could be crap but since its fast and handles well its a winner…

    The Lex is a good performer for what it will be used for and has the best luxury, style, technology, and will be the most reliable of the group. It has the most features, the most safety technology and is the best built. It even has the most space and best cabin.

    IMO. Lex

  3. Motor Trend have serious issues. And I don’t mean magazine issues.
    When they first drove the RX 350, in our March issues, pages 68 to 69, they said there was improved steering feel, but here you say there’s NONE AT ALL…how is that possible?
    When it comes down to trusting who…Motor Trend is not on the top of the List.

  4. the more i read the more bleeping angrier i get that audi shoves a blank up their blank and they automatically kiss audi’s ugly blank and forgot all about Lexus, which is better than any audi ive ever seen. i hate car magazines…

  5. like anybody gives a bleep over performance when they shop for SUVS, the RX isnt even in this class, it’s competitors are the ML, Q7, and XC70…which Lexus always beats anyways…

  6. The RX is not a cute-ute like these vehicles, its just priced much better than these SUVs.

    The RX was also 4th in C&D this month.

    As I’ve gotten older, I realize these mags are mostly for starting the fireplace or to wipe up dog doo doo.

  7. Q7 (5 m long) is much bigger than RX, it is even longer than LX.

  8. Q5, not Q7
    And yes, it is pretty long since it’s virtually a car with its long truck with a roof over it. If you’d actually seen a Q7 in person, you’d realize how low the car is.

  9. They forgot to capitalize the first word in their article raspberry
    I wonder how long it’ll take for them to fix that.

  10. trunk*, not truck x]

  11. OMG EXACTLY…i read that article too…

  12. woops forgot about that…where i live its impossible to not to see a Q7…or any luxury car for that matter

  13. I have to say, they judged the interior cabin well.

  14. I really don’t see why they would pick the Q5 over the RX. Audi seems to be advertising heavily for the Q5 to kill the RX, but it’s a completely different car. The RX is meant to be a luxury SUV, not a sporty drive. The Q5 and X5 are meant to be a sporty SUV. So honestly they don’t really compare, even in size. The Q5 is more the size of the RDX X3 and GLK. When people are buying this type of SUV they generally look for drive comfort, ride comfort, and storage, and less about how nice it feels when going around a corner. Most of the people who drive these won’t be going that fast around corners.

    I understand car companies like the power, but usually they are very price conscious. They recently picked a Hyundai Genesis over a GS (which is insane in my book) mostly due to the chaper price. But now there is a pretty big reversal picking the more expensive car.

  15. I completely agree with you. I think they just chose to throw the RX in this comparo because it’s Lexus’ entry level SUV. But it does compare more with a BMW X5 or Mercedes M class. Heck why didn’t they include the Infiniti FX in the comparo? Maybe they were afraid that a product of Japan would topple an Audi.

  16. Usually I find Motortrend to be fair. However these days car magazines are too afraid to not place performance as a priority when reviewing a car. After all what would a car magazine be if they didn’t like BMW’s.

    For me it’s a little ridiculous. Judge an IS-F strictly by it’s performance and how it drives. Thats what the IS-F is made for. But why place such a high emphasis on performance and how it drives in the luxury SUV segment? Thats how some comparos are skewed so that Lexus will either rank last or near last. But the consumers know that comfort, features, and refinement are what is truly important in this segment.

    I like my RX smooth, refined, and comfortable. At the same time I would like my IS-F to be a canyon carving, tire smoking hotrod.

  17. Firstly I think it’s a bit silly to assume that all people buying SUV’s don’t care about performance and handling, only about features and interior. I’ve never met someone who complained about how great their car handles. Secondly, the opinions here seem “slightly” skewed; Lexus owners by any chance?

    Now I test drove the GLK, RX and the Q5 over the last month. I had no opinion either way when I started looking. In the end it came down to the RX and Q5. I loved the Lexus for the comfort, price and reputation. The Q5 I loved for the way it handled, looks and the navigation which I found to be more intuitive.

    In the end I went with the Q5 because it resonated with the kind of things I like in my ride, the RX was close behind. And to be honest the RX is a bit of a bore to drive. I have a nice mattress if I’m inclined to take a nap. So it comes down to personal choice and I don’t blame people for going either way. And I can see why those who enjoy driving, mag writers, would rate the Q5 #1. Btw the Q5’s features and comfort are up there close if not equal to RX and far above GLK. Now is this anything to be flabbergasted over?

  18. I agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Having said that this is a Lexus News blog so you can expect the opinions to be “slightly skewed” in Lexus’ favor. However some magazines, like Car and Driver, are not focused on any one particular manufacturer and therefore should not be biased. They are posing themselves as a fair, balanced, and informative automotive publication. Whenever you read a C&D comparison that involves a Lexus, you can expect the Lexus to come out last or second to last.

    Secondly I never said SUV drivers don’t care about performance and handling. However if that is the most important factor for you then why did you not purchase the A4 wagon or A6 wagon? They both drive better and have more interior room. SUV’s are not ALL about performance and handling. Lexus knows that, which is why the RX is more focused on comfort, refinement and new cutting edge features. The consumers know that too, which is the RX has been the #1 selling luxury SUV for quite some time.

    Anyways to each his own. I just think car mags overall shouldn’t be so afraid to rank a Lexus RX over an Audi Q5 or BMW X5 because it’s more comfortable. Afterall we are comparing Luxury SUV’s not Exotic Sports Cars.

  19. As Jay says, this website is called The Lexus Enthusiast, I think our opinions are more than “slightly” skewed. wink

    Really, I don’t have a problem with this review in particular, but rather I’ve grown tired of the performance bias in segments where it shouldn’t be the primary factor. Crossovers should be fun to drive, I agree, but it’s unlikely the first thing the majority of buyers consider.

    (Who knows, if the Audi dealership in my area wasn’t staffed entirely by idiots, I might drive the Q5 and like it over the RX as well.)

  20. just what i think…they make performance one of the main issues in SUV’s today. i’m not saying it’s not important but in a comparison like this? how do they possibly think that volvo is better than Lexus…i guess audi can take first place because it’s more agile but remember…the Q5 is a crossover of the A5…the RX is a crossover of the ES…i guess they might as well put up an ES350 against an A5 and judge it on performance…what a shock i wonder who would win. it’s pretty much the same issue here. i mean, congrats to volvo and stuff for making an auto braking car for old people who can’t see, but that doesn’t mean it should earn 1st place…the xc60 offers breathtaking good looks? since when is looking like a toad/crab creature goodlooking? did they even look at the taillights? Lexus is a luxury car, full luxury, and isnt made to compare against small sport SUV’s…

  21. Lets face it….move on Lexus…Audi Q5 rules…

  22. sad:-o:angry::`-(:-):-D


  24. @LEXUS: says Lexus aha

    I just realized that the RX is like the CTS of the entry-level luxury crossovers in terms of size.

  25. As a first time Luxury SUV buyer, I struggled in picking the Q5 or the RX350.  The Q5 handled way better and had some great exterior features, but I went with the RX350 because of greater comfort and luxury.  Performance matters, but driving a luxury SUV like a sports car does not sit well with me…...I have a Mustang when I want to “hot rod” it is silly to see a Luxury vehicle “hot roding” that is not what they are suppose to do.  I cringe when some luxury car owner pulls up beside me at a stop light and is intent on showing that his performance is superior to a pony car.  It is a little like buying a mini van to haul stuff that is better suited for a pickup truck is not the right vehicle usage..

  26. @new buyer: Thanks for your insight—I absolutely agree.