Motor Trend Comparison: 2010 Lexus RX 450h vs. BMW M5 vs. Volkswagen Touareg

Lexus RX 450h, Mercedes ML320, BMW X5 & Volkswagen Touarag

Motor Trend has pushed out the first comparison of the Lexus RX 450h with its peers — in this config, the newly redesigned SUV goes up against the BMW X5, Mercedes ML320 & the Volkswagen Touareg. Biggest point of interest? The RX had the quickest 0-60 @ 6.4s, 0.3s faster than the X5 and more than 1.4s faster than the Touareg.

Here’s some other key points regarding the RX:

That’s just a taste of the Lexus’s slickly integrated technology. Everywhere you look, the RX 450h is awash in electronic goodies, from the crisp, organic LED display to headlamps that automatically douse their high beams for oncoming traffic to a game-changing telematics controller called Remote Touch. Like a cross between a touch screen and trackball, it allows the user to actually feel the pointer contact icons and virtual buttons. It’s spooky at first, but quick to win converts. “Remote touch does just as its name implies, imparting a rewarding sense of feel and touch as you swirl the ‘mouse’ over the screen. Locks neatly into the various menu buttons, and generally works intuitively,” says St. Antoine. Williams is equally impressed, “If every vehicle gets something like this in 10 years I won’t be surprised.”

If it’s spending weekdays in stop-and-go traffic and weekends roaming the urban jungle, then the value-laden Lexus may be for you. “Sure, it can’t compete in towing, off-road abilities, and cruise range, but it does everything else pretty well. Plenty fun, responsive, and capable for the soccer moms and baseball dads running around the suburbs,” says Kiino. St. Antoine agrees, “Overall, there’s a lot of tech for the money built into this rig, but it’s almost completely lacking in “SUV” feel.”

In the end, the RX 450h comes up second behind the Touareg, mostly because of the RX’s lack of offroad & towing capacity, but I’d say this is a very positive showing for the new model. Praise was especially strong for the Remote Touch system, which bodes well for the touchscreen replacement.

On top of everything, these videos summarizing the review are great watching:

(Thanks Stan!)