Head to head: Lexus RX 450h F Sport v Audi SQ5 TDI

17 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Head to head: Lexus RX 450h F Sport v Audi SQ5 TDI
Lexus RX 450h

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Audi SQ5 v Lexus RX 450h F Sport

Which sporty SUV stakes up best? We pit these two together to find out.

PT3M42S http://news.drive.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2qoom 620 349 July 26, 2013

Lexus RX 450h F Sport . from $89,900 plus on-road costs. 3.5-litre V6 petrol-electric hybrid; 220kW/317Nm; CVT; 6.3L/100km; AWD.

Audi SQ5 TDI: from $89,400 plus on-road costs. 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel; 230kW/650Nm; eight-speed automatic; 6.8L/100km; AWD.


Lexus RX 450h F Sport v Audi SQ5 TDI

Lexus: This sporty take on the RX 450h includes 19-inch alloy wheels and a unique F Sport front bumper, along with F Sport badges. Other standard gear includes keyless entry and ignition, a 12-speaker stereo with digital radio, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, moonroof, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Audi: Starts $500 cheaper and also gets sat-nav, reversing camera, auto tailgate, keyless ignition and entry and Bluetooth. Stereo has 10-speakers and a 20GB hard drive for music storage. Also gets 20-inch alloys and Audi’s drive select system (see below).


Lexus: The Japanese brand continues to improve its interior styling with each new model. The new RX looks smart, with a sweeping, driver-oriented dashboard. The mouse-like infotainment system controller is a bit sensitive but is easy to use once you get acclimatised to it.

The cabin feels roomy too, with good space front and rear.

Audi: Feels slightly smaller than the RX but is a bit more stylish and luxurious. There’s a nicer mixture of materials, which helps give that premium feel. Also feels a bit sportier – the seats are more supportive and the steering wheel has a flat bottom.


Lexus: The combination of petrol V6 and electric motor gives the RX a decent kick. But it needs a few revs to get the best out of – peak power comes in at 6000rpm and maximum torque at 4800rpm. The CVT works smoothly and helps the RX sip just 6.3-litre per 100km, despite its size and performance.

Audi: Blows away any notion that diesel is only about fuel economy. Brilliant performance with heaps of pulling power from standstill – thanks to its maximum 650Nm of torque being available from just 1450rpm. The eight-speed auto is well mated to the engine, offering smooth shifts at low speed and quick changes on the move.

How it drives:

Lexus: The hybrid system may be good for fuel economy but it adds significant weight to the car, which has a negative effect on its handling in the bends. The RX doesn’t feel as a sharp or responsive as the SQ5. However, the suspension is softer, which means more lean in the corners but also a more cosseting ride at times.

Audi: Audi’s drive select system allows you to alter the responsiveness of the engine and gearbox, weighting of the steering and how much engine noise is pumped into the cabin. You can choose efficiency, comfort and dynamic or create your own mixture of the three settings. No matter which setting you choose it still feels sportier than the RX.

Winner: Audi

Lexus RX 450h


Lexus: Given both cars emphasise the Sports in Sports Utility Vehicle it’s worth stacking up the numbers. The RX will do 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 200km/h.

Audi: In contrast the SQ5 launches from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating diesel on sale in Australia. Its top speed, 250km/h, is faster than the Lexus too (but largely irrelevant in Australia).

Winner: Audi


Lexus: Standard four year/100,000 kilometre warranty. Also get four years of complimentary roadside assistance and a complimentary loan car when your RX is in for a service.

Audi: Can’t quite match the Lexus with a three year/unlimited kilometre warranty and three years of road side assistance. No loan car either. Competitive, but pipped by Lexus.

Winner: Lexus


Lexus: It may be a clear loss on paper but the RX 450h F Sport is still a good car. The problem, in this clash at least, is the F Sport additions are more about style rather than serious performance. But the RX 450h remains an economical, stylish and spacious luxury SUV.

Audi: The SQ5 is the first SUV to wear Audi’s S badge and it deserves it. It blends genuine performance with the practicality of an SUV. And it does so for less money than the Lexus and a lot less money than its closest sibling – the $123,400 S4 Avant.

Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h
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