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2016 Lexus NX Vs. 2016 BMW X3: Which Is Better?


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If you’re interested in buying a compact luxury crossover, you’ll probably find that the segment is exploding with impressive new choices. Two of the top models are the 2016 Lexus NX and 2016 BMW X3, which both offer a lot of equipment, surprisingly good fuel economy and multiple powertrain options. Which one is better? We’ve created a close comparison between the NX and the X3 to find out. First, let’s see what’s new with both models for the 2016 model year.



2016 Lexus NX



The Lexus NX is a compact luxury crossover offered in hybrid or traditional gasoline-powered variants. It’s unchanged for the 2016 model year.


2016 BMW X3


The BMW X3 is a luxury crossover with diesel- or gas-powered powertrain choices. Its sole change for 2016 is the addition of a standard 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system in top-level xDrive35i trim.



Because the NX is so new, reliability experts at J.D. Power have not yet rated the crossover for dependability. We have high hopes, though, considering how well other Lexus models score in J.D. Power’s surveys. As for the X3, J.D. Power gives it a 3-circle score in its power circle ratings, indicating average dependability.
As for warranty coverage, the Lexus has an advantage. While both models offer 4 years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, the NX also boasts 6 years or 70,000 miles of powertrain protection. In comparison, the X3 has no additional powertrain warranty. Between that and Lexus’s strong reputation for reliability, we think the NX has a slight advantage in this category, though we’re eager to see J.D. Power’s reliability ratings to say for sure.



In government crash testing carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, both the Lexus NX and BMW X3 earned a perfect 5-star overall rating. In crash testing carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the X3 has not yet endured enough testing for a final rating, though the NX earned the firm’s excellent Top Safety Pick+ score.
When it comes to safety equipment, both the X3 and NX offer just about everything you might expect. Both SUVs come standard with a wide range of features (like side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control), while both offer several excellent options, like a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning, LED headlights and forward-collision warning with automatic braking. The only differences are minor. The Lexus offers a standard backup camera, while it’s optional in the BMW, and the BMW boasts an optional heads-up display, which isn’t offered in the NX.


Fuel Economy

The Lexus NX offers two powertrain choices. Gas-powered NX 200t models use a 235-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which offers up to 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the hybrid-powered NX 300h uses a 194-hp 2.5-liter hybrid 4-cylinder, which boasts impressive fuel economy numbers of up to 35 mpg city/31 mpg hwy.
Meanwhile, the X3 offers three engine options. Base models use a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which boasts up to 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy. Drivers looking for better fuel economy can opt for the diesel-powered X3 xDrive28d, whose 180-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder returns up to 27 mpg city/34 mpg hwy. Finally, the sporty X3 xDrive35i offers a 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder, which touts up to 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy.
So, which is better? For drivers interested in the best possible gas mileage, the NX 300h is clearly the fuel economy champ of the bunch and of the entire compact luxury crossover segment. With that said, the diesel-powered X3 xDrive28d also touts respectable numbers. Comparing base-level gasoline models, the NX 200t and X3 sDrive28i tout virtually identical fuel economy figures.


Article By Doug DeMaro

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