New Lexus RX vs Range Rover Sport: costs

These plug-in hybrid SUVs both combine great luxury with the potential for low running costs. But which of them does it better?...

Lexus RX side with boot open

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

We opened this test by saying that the Lexus RX costs around £10,000 less than the Range Rover Sport to buy outright, so you might be thinking this section is an open-and-shut case. Like any good murder mystery story, however, there’s more than meets the eye.

You see, how much you pay at the beginning is one thing, but unless you plan to drive the same car forever, how much you get when you sell it is equally important. And this is where the Range Rover comes back into contention, with incredibly slow predicted depreciation. In fact, consider all the costs a private cash buyer is likely to face over three years of ownership and the Range Rover works out around £2000 cheaper.

 Range Rover Sport side with boot open

Those taking out a PCP finance agreement will also find the Range Rover tempting, because it offers lower monthly repayments. Indeed, if you put down a £10,000 deposit and limit yourself to 10,000 miles a year for three years, you’ll be spending £1233 per month, compared with £1343 for the RX. Just bear in mind that, if you decide to buy your car outright at the end of the agreement, you’ll need to find a much higher final ‘balloon’ payment to own the Range Rover.

It’s a similar story for company car drivers chasing low benefit-in-kind payments. The low CO2 emissions of our competitors mean that they both attract low rates, but the Range Rover’s 70-mile official electric range puts it in the 5% bracket, while the RX’s less impressive 42-mile official range bumps it up to the 8% tax band. If you’re a 40% tax payer, that’s a difference of £63 in monthly salary sacrifices.

Lexus RX vs Range Rover Sport costs

The RX hits back on the equipment front, though. While both cars have heated front and outer rear seats, the RX adds cooling for them (£1000 in the Range Rover), a head-up display and a digital rear-view mirror (£630 in the Range Rover).

With their batteries fully depleted, the RX returned fuel economy of 36.6mpg and the Range Rover a measly 25.8mpg in our real-world tests. Because of the RX’s respectable figure, it might actually work out slightly cheaper never to plug the car in, unless you have a cheap overnight electricity tariff at home. But if you do want to keep their batteries topped up, the RX takes 2hr 45min to go from 0-100% using a home charger and the Range Rover roughly five hours, due to its larger battery. The latter also gives you the option of plugging it in at a public charger for an 80% charge in 40 minutes.

Lexus RX charging cables under boot floor

Neither of these cars was included in the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, but the standings of their manufacturers could barely have been more different; out of 32 brands, Lexus was top, while Land Rover languished in 31st position.

When tested by the experts at Euro NCAP, both cars were awarded five stars for safety, each scoring full marks for protecting children in the rear but the RX proving slightly better at protecting adults in the front. What’s more, both come with plenty of standard safety features, including rear cross-traffic alert and blindspot monitors.

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