Acura RLX vs. Lexus GS 350

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - September 29, 2015

Acura and Lexus sit in similar slots as luxury automakers looking to snag folks looking for a high-end car that isn't from Germany. In the midsize sedan segment, the Lexus GS 350 and Acura RLX battle it out to see who offers the better alternative to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. Neither Japanese automaker can claim the brand cachet that rivals their German enemies, so they rely on delivering more features for the money.

So, which of these two midsize luxury sedans offers the most for your hard-earned money?

See a side-by-side comparison of the RLX and GS 350 »

What We Like About the RLX

The RLX comes packed with plenty of standard features that are options on the GS 350. Items like heated front seats, and a 14-speaker audio system all set the bar pretty high. The RLX also has a slight advantage in terms of power output, plus its optional SH-AWD system is often given very high marks. The RLX wins the fuel economy battle by a slim margin as well. Finally, the RLX delivers a good bit more rear seat legroom and a tad more trunk space.

What We Like About the GS 350

The GS 350 starts out with a more traditional drivetrain for a luxury car, as it is rear-wheel drive. Additionally, its eight-speed transmission provides more gears, helping assure it is always in the perfect gear for the driving conditions. Inside the cabin, the GS 350 has a little more front and rear seat headroom, making it better for tall folks. The GS also has a sporty option known as the F Sport, which adds a new dimension to the model. Finally, the GS 350 checks in at a significantly lower price than the Acura.

All Those Standard Features are for Nothing

The Acura RLX looks great on paper, as it has all of those standard features that the GS 350 does not. However, a few strategic ticks in the right option boxes, and the GS 350 actually has more features than the RLX for about the same price. So the battle actually ends up far more even once you dig into the option list.

Our Verdict: Lexus GS 350

While the RLX looks the part of a more luxurious car due to its wide range of standard features, the optional Luxury Package and no-cost navigation put the GS 350 above the RLX in terms of features while not exceeding the Acura’s base price by much. This, combined with the more luxury-sedan-like rear-wheel drive powertrain of the Lexus make it a better luxury sedan than the RLX.

Take a closer look at the Acura RLX »

Take a closer look at the Lexus GS 350 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website