The 2017 RX 350 sports an all-powerful 3.5-litre V6 engine that delivers 295 horsepower on gas models, while hybrid models generate 308 horsepower in combination with an advanced electric motor and an Atkinson-cycle V6. In fact, because the electric motor is backed up with a V6 petrol engine, the RX can take you wherever you need to go in an electric mode that is barely audible.

The BMW X5 engine remains the same for 2018; a turbocharged inline-6 that puts out 300 horsepower. A 445-hp twin-turbo V-8 engine and a 255-hp turbo-diesel inline-six engine are optional. If you’re choosing the BMW X5 for its plug-in hybrid option, be warned; according to Car & Driver, buyers only get around 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) in-between chargers. Conversely, the RX 350 lasts longer and delivers a smoother drive.

Performance junkies will be excited to hear that for the first time ever Lexus has made the Dynamic F SPORT Package available on the RX 350. This gives drivers a Drive Mode Select option which improves acceleration and steering performance when needed.

The three drive modes — Eco, Normal, and Sport S – emulate the driving conditions you find yourself in. Sport mode alters the powertrain for a faster and more exhilarating throttle response. Normal mode aims to balance the RX 350’s fuel efficiency with optimal engine performance. ECO mode puts fuel economy at the forefront, moderating engine power and climate for increased efficiency. It doesn’t matter if the weather changes or your mood does. Simply select the appropriate driving mode and enjoy.

The 2017 RX 350 also includes Active Torque All-Wheel Drive (AWD), standard across all models. The AWD system helps distribute torque between the front and rear wheels. The result is a smoother drive, improved fuel efficiency and an SUV that is synched up with your every move.

Which Should You Be Driving?

The BMW X5 and Lexus RX share similar horsepower outputs. What the X5 doesn’t have that the Lexus does is a Drive Mode Select that lets you make seamless driving adaptations as road condition change. Combine this feature with the Lexus Active Torque All-Wheel Drive (AWD), a system designed for seasonal readiness, and the Lexus RX 350 gives drivers more control and confidence behind the wheel.