Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2018 Lexus RX Near Washington, NC

Responsive image

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Responsive image

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Responsive image

2018 Lexus RX

Safety Comparison

The Atlas has standard post collision braking, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RX Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The RX Series doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Atlas and the RX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

The Atlas comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The RX Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

The Atlas’ corrosion warranty is 4 years longer than the RX Series’ (10 vs. 6 years).

There are almost 3 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Atlas’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the RX Series’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 15th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

Regardless of its engine, the Atlas’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RX Series Hybrid.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Atlas uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The RX 450h requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Atlas has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Atlas’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:



RX Series

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.9 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Atlas has larger standard tires than the RX Series (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Atlas’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (255/50R20 vs. 235/65R18).

The Atlas’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The Atlas’ optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The RX Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 7.5 inches longer than on the RX Series (117.3 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

The Atlas’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.1% to 44.9%) than the RX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the Atlas more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Atlas has standard seating for 7 passengers; the RX Series can only carry 5.

The Atlas has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear hip room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the RX Series.



RX Series

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


18.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

56.3 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.