Comparison: 2018 Acura RLX vs 2018 BMW 540i

February 16th, 2018 by

Middletown drivers who want a new luxury sedan often visit Friendly Acura wondering how our models compare to German brands. This is one of our favorite subjects because as the Germans rest on their laurels, Acura steps it up with each new model year.

Below, we’ll compare the 2018 Acura RLX to the 2018 BMW 540i. Read on, then come see us to get behind the wheel of a real luxury car.

Safety Ratings and Tech

Acura RLX

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 Acura RLX a 2018 Top Safety Pick and rated its standard front crash prevention system Superior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 RLX a top 5-Star Overall Rating, awarding it best-possible scores in each crash test category.‡

The 2018 Acura RLX comes standard with a multi-view rear camera with dynamic gridlines, Blind Spot Information System, automatic headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control with low-speed follow, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, Collision Mitigation Braking with head-up warning, and Traffic Jam Assist. The latter feature is new and helps you stay centered in your lane a safe distance from the car in front of you while you’re in heavy traffic – a very useful feature for trips to New York City.

BMW 540i

The NHTSA has not yet rated the 2018 BMW 5-Series, but the IIHS did award it a 2018 Top Safety Pick+ title. Like the RLX, its crash prevention and mitigation system was rated Superior, but the system does not come standard on any 5-Series models.

The BMW 540i won’t come off the lot equipped with any of the driver assistance tech found standard on the RLX – not even a rearview camera, which is included standard on even economy cars today. But buyers can opt for certain features via one of three Driver Assistance Packages. Available features include Parking Assistant, Head-Up Display, Park Distance Control, a Rear-view Camera, Active Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant Plus, Surround View, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

Convenience and Entertainment

Acura RLX

The Acura sedan is equipped standard with GPS-linked three-zone climate control, heated front seats, Smart Entry System, remote-operated moonroof, ambient cabin lighting, an automatic dimming rearview mirror, and Voice Recognition System for navigation, climate control, audio, and Bluetooth functions. Additionally, it has standard Active Sound Control and a HomeLink universal transceiver.

For your entertainment, the RLX also comes with an ELS Audio System with 14 speakers, HD Radio, Sirius XM Radio, Pandora compatibility, USB audio interface, Bluetooth streaming audio, and auxiliary input. Connectivity features include SMS text message and email reading, and Acura Navigation with 3D view and Real-Time Traffic.

BMW 540i

The BMW 5-Series does not come available with GPS-linked climate control or active sound control. Additionally, heated front seats and Pandora capability are available as options only.

Standard features on the 540i include automatic climate control, Advanced Vehicle & Key Memory, power moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, interior ambient lighting, and a universal garage door opener. Entertainment features include an AM/FM radio, HD Radio, HiFi Sound System with 12 speakers, and pre-wiring for Sirius XM Radio.


Acura RLX

Starting at $54,900 MSRP**

BMW 540i

Starting at $57,700 MSRP**

Category: Comparison
Tags: 2018 RLX, BMW, sedan, comparison


‡Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program. For additional information on the 5-Star Safety Ratings program, please visit

**Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or a destination and handling charge. Actual vehicles/accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.