Families will now be able to enjoy more space with their luxury utility vehicle thanks to the new three-row Lexus RX L models. The RX created the luxury crossover segment 20 years ago and has reigned supreme as the most popular luxury utility vehicle on the market. The 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL models retain their stylish figures, but now offer the choice of six or seven-passenger capability.
Once in dealerships late this year, the RX 350L will have a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $47,670 (FWD) and $49,070 (AWD).
With the new RX L models, Lexus drivers will now have the option of a third row without compromising the sleek styling and easy maneuverability that they have long valued. With help through the mastery of vehicle packaging, Lexus extended the body length 4.3 inches (110 mm) at the rear and used a steeper tailgate window angle than on the two-row models – ensuring good headroom for third-row passengers.
The standard seven-seat version uses a 40/20/40 split bench-type second row seat. Access to the third row is made easy with the touch of a lever that slides and folds the second seat forward. The available six-seat configuration features second-row captain’s chairs that make third-row ingress/egress easier with “walk-in” convenience.
Lexus designed the third row of the RX L models to offer the same comfort and luxury as in the middle row. The positioning of the second row is slightly higher than the third row, creating more foot room for rear passengers. Standard leather-trimmed upholstery is standard for the first and second rows, in the choice of Black, Stratus Gray, Parchment or Noble Brown. A tri-zone climate control system gives third-row passengers separate heating and air conditioning vents, and for convenience, a power-folding third-row seat and power tailgate are both standard on the RX L models.
Details that enhance three-row versatility in the RX L models include a flat load floor behind the folded third-row, two third-row cupholders, an easily stowable tonneau and covered slide rails.
RX 350L: 290-Horsepower V6
The 2018 Lexus RX 350L offers plenty of power to go with its six- or seven- passenger cabin and added cargo capacity. The 3.5-liter V6 employs the advanced D-4S fuel injection system, which combines direct and port fuel injection systems. To maximize efficiency, Variable Valve Timing – Intelligent Wide (VVT-iW) is used on the intake camshaft, along with VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft, allowing the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles.
The result is 290 hp and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, with performance and efficiency optimized by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Use of regular-grade gasoline is a boon to customer value. Using Drive Mode Select, the RX 350L driver can exert more control by choosing from among three driving modes. Normal provides an ideal everyday balance of performance and energy conservation, Sport puts an edge on powertrain responsiveness and Eco mode operates the powertrain at its most efficient level.
As on the two-row RX 350, the RX 350L is available with front-wheel drive or available Dynamic Torque Control All Wheel Drive. Under normal cruising conditions, the system engages front-wheel drive to help reduce fuel consumption.
Continuously taking input from various sensors (such as wheel speed, engine RPM, steering angle, throttle opening angle and yaw rate), Dynamic Torque Control AWD actively governs torque distribution to the rear wheels using an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential. When the vehicle is accelerating, the system automatically shifts to AWD to help prevent front-wheel slippage. While cruising, the system reverts to FWD, and when sensors detect wheel slippage, it can vary front to rear torque distribution from 100:0 to 50:50. The 4.2” TFT multi-information display conveys torque-distribution status (front to rear, and side to side).