A bigger rear end should make a killing for Lexus. Go figure.
After spending decades indoctrinating buyers with a lust for its crossovers, Lexus has taken the stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil an upgraded version of the car that it’s trained these consumers to purchase. The new Lexus RX L solves the main problem the standard RX has: lack of a third row for extra passengers. That, plus a modest 18.4 cubic feet of cargo space aft of the rear seats, made the RX feel like little more than a taller version of a Lexus sedan.
By stretching the rear of the RX by 4.3-inches, Lexus has managed to solve this by cramming a third row into the crossover. That saves fans of the L badge the hassle of having to opt for the pricer GX or from shopping at competing dealerships for something that’ll haul the entire family. By not tinkering with the wheelbase, handling dynamics should remain fairly consistent between the RX and RX L. Like the standard RX, the RX L can be had with either a 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 in RX 350L guise or with an electric powertrain supplementing the same V6 for a total of 308 horsepower in the RX 450hL. All-wheel drive is standard for the hybrid model but the RX 350L can be had with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Ingress and egress for third row occupants should be no chore at all thanks to a leaver that slides and folds the second row seats forward, but those who opt for the six-seat configuration that swaps the second row bench seat from the seven-seat RX L for two captain’s chairs can get in and out without touching any buttons. Ensuring that space constraints don’t segregate the cabin with zones of varying comfort, Lexus raised the second row seats slightly to add third row foot space before throwing two cupholders in the rear for good measure. For the privilege of the extra seats, Lexus is only asking buyers to shell out an extra $4,450, which they can do when the RX L hits dealerships in December.