Lexus dealerships wanted a three-row crossover. They got it. Now they have a hybrid variant to sell.
Lexus dealerships across the US were clamoring for a three-row luxury crossover their customers demanded. Problem was, Lexus didn’t have one to sell. That is until the RX L debuted, which is now on sale in dealerships. But what about a hybrid variant? Well, it’s here now and Lexus has just announced official pricing at this month’s Chicago Auto Show. The 2018 Lexus RX 450hL (the standard RX L is pictured here) with standard all-wheel drive will have a starting MSRP of $50,620 (not including a $995 handling fee).
Lexus points out that’s only $1,550 more than the RX 350L AWD. The new RX 450hL will come standard with second-row captain’s chairs, leather-trimmed seats, and driver’s seat, side mirror and steering wheel memory. For those who seek additional pampering, there’s the Luxury Package for an additional $3,935. It includes semi-aniline trimmed seats, interior LED ambient illumination, manual rear door sunshades, laser-cut wood trim with aluminum, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a heated wood steering wheel. Regardless of trim, all 450hLs are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine combined with a pair of high-torque electric drive motor generators for a combined output of 308 hp.
There’s also an EV mode enabling the crossover to drive under electric power only, but at lower speeds and for fairly short journeys. Compared to the standard length RX, all RX Ls feature an extended body length of 4.3 inches at the rear. There’s also a steeper tailgate window angle compared to the two-row model. This was done in order to provide additional headroom for third-row occupants. Lexus claims access to that third-row is made easier thanks to a lever that allows the second-row seats to slide forward. We have yet to test the RX L and try this for ourselves, so we’ll have to take Lexus’ word that it’s an easy thing to do for now.
Because the second-row is slightly raised, there’s additional third-row foot space. Tri-zone climate control allows all occupants to settle on a suitable temperature. Along with standard safety features such as pre-collision warning lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and parking assist, the RX continues to be one of the segments safest offerings. The 2018 Lexus RX 450hL is set to go on sale this April.