2018 Lexus RX L First Look: More Space for the Clan

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Lexus has unveiled the long-awaited three-row variant of the RX crossover, which is called the RX L. Compared to the standard two-row RX, the 2018 Lexus RX L is 4.3 inches longer to accommodate two seats in the third row and a more vertical rear window. Two configurations will be offered when the RX L goes on sale, a seven-passenger model with a bench or six-passenger layout with second-row captain’s chairs. Hybrid variants are only available with the six-passenger configuration. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 upgrade, bringing the price to $50,065. Pricing for the RX 450hL hasn’t been announced

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Like the standard-length RX, two powertrains will be offered including a 3.5-liter V-6 with 290 hp and a 263 lb-ft of torque in the RX 350L and a hybrid powertrain that combines the 3.5-liter V-6 with two electric motors and a nickel-metal hybrid with a total output of 308 hp in the RX 450hL. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard on the RX 350L, but the RX 450hL comes with a CVT. Front-wheel drive comes standard on the RX 350L, and all-wheel drive is optional. All RX 450hL models come standard with all-wheel drive. The RX 350L comes with drive modes—Normal, Sport, and Eco—and the RX 450hL adds a fourth, EV mode.

To make the RX L more family-friendly, the seven-seat variant features standard 40/20/40 split-folding second-row seats. It also features a single lever to move the seat out of the way for access to the third row. Six-passenger variants with the second-row captain’s chairs have a large separation between the seats to allow third-row passengers to enter without needing to the move the seat out of the way. Lexus raised the second row to add more foot space for third-row passengers and to give it the same level of comfort as other seats in the car.

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Standard features in the base 2018 Lexus RX 350L include leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, power-folding third-row seats, a power tailgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/start, a rearview camera, and LED headlights. All RX Ls come standard with the Lexus Safety System+ suite, which bundles together lane keep assist with steering assist, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, and the Pre-Collision System (forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking) with pedestrian detection. Optional features include a head-up display, a Mark Levinson premium audio system, navigation with a 12.3-inch screen and Lexus’ touchpad/mouselike controls, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree camera system, and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Expect the 2018 Lexus RX L to go on sale early next year, slotting between the two-row RX and the larger GX.

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