The RX 350 is the golden goose of the Lexus lineup. After debuting 20 years in the past, the luxurious crossover trailblazer has develop into the top-selling mannequin within the Lexus lineup — to not point out the best-selling luxurious automobile, full cease. That sort of success is one thing all automakers are foaming on the mouth to emulate.

With a agency grip on the five-passenger luxurious crossover area, Lexus now turns its consideration to the three-row crossover class with an extended RX 350L, which sellers have been clamoring for to tackle the likes of the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60.

Filling a void

Up till now, the one solution to get a Lexus crossover or SUV with three rows of seats was with the body-on-frame GX or gargantuan LX, leaving a large void within the lineup for a extra compliant unibody crossover able to carrying seven. Enter the stretched RX 350L using on the identical 109.Eight-inch wheelbase as the usual RX 350, however with a further Four.Four-inches of size added behind the C pillars to accommodate one other row of seats in the best way again.

The RX 350L’s further size comes behind the rear doorways.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The outcomes are, nicely, cozy. Accessing the rearmost seats is not the simplest, although the second row does slide ahead to assist make getting out and in barely extra manageable. As soon as again there, with a view to present even a sliver of legroom, the center row cannot be moved very far again, which really limits leg area for each rows of rear seats. Actually, individuals intending on utilizing each rear rows of seats will solely be capable of carry young children.

A not-so-usable third row is the results of the RX not being developed from the start to accommodate seven passengers. The rear door openings weren’t designed for individuals entering into and out of a 3rd row and the best way again seats themselves are comically cramped as a result of they have been by no means imagined to be there. As a substitute, it is an afterthought that comes with main packaging trade-offs.

Is there any silver lining to the RX 350L? Sure, for individuals who want to hold greater than 5 passengers as soon as, in an incredible whereas, for very quick distances. However the greatest profit is further area to hold stuff. With rear seats folded down, the common RX 350 presents 56.Three cubic toes of cargo area, whereas the RX L packs 70.7 with each rows of backseats stowed. That stacks up favorably to the MDX’s 68.Four cubic toes of area, however is behind the QX60’s 76.2.

Legroom within the RX 350L’s third row is not precisely plentiful.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

A trademark Lexus

Outdoors the additional physique size behind the rear doorways and compromised third-row seats, the longer RX L seems and operates like an ordinary RX. The distinctive spindle grille stays the design focus with sturdy physique strains jetting off of it. The cabin is a nicely remoted oasis from wind and highway noises boasting comfortable seats and high quality supplies like smooth leathers and trendy matte bamboo trim.

The Enform infotainment system’s large 12.Three-inch middle show, excellent-sounding 12-speaker audio system, navigation and Bluetooth programs are redeeming qualities, however the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities are a serious disappointment. After all, the mouse-like Distant Contact controller interface stays the one greatest strike in opposition to Enform — it is distracting to make use of whereas driving and makes switching between menu screens and getting into navigation locations extra time consuming than it ought to be. Fortunately, Lexus does retain massive customary rotary knobs for quantity and radio tuning.

Ahead collision warning with auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, lane-departure warning with lane-keep help and auto excessive beams are customary on all RX 350Ls and work as marketed. My tester can also be outfitted with elective blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The latter proves helpful numerous instances in parking tons warning me of each vehicles and pedestrians when backing up out of spots in parking tons.

Comfy seats and good supplies, however Distant Contact stays a serious inside problem.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Clean operator

Just like the common RX, the RX 350L is powered by a Three.5-liter V6 working an eight-speed automated gearbox. Entrance-wheel drive is customary, however my tester makes use of all-wheel drive. Oddly, energy is down 5 horsepower in comparison with the usual RX for 290, however torque is similar at 263 pound-feet, returning an estimated 18 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 25 mpg on the freeway. Lexus claims the RX 350L AWD hits 60 miles per hour in a plausible Eight.1 seconds. In stop-and-go motoring, launching from stops is sluggish with the automotive in Regular mode, however livens up in Sport with the engine and transmission all the time working in clean vogue.

Additionally clean is the trip. It is well-damped total, taking over the largest bumps and ruts that Midwest roadways have to supply. The extra forgiving suspension provides solution to some roll by way of corners and steering is calmly weighted and void of any suggestions. However the RX is not sloppy because of extensive Michelin Premier LTX 235/55R20 tires providing respectable grip. It is merely a reliable, comfort-focused luxurious crossover.

How I might spec it

My very best Lexus RX 350L could be an all-wheel drive mannequin to higher take care of Midwest winters, which begins at $49,170, not together with $1,025 for vacation spot (the front-wheel drive RX L is available in at $47,770). To proceed the theme of chilly climate preparation, I am going to add a $150 heated steering wheel, in addition to $640 heated and ventilated entrance seats, although that improve requires me to additionally spec a $810 Premium Package deal that provides a moonroof and fancy inside trim. Since I am an enormous fan of blind-spot monitoring, I need that, and it comes packaged with rear cross-traffic braking and park help for $1,065. All in, my RX 350L stickers for $52,760. My take a look at automotive, in the meantime, punches in at $56,865.

Lexus additionally presents the longer RX in 450hL guise, for $50,720, and with customary all-wheel drive. It makes use of a V6 engine and electrical motor to ship a mixed 308 horsepower, and is estimated to return 31 mpg metropolis, 28 mpg freeway and 30 mpg mixed.

Not prepared for prime time

The excellent news is that Lexus now presents a unibody three-row crossover. The unhealthy information is that it isn’t very useful to maneuver greater than 5 individuals with the rearmost seats shoehorned into the again as an afterthought. Opponents just like the MDX and QX60 designed from the bottom as much as have a 3rd row are merely higher and extra sensible packages.

Lexus sellers and prospects ought to be altering their request and asking the Japanese luxurious automaker for a legit three-row crossover that was conceived from the start. As a substitute they get the RX 350L, which is known as a five-passenger crossover masquerading as a seven-passenger entry.

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