Although very popular, the Lexus RX has always been a five-passenger crossover SUV. In previous years, people who need a three-row vehicle had to look for a traditional SUV like the Lexus LX 570, or a completely different luxury brand. However that changed with the stretched 2018 Lexus RX 350L.
Basically, the 2018 RX 350L is a twin of its two-line sibling, with almost all the same standard and optional features and with many of the same virtues. That means quiet interiors, high quality materials and good building quality. The main difference is that it has a third row seat.
Lexus placed the third row by making the RX 350L 4.4 inches longer than the regular RX 350. Length is all behind the vehicle, because Lexus chose to keep the RX 350L wheelbase remains the same as the standard RX. This choice results in both positives and negatives side.
On the positive side, the 2018 RX 350L remains easy to drive. It’s not as sluggish as the Lexus LX 570 SUV. But a fixed wheelbase means Lexus does not have so much interior space to squeeze in the third row. The third row seats are narrow, and adults will be very difficult to fit in there. The addition of the third row also reduces leg space in the second and front rows, and the cargo space increases a bit.
No doubt the 2018 RX 350L will be very interesting if you always want a Lexus with the ability to carry some extra passengers. But for a more dedicated family vehicle in luxury class, you might be more interested in one of the competitors like the Acura MDX or Volvo XC90.
Trim and Features
The 2018 Lexus RX 350L is a seven-passenger luxury crossover available in base and Luxury trim. The optional second-row captain chairs reducing seating capacity to six.
Standard equipment for the base 350L includes keyless ignition and entry, 18-inch wheels, LED foglights automatic LED headlights, LED running lights, automatic high beams, rear privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering wheel, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, a 40/20/40-split rear seat and a power-folding third-row seat.
Standard tech features include a rearview camera, an 8-inch display screen, Safety Connect emergency communications, a smartphone-integrated navigation system, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker sound system. A suite of drive safety aids includes lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic emergency braking.
The optional Premium package adds automatic wipers, a sunroof, roof rails, auto-dimming side mirrors, driver-seat memory functions, a rear-armrest storage compartment and wood trim. The Navigation package adds an integrated navigation system, a larger 12.3-inch display, the Lexus Enform App Suite, the Remote Touch tech interface, voice controls and a 12-speaker sound system. The Navigation package is also available with a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
The 2018 Lexus RX 350L Luxury trim gets all above along with 20-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel, ventilated and heated front seats, four-way lumbar adjustment for the front seats, upgraded leather upholstery, heated second-row seats and rear door sunshades.
Other options include a Cold Weather package, upgraded LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free liftgate, a panoramic-view backup camera, second-row captain chairs, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and automated braking, and a color head-up display.
Every 2018 Lexus RX 350L is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. All-wheel drive is optional. In performance testing, the 2018 Lexus RX 350L with front-wheel drive accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is a slightly below-average for a luxury crossover.
EPA estimated fuel economy rating at 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway) with front-wheel drive, and 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway) with all-wheel drive. Properly equipped, the 2018 Lexus RX 350L has a maximum towing capacity up to 3,500 pounds.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Lexus RX 350L is on sale and arriving now at dealers. Official pricing will start at $47,670 for front-wheel drive and $49,070 for all-wheel drive models. Key competitors include the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90.