The new Lexus RX L is the first seven-seat Lexus to be sold in Europe. It retains the stylish lines of the current RX but benefits from the increased length and adept interior packaging to provide luxurious accommodation across three rows of seats.
Lexus RX L: Function and fashion
With the RX L model, Lexus gives customers the option of an additional row of seats. In order to achieve this, the body is 110mm longer at the rear and adopts a steeper tailgate window angle. This ensures comfortable leg and headroom for third-row passengers as well as a generous, versatile luggage space – all without compromising the sleek styling of the standard RX.
Access to the third row is easy, with just the pull of a lever required to slide the relevant section of the second-row seats forward. The second row itself is split in a 40:20:40 format to ensure equally easy access from either side of the vehicle. Each of the outer seats of the second row features ISOFIX child seat anchor points.
The two third-row seats offer the same comfort and luxury as those in the second row. The seats are upholstered in leather and occupants benefit from separate air conditioning controls and vents, plus a pair of cup holders. Load space behind the third row is longer than any of its competitors, while the rearmost seats have a power-folding function to create extra luggage space.
The self-charging Lexus Hybrid Drive system in the RX 450hL pairs a D4-S injection 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 37kW hybrid battery powering two high-torque electric drive motor-generators. Together these produce a full system output of 308bhp for strong acceleration and overtaking performance.
E-Four comes as standard on this hybrid model and is different from a traditional all-wheel drive system. Instead of needing transfer gears and a driveshaft to power the rear wheels, E-Four uses an independent rear-mounted electric motor to drive the rear wheels when conditions demand.
Despite the fact that there are two extra seats, generous knee and headroom for everyone and plenty of space for luggage, the car is only 110mm longer than the five-seat model – barely the width of a man’s hand.
In fact, it’s by adding those few extra millimetres that Lexus has gone further than most of its competitors, in effect creating a new body for the RX, rather than trying to squeeze more seats into its existing model.
At first glance, there’s no mistaking that this is an RX, with all the intriguingly elegant and incisive styling that makes it one of the best-looking models in its class. The designers were clear that the RX’s distinctive coupe-like profile had to be preserved.
But look more closely and you will notice that not only is the RX L longer at the rear, but the angle of its tailgate has also been made slightly steeper. That fine adjustment is actually important in making sure there’s comfortable headroom for anyone sitting in the third row of seats. Even more valuable millimetres have been gained simply by moving the rear wiper mechanism from the top to the bottom of the window.
Open the door and you will see just how smart a solution Lexus has come up with to provide a third row of seats and a layout that’s easy to adapt when you need more space for luggage. Raise the seats, or stow one or both of them flat: it just takes the press of a button.
The seats are finished to the same high quality as the rest of the cabin and are comfortable for youngsters or adults for long journeys or shorter trips. The RX L means that when you want a night out with friends, for example, you need only take one car.
The cabin is designed to be a social space, what Lexus designers call a ‘lounge’ effect that’s open and light and where it’s easy for everyone to see what’s happening, share conversations and enjoy the in-car entertainment together on longer journeys.
All information is correct at the time of publishing