Tuesday, July 31, 2018

2018 Lexus RX 350L: The Brand's All-New Seven Seater Crossover/SUV

Highlight: This is the first time the popular RX crossover adds a third row.

Vehicle’s MSRP: $52,720 (Base Model: $48,695)

Seating Capacity: Up To Seven

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; heated outside mirrors; first aid kit; electric parking brakes; vehicle stability control; traction control; forward collision warning; automatic braking; pedestrian system; a radar activated cruise control system; a lane departure alert system; lane keep assist system; rear seat seatbelt indicator; and a tire pressure monitoring system  

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheels; a rear privacy glass; automatic headlights; power rear door; a keyless entry system; an automatic dual zone climate control system; an automatic rearview mirror with a compass; 8-speed automatic transmission; power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; rear a/c vents; fuel saving start-stop technology; leather seats; power front seats; folding rear seats; and third row seats

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a blind spot monitor with rear traffic cross alert; heated and ventilated front seats; a touch free power rear door; and a 12-speaker Lexus audio system

Other Trim Level:

Luxury trim

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 9-speaker AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/295-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: The big news this model year is the addition of the much anticipated extended RX crossover, which squeezes in a third row.

Why: Lexus most popular crossover is still available in a front wheel drive and an all wheel drive configuration. For the first time, a third row is now available.

The space age looking crossover is available in a base and a luxury trim. As with the case of the RX, the extended version provides a great ride that soaks up every bump on the road.

With the stretched RX, there is now additional cargo room in the RX, when the third-row is folded flat. The RX 350L provides additional utility for hauling objects in the rear of the vehicle, while still accommodating up to five occupants.

Base pricing for Lexus’ first three row crossover is a bargain, especially, when compared to other crossovers. In fact,  GM’s trio of three-row crossovers, the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave and the GMC Acadia Denali seems to bump up against or in the case of the Buick exceeds the pricing of the RX 350L we reviewed.

For the driver, the RX continues to offer the latest high tech features, a gigantic tablet-like infotainment screen and a well-balanced sound system.

But: While Lexus finally has a three-row, car-based crossover, its takes a lot of maneuvering to seat large adults in both the second and third row simultaneously. Thankfully the second row slides forward in order to accommodate two occupants in the third row. Possibly, the best scenario is to place adults in the second row, while seating small kids in the third row. We can’t imagine an average size adult taking a road trip, while being seated in both the second and third rows.

Moreover, with the third row in use, the cargo room is severely limited and the horsepower drops from 295 to 290, when comparing the short wheel base RX to the extended version.

Furthermore, Lexus’ massive spindle grille still is somewhat controversial. Either folks will love it, hate it or just tolerate it.

Lastly, the infotainment system can be controlled by the sensitive mouse pad (or the much welcome knobs).

Verdict: Lexus has finally joined the three-row crossover craze with one of its most popular vehicles. The downside is that it might not be able to accommodate average size adults when both the second and third rows are both occupied for an extended trip, due to the limited interior space despite the vehicle being lengthen.

However, for buyers who love the RX and are seeking additional cargo room, the RX L is a winner.

Competition:  Acura MDX; Audi Q7; Buick Enclave; and Infiniti QX70

1 comment:

Calla said...

Taxi drivers would love that