Called the RX L, the new model retains the front styling of the regular RX but adds a slightly taller rear roofline, longer cargo area, and more upright tailgate to create a new seven-seat version.
The RX range now includes longer RX 350L V6 and RX 450hL hybrid variants with a reprofiled rump stretched to accommodate an additional row of seats.
On sale now from $84,700 plus on-road costs ($3300 more than five-seat models), the seven-seat RX L variants add versatility to the brand’s family-friendly crossover.
The new model is available in two trims, Luxury and Sport Luxury, while the F Sport trim and base model four-cylinder turbo petrol engine won’t be offered on the upsized model.
Luxury models are equipped with 20-inch wheels, leather trim for the first two rows of seating, 10-way power front seats, an 8-inch stereo display with a reversing camera and 12 speakers, three-zone climate control, LED headlamps, and a powered tailgate.
The RX L Luxury can also be upgraded with a $3500 enhancement pack adding a colour head-up display, moonroof and smart keys.
The flagship RX L Sport Luxury starts from $101,500 plus on-road costs and comes with 14-way electric adjustment for the front seats, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, 12.3-inch display screen, multi-mode suspension and a panoramic view monitor.
The interior features laser-cut aluminium wood trim, a leather and wood-accented steering wheel, and rear sunshades. Adaptive LED headlamps, smartkey entry, colour head-up display, and moonroof are also included.
Safety kit for both models includes 10 airbags and Lexus Safety Sense+ system featuring autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active cruise control, lane keeping assistance, rear parking sensors and more.
Both versions feature naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engines, though the hybrid model’s high-compression Atkinson cycle version is geared more toward efficiency than power.
Lexus’ standard engine for the RX 350L makes 216kW and 358Nm, outputs that are a little down on the 5kW more powerful five-seat version, which uses a free-flowing twin exhaust system that wouldn’t fit under the seven-seater’s new rear end.
The RX 450hL blends a thrifty V6 producing 193kW and 335Nm with front and rear-mounted electric motors capable of producing up to 123kW and 50kW, respectively.
While that sounds exciting, the RX 450hL’s peak combined output is a sensible 230kW. Whichever way you go, Lexus claims a 200km/h top speed for the RX L, along with the ability to dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in eight seconds.
Likewise, both models can tow up to 1500 kilograms.
The big difference lies at the petrol pump, where the RX 350L uses 10.2L/100km, well up from the hybrid’s 6.0L/100km claimed fuel use. While that gulf helps account for the $16,800 price difference between the two, Lexus expects the petrol model to outsell hybrids two-to-one.
It says the seven-seat model should represent around one-in-five RX sales. The new model is on sale now.
2018 Lexus RX L pricing
RX 350L Luxury - $84,700
RX 450hL Luxury - $93,440
RX 350L Sports Luxury - $101,500
RX 450hL Sport Luxury - $110,240
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