Seven reasons to take your entire family on an RXL test drive
You’re quite an influential person.

In this case, we’re not only referring to your professional and personal life. As a Lexus driver, you also have major influence with Lexus, and the suggestions you make to your dealer are definitely heard, and can even affect new Lexus vehicles.

The latest example: the new three-row Lexus RX 350L, which debuted at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show. Many drivers have been asking for a third-row RX, which is why Lexus engineers have been working hard to design both the RX 350L and RX 450hL—and bring them to a Lexus dealership near you. A few RXL highlights:

1. You can transport a youth basketball team: The RX 350L’s standard third-row seat configuration allows for seven passengers (for team-driver reference, that’s one parent driver, five players, and a substitute). But no matter whom they regularly transport to practices, recitals, or getaways, families who already like the RX SUV now have the option to take advantage of more space and seating.

2. The third row is easy to access: The standard seven-seat version employs a 40/20/40 split bench-type second row seat; a simple lever touch slides and folds the second seats forward for fluid access to the third row. For the RX 350L, Lexus designers also created an optional six-seat configuration with second row captain’s chairs* that allow for “walk-in” access to the third row. (Note that captain’s chairs are standard on the RX 450hL.)

3. That third row is also superbly comfortable: When designing the RXL’s third-row seating, the Lexus design team aimed to give it the same level of comfort as the middle row. To that end, the team raised the second row slightly higher than the third row, which creates ample third-row foot room. A tri-zone climate control system gives third-row passengers their own heating and air conditioning vents.

4. You’ve got rear cargo-space options: The two third row seats fold individually or together to reveal a flat load floor; the seat-folding is power activated, as is the vehicle’s tailgate.

5. There’s more room for a sharp-looking exterior: Going long gave RXL designers a larger exterior canvas to work with (and for those of you who like numbers, the RXL’s body length is about 4.3 inches longer than the RX). The tailgate window angle is a bit steeper than the two-row models, which has the dual effect of adding to the aerodynamic look and creating more headroom for third-row passengers. Side note: the RXL will offer 10 color options with scratch-resistant/self-restoring paint technology, which helps guard against scratches and other light dings).

6. The RXL comes with the same tech as the two-row RX: For starters, there’s the standard Display Audio system with an eight-inch screen, voice recognition, HD Radio™*, and Bluetooth® audio.* There’s also an optional Navigation Package* that comes with a 12.3-inch split-screen multimedia display and Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface* (for controlling the nav system, climate, and audio systems). The package comes with a 12-speaker premium audio system, although an optional 15-speaker Mark Levinson® Premium Surround System* is also offered with the navigation system. You’ll also find four USB ports: two in the front row and two in the second row.

7. It’s also filled with active and passive safety features: Both RXL models offer Enform Safety Connect* and Enform Service Connect*, which are complimentary for the first 10 years of vehicle ownership (both were previously offered with a one-year trial). Also present: 10 airbags, including full-length side curtain airbags* that cover all three rows, as well as Lexus Safety System+*, which includes the Pre-Collision System* with Pedestrian Detection*, Lane Keep Assist*, Intelligent High Beams*, and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.* The RX 450hL Hybrid comes standard with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)* with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.*

Look for your local dealership to have the RX 350L on hand starting in January 2018; the model will have a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $47,670 (FWD) and $49,070 (AWD).* The RX 450hL arrives in spring 2018.

By Brian Gill