Lexus launches 7-seat RX crossover
Lexus has launched a refreshed version of its bestselling RX crossover with three-row seating. The new RX is longer by 110mm and features a steeper tailgate window angle than on the two-row models, mostly keeping the look of the original. Here’s the news from Lexus:
Families will now be able to enjoy more space with their luxury utility vehicle of choice thanks to the new three‑row Lexus RX “L” models. The RX created the luxury crossover segment 20 years ago and has reigned supreme as the most popular luxury utility vehicle on the US market. The 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL models retain their stylish figures, but now offer the choice of seven‑passenger capability.
Function and Fashion
With the new RX L models, Lexus drivers will now have the option of a third row without compromising the sleek styling and easy maneuverability that they have long valued. With help through the mastery of vehicle packaging, Lexus extended the body length by 110mm (4.3 inches) at the rear and used a steeper tailgate window angle than on the two-row models – ensuring good headroom for third-row passengers and enhanced cargo versatility behind the third row.
The seven-seat version uses a 60/40 split bench-type seat. Access to the third row is made easy with the pull of a lever that slides the second row seat forward.
With a longer cargo floor area behind its third row than competitors offer, the RX L offers greater cargo versatility.
Lexus designed the third row of the RX L models to offer the same comfort and luxury as in the middle row. The positioning of the second row is slightly higher than the third row, creating more foot room for rear passengers. Standard leather upholstery is available in a range of colors. A tri‑zone climate control system gives third-row passengers separate rear air conditioning and dedicated vents, and for convenience, a power-folding third-row seat and smart power tailgate are available on the RX L models (placing a hand near the Lexus emblem opens or closes the tailgate).
Details that enhance three-row versatility in the RX L models include a flat load floor behind the folded third-row, a pair of third‑row cupholders, an easily stowable tonneau cover and covered slide rails.
Lexus Signature Design
The 2018 RX L models offer the same award-winning safety, style, luxury, and performance as the two-row versions. The trend-setting combination of SUV versatility and luxury sedan-like comfort comes packaged in the brand’s dramatic mix of sharp creases and curves. The Lexus signature spindle grille, a focal point, is set off by an elegant chrome-plated surround and. Available L-shaped premium LED headlights use three unique L-shaped elements per side.
The RX L models’ elegantly blacked‑out C‑pillars create a floating-roof effect. The spindle theme repeats at the rear, with L‑shaped LED taillights enveloping the tailgate and wrapping into the rear fenders. Available 20‑inch wheel designs enhance the powerful-looking stance. All RX paint colours feature a scratch-resistant self-restoring coat, using high-performance macromolecular polymer.
In the 2018 three-row RX L models, the full-length side curtain airbags cover all three rows.
The Lexus Safety System + that is standard for most markets includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) and Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with corrective steering input, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and All-Speed Adaptive Cruise Control.
Available on higher grades are Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Panoramic View Monitor (PVM), Intelligent Parking Sensor (IPS), Rear Cross Traffic Braking and Adaptive High Beam System (AHS).
The 2018 Lexus RX 350L offers plenty of power to go with its seven-passenger room and added cargo capacity. The 3.5‑litre V6 employs the advanced D-4S fuel injection system, which combines direct and port fuel injection systems. To maximize efficiency, Variable Valve Timing with intelligence Wide (VVT‑iW) is used on the intake camshaft, along with VVT‑i on the exhaust camshaft, allowing the engine to switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles.
The result is 216kW (294hp) and 358Nm of torque, with performance and efficiency optimized by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Use of regular-grade petrol is a boon to customer value. Using Drive Mode Select, the RX 350L driver can exert more control by choosing from among four driving modes. Normal provides an ideal everyday balance of performance and energy conservation. Sport / Sport+ mode puts an edge on powertrain responsiveness, and ECO mode operates the powertrain at its most efficient level.
As on the two-row RX 350, the RX 350L is available with Dynamic Torque Control AWD. Under normal cruising conditions, the system engages front-wheel drive to help reduce fuel consumption.
Continuously taking input from various sensors (such as wheel speed, engine RPM, steering angle, throttle opening angle and yaw rate), Dynamic Torque Control AWD actively governs torque distribution to the rear wheels using an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential. When the vehicle is accelerating, the system automatically shifts to AWD to help prevent front-wheel slippage. While cruising, the system reverts to FWD, and when sensors detect wheel slippage, it can vary front to rear torque distribution from 100:0 to 50:50. The 4.2” TFT multi-information display conveys torque-distribution status (front to rear, and side to side).
Luxury buyers in Western Europe seeking for a family three-row vehicle will find the ideal travel mate in the 2018 Lexus RX 450hL. The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S injection 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators, producing 313 combined system horsepower for strong acceleration and passing performance.
The AWD system is unique to the hybrid model. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels used on RX 350L AWD models, an independent rear-mounted electric motor drives the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
In the RX 450hL, the Drive Mode Select system adds a fourth mode, EV, that enables the vehicle to drive under electric power at lower speeds for short distances. It’s an excellent way to navigate a large parking lot or garage, or to run a local errand.
Ride and Handling
All onboard the 7-passenger 2018 Lexus RX L models will experience the same luxuriously smooth, quiet ride as the two-row models offer. Front strut and rear double-wishbone suspension systems ensure agility and exemplary ride compliance over all types of surfaces. Electric Power Steering (EPS) yields a light and comfortable steering feel with excellent feedback. Available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) adjusts the damping force according to road surface conditions.
Impeccable Cabin Design and Luxury
The RX cabin is designed with impeccable details, including form-fitting seats, and the available richly finished wood trim that curves gently up from the centre console toward the glove box.
Available interior ornamentation includes Matte Bamboo, Walnut, Dark Brown Shimamoku, 3D Film and Laser Cut Dark Wood. For the 3D Film on the base model, a glossy black three-dimensional embossed pattern is applied to create a high-quality film design with a sense of depth.
An available full-colour Head-Up Display (HUD) incorporated into the design of the instrument panel can project key information on the windshield to help the driver focus on the road.
From powerful audio to cutting-edge displays, the multimedia choices available for the 2018 Lexus RX L models cover all needs. The standard Display Audio system includes an eight-inch screen, AM/FM Radio, Bluetooth audio, voice recognition microphone, micro SD card slot, an AUX mini jack, two USB ports and nine speakers. The driver will find frequently used switches placed close at hand for convenience. Middle-row USB ports enable passengers to use and charge their own multimedia devices.
The luxury grade offers as standard audiophile-quality mobile sound with the available 835‑watt, 15‑speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System in conjunction with either navigation system. Advanced Clari‑Fi compressed music restoration technology instills new life into digital music files.
Also available, the industry’s first 12.3 inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display offers a full-screen navigation map or can provide simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and various systems. The option includes the easy-to-use, mouse-like Remote Touch Interface.
The RX 450hL, the most powerful and most fuel-efficient RX model, includes as option the heated/ventilated front seats and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Braking.