Lexus RX: Fourth GenerationSpy Shots

Three Row Lexus RX Spotted in Southern California

Lexus RX L Exterior

Automotive News has detailed spy shots of the upcoming three-row Lexus RX, including some photos of the interior:

Lexus RX L Box

Lexus RX L Seats 1

Lexus RX L Seats 2

To accommodate that third row, the RX-L has a longer rear overhang and a boxier angle to the roof — this looks to be the extent of the changes, though it’s possible the new model may bring a mid-cycle refresh along with the extra room.

The powertrains will likely remain the same — there should be a RX 350L and hybrid RX 450hL to mirror the standard version of the crossover. Automotive News expects to see the extended RX at an auto show this year, with a release soon after.

(Thanks Supra93 & LexusTechSA!)

Comments
maiaramdan
I wish if Lexus postponed it totally till the next generation RX
This is pure definition of mess
I agree... this seems like a disaster and Lexus is trying really hard to make this solution work. There are a lot of things about this that seem strange to me... floating C pillar, large front overhang, huge rear overhang, and based on pics... the third row looks almost unusable.

How does this look so wrong when the Highlander gets it so right?

The thing is it doesn't matter what it looks like. Look at all these SUVs people buy them no matter what. It might not be a looker but it is going to sell and its going to hit the Enclave/MDX/QX60 immediately. It will also hit the GX as well.

I assume the seats will fold flat. I'm really curious how this is going to work as the RX is a ton bigger than in the past but doesn't feel super roomy inside.
L
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  • August 23, 2017
Proportions look very good. But I think Subaru Ascent will be best in class.
The RXL still looks miles better than its competitors in the price range, keep in mind the RX is essentially a FWD car of course it will have long overhangs. People don't buy the third role to seat people, it's more of an extra feature that people like to have on their SUV. BIGGER = BETTER for potential buyers
M
Is the US spec Lexus RXL still going to be made in Canada or is it still going to be made in Japan?
Michael
Is the US spec Lexus RXL still going to be made in Canada or is it still going to be made in Japan?
An excellent question. My best guess is that it will be built primarily if not exclusively in Canada, but I could be wrong. The answer will probably come during its unveiling, most likely at the Tokyo Motor Show in late October.
M
I hope the new long wheelbase RX is made in Canada or in the Toyota's Indiana plant where Toyota manufacture the Highlander.
C
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    CIF
  • August 23, 2017
Seriously though, is this some kind of joke? The rear area looks only a tiny bit bigger than the current model. So essentially most of the cargo room will now be taken up by a tiny 3rd row while leaving almost no actual usable cargo room? This is the worst of both worlds. I understand that dealers and customers have been pleading with Lexus for many years now for a CUV with a proper 3rd row. I understand the time pressure Lexus is under. This does not look like a proper 3rd row at all.

There's too many doubts and what look like compromises with this thing so far. Could they not have stretched the K platform any further? Is this the max it can go? Would it have been too expensive to further stretch? Is there a point in releasing this RX L in the coming year, versus waiting a few more years and just designing it properly on a TNGA platform?

I just don't get it.

krew
NO IT'S AMAZING.

LOOK AT THAT APPROACH ANGLE.
Lol good one krew :D.
CIF
...Could they not have stretched the K platform any further? Is this the max it can go? Would it have been too expensive to further stretch? Is there a point in releasing this RX L in the coming year, versus waiting a few more years and just designing it properly on a TNGA platform? If engines are going to be the same, that won't be enough for this bigger, heavier RX.
The longest-wheelbase version of the K platform is the current Toyota Sienna minivan, with a wheelbase 9.5" longer than the current RX and Highlander. So, yes, they could've stretched it if they'd wanted to. And, being blunt, I won't disagree that the RX L appears to have been a rushed, half-assed effort done as cheaply and expediently as possible to satisfy the clamor of U.S. Lexus dealers crying out for a crossover SUV with a third row seat at least marginally roomier and more comfortable than that in the body-on-frame GX.
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  • August 23, 2017
Joaquin Ruhi
The longest-wheelbase version of the K platform is the current Toyota Sienna minivan, with a wheelbase 9.5" longer than the current RX and Highlander. So, yes, they could've stretched it if they'd wanted to. And, being blunt, I won't disagree that the RX L appears to have been a rushed, half-assed effort done as cheaply and expediently as possible to satisfy the clamor of U.S. Lexus dealers crying out for a crossover SUV with a third row seat at least marginally roomier and more comfortable than that in the body-on-frame GX.
Thanks, I forgot that the Sienna wheelbase was that much longer than the RX and Highlander. So yes then that seals it. From the photos, the wheelbase does look smaller than the Sienna. So this only reinforces the suspicion that this is a weak, rushed effort from Lexus.
C
Guys, I'm not getting all the speculative concern on the RX L when we have little information and of course no automotive reviews.

At this time, my impression is positive in that it looks to be about 7-8 inches stretched at the rear while still retaining most of it's signature sloped rear design to meet some form of 3-row needs. MDX, QX60, and Q7 are boxier in design and may have slightly roomier rears but when has that stopped the current 2-row RX buyers from being the best seller among 2-row boxier-cargo competitors? The competition has lots to worry about. :p :thumbsup:
Keep in mind that we should have had a new GX this year for 2018. Point being, Lexus had plenty of time to perfect the formula of a roomy three row midsize vehicle and they simply failed. Even if the GX went over to a FWD TNGA platform (WORST CASE SCENARIO EVER AND I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR THIS), or a RWD GA-L platform, or stayed BOF, Lexus had better options than what we see here in pics. They just chose to take the easy way out.

At a bare minimum, they could have massively overhauled the GX with a standard V6, updated V8, updated exterior styling, changed the dashboard and dropped the price point a bit further and that would have probably been a better solution than "RX L." Even if the GX died off in the future, this solution would have bought Lexus time to engineer a better RX/RX L on TNGA for ~2021 or so.

I found an early design sketch of the RX L:

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  • August 24, 2017
corradoMR2
Guys, I'm not getting all the speculative concern on the RX L when we have little information and of course no automotive reviews.

At this time, my impression is positive in that it looks to be about 7-8 inches stretched at the rear while still retaining most of it's signature sloped rear design to meet some form of 3-row needs. MDX, QX60, and Q7 are boxier in design and may have slightly roomier rears but when has that stopped the current 2-row RX buyers from being the best seller among 2-row boxier-cargo competitors? The competition has lots to worry about. :p :thumbsup:
I wish I could be as optimistic as you in this case.

The RX is rather unique in that it is "right sized" for many people. It is larger than the typical 2-row competitors in class, but it is smaller than the 3-row competitors in class. So why is the RX considered right-sized? It is because it can seat 5 people fairly comfortably, and while still having a decent amount of cargo space in the back. Other 2-row competitors typically have smaller cargo room in the back. Lexus from the beginning had a great formula with the RX and never wavered. Lexus is the pioneer, as they created the luxury crossover segment with the RX.

So now let's look at this coming RX L. Let's say it has been stretched about 7-8 inches based off photos, which seems reasonable. Based on spy shots and rumors, the rear will be less sloped than a regular RX, but still somewhat sloped. There is no way Lexus is going to make a completely boxy rear on the RX L as that will clash style-wise with the rest of the vehicle. The RX is about 8 inches shorter than the Q7, and QX60. It is about 4 inches shorter than the MDX. Also importantly, it is about 10 inches shorter than the GLS. Some consider the GLS to be the top dog in terms of 3-row luxury crossovers. It is priced much, much higher than the RX. Price-wise it sits neatly between the GX and LX, and it outsells the GX and LX combined. Then you have the oddball X5, which I don't include in this comparison. It is about the same length as the RX, but RWD based, more performance-oriented, and an optional 3rd row is available. The Q7, QX60, and GLS are also taller than the RX, the GLS significantly so. The MDX is about the same height.

So arguably the main competitors to the RX and RX L which include the MDX, QX60, Q7 and GLS are anywhere from 4-10 inches longer. However they are all much more boxy in styling, and also importantly they are all much wider than the RX. That adds to both passenger comfort and cargo area. The RX is quite narrow in terms of width. Not to mention the 3-row competition being taller than the RX, with the exception of the MDX.

I have spent lots of time in the 4RX both as a driver and passenger. It's comfortable from a space standpoint, but to echo mikeavelli's post, the 4RX is quite large compared to the 1RX, yet it doesn't feel super roomy inside. The 4RX feels roomy enough, and cozy, but not super roomy. Part of that is the very edgy styling, and part of that is the narrow width.

So does the competition have lots to worry about? Of course, the RX is hands down the pioneering top dog in overall luxury crossover sales. Also in this current market just about any crossover sells. Is that though the standard that Lexus should aim for and aspire to? A bare minimum rush job that meets "some form" of 3rd row needs? Certainly I feel that would be a borderline embarrassing standard for Lexus to aspire to. Also given the legacy, heritage, and reputation of the RX, my expectations of an RX L would be that it be "right sized" just like the regular RX. That means having enough space for 3rd row passengers *and* still having some decent cargo room. That means a length or wheelbase increase of 7-8 inches is not enough. Given how narrow the 4RX is, at minimum I personally feel a 10 inch wheelbase increase would be needed, and a 12-15 inch interior length increase as a bare minimum. Given that the 4RX has very edgy/swoopy styling compared to the competition, the same sort of length and wheelbase the competitors have can't really be applied to the 4RX.

Ideally though, what Lexus should be doing is making a proper RX L on TNGA. That includes making the RX much wider than it currently is, and giving the RX L a long enough wheelbase so that large overhangs do not become a big problem. Not only are large overhangs a problem stylistically, but also practically. Larger overhangs make it more of a hassle in day-to-day situations, including with approach and departure angles and a more boaty feel due to more weight at the 4 corners. The 4RX is great as-is for a 2-row crossover, but I feel it is a bad starting point for a 3-row crossover. The wheelbase, the various proportions and dimensions I feel just aren't suited for a proper 3-row crossover. We can see from the latest spy shots how tight that 3rd row area looks.

So in summation, I feel this coming RX L will not be "right sized" for 3 rows due to the above points, unlike the current regular RX being right sized for 2 rows.
Am not into SUV. but just another way of looking at it.

The RX should be up for redesign in 2021. so it won't make any sense for them to put all that money to produce a LWB RX from ground up just to redesign it again in 2-3 years.

Also, some of us are wondering how this would affect the GX (ES and GS dilemma) so its only reasonable to give it a trial and see how people accept it.

just my .2
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  • August 24, 2017
bogglo
Am not into SUV. but just another way of looking at it.

The RX should be up for redesign in 2021. so it won't make any sense for them to put all that money to produce a LWB RX from ground up just to redesign it again in 2-3 years.

Also, some of us are wondering how this would affect the GX (ES and GS dilemma) so its only reasonable to give it a trial and see how people accept it.

just my .2
One can argue why didn't an RX L debut with the 4RX in the first place? The fact that Lexus is bringing an RX L mid cycle into the 4RX product cycle tells me that they were dragging their feet. For a "trial run" it would have made more sense to debut the RX L with the 4RX in the first place. That would have given Lexus more time to directly gauge consumer reception to it, while having enough time to properly plan a next-gen RX L on TNGA. The fact that the RX is getting redesigned in 2-3 years means whatever consumer data they get from this RX L is meaningless, as the 5RX is deep in R&D and likely is not far off a design freeze.

To be fair, the GX serves a different purpose than the RX. It has much more tougher styling vs the sleeker styling of the RX. The GX price gap to the regular RX is also higher than the ES and GS price gap.

There were worries the NX was going to cut into RX sales. None of that happened.

The GS and ES case I feel is unique.
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  • August 25, 2017

Land Cruiser Prado / GX (?) will 3rd facelift will be revealed in in October 2017. When we'll see first spyshots of new Land Cruiser /LX, we'll know we are about a year or two from sale. New Land Cruiser / LX is to remain BOF but with IFS and IRS. New Prado / GX (after) could remain BOF or might become unibody on new platform, RWD of FWD based. Remember the Pajero was BOF, but became unibody with independent suspension. It is the best non-BOF non SA (solid axle) off-road car, more than 10 years, no successor in sight, and still well selling. GX and LX are too similar, and RX to "cheap". RX should be unibody FWD-based AWD/PHEV AWD/RxEV AWD/BEV AWD, GX should be unibody RWD-based 4WD, and LX BOF RWD-based 4WD. 70 Series can remain the BOF SA workhorse, but with newer design. 70 Series but also all the other trucks are probably the biggest money makers for Toyota. It would be nice for them to return that money to loyal customer with some better products.
J
it doesn't look half bad to me, but what's stupid is if it doesn't have the facelifted styling what do they plan on doing with the RX L when it's time for the facelifted model? this makes me think the RX is not getting too many changes because of so many people complaining about the facelifted IS and GS models (i like both), the CT and NX didn't change much either for 2018 so i can't imagine the RX is going to get a huge facelift
james_m300
...what's stupid is if it doesn't have the facelifted styling, what do they plan on doing with the RX L when it's time for the facelifted model? This makes me think the RX is not getting too many changes because of so many people complaining about the facelifted IS and GS models (I like both), the CT and NX didn't change much, either ,for 2018, so I can't imagine the RX is going to get a huge facelift
This. The current 4th-gen, 2-row RX is due for its mid-life facelift sometime next year, for the 2019 model year. So is Lexus going to launch RX L with pre-facelift styling cues and features, offer it for a year or even less than that and then facelift it to align with "version 2" of the 4th-gen, 2-row RX? I highly doubt it.

My best guess: RX L will premiere from the get-go with all the "version 2" facelift styling features and upgrades (note that the RX L test mules are fully camoed). The 2018 model year for the 2-row regular RX will be shorter than 12 months, and its 2019 MY "version 2" facelift will go on sale sometime earlier than the traditional August/September 2018 timeframe, to better align with the RX L launch.
Joaquin Ruhi
...
My best guess: RX L will premiere from the get-go with all the "version 2" facelift styling features and upgrades (note that the RX L test mules are fully camoed). The 2018 model year for the 2-row regular RX will be shorter than 12 months, and its 2019 MY "version 2" facelift will go on sale sometime earlier than the traditional August/September 2018 timeframe, to better align with the RX L launch.
This is how I think as well. RX-L will carry the facelift of the 4Gen RX.

I also like thw idea that ".....GX should be unibody RWD-based 4WD".
james_m300
it doesn't look half bad to me, but what's stupid is if it doesn't have the facelifted styling what do they plan on doing with the RX L when it's time for the facelifted model? this makes me think the RX is not getting too many changes because of so many people complaining about the facelifted IS and GS models (i like both), the CT and NX didn't change much either for 2018 so i can't imagine the RX is going to get a huge facelift
Joaquin Ruhi
My best guess: RX L will premiere from the get-go with all the "version 2" facelift styling features and upgrades (note that the RX L test mules are fully camoed). The 2018 model year for the 2-row regular RX will be shorter than 12 months, and its 2019 MY "version 2" facelift will go on sale sometime earlier than the traditional August/September 2018 timeframe, to better align with the RX L launch.
Yeah, putting out an RXL with the existing design and then changing it a year later strikes me as a surefire way to alienate consumers. What @Joaquin Ruhi proposes makes sense to me -- a short 2018 model year for the standard RX followed by a new RX/RXL early next year.
Joaquin Ruhi
My best guess: RX L will premiere from the get-go with all the "version 2" facelift styling features and upgrades (note that the RX L test mules are fully camoed). The 2018 model year for the 2-row regular RX will be shorter than 12 months, and its 2019 MY "version 2" facelift will go on sale sometime earlier than the traditional August/September 2018 timeframe, to better align with the RX L launch.
Lexus actually has historical precedents for this. The mid-cycle facelift for the previous (3rd) generation RX was unveiled in March 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, and that facelifted 2013 RX went on sale the following month. I clearly recall that the two following model years (2014 and 2015) were launched in May, as opposed to the usual August/September. Will history repeat?

J
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