FeaturesLexus RX: Fourth Generation

Lexus Reveals Three-Row 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL

Lexus RX L Front

Lexus has just debuted the 2019 three-row Lexus RX L at the Los Angeles Auto Show, so let’s get right to this massive new press release.

Families will now be able to enjoy more space with their luxury utility vehicle 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 market. The 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL models retain their stylish figures, but now offer the choice of six or seven-passenger capability.

Lexus RX L Rear

Once in dealerships late this year, the RX 350L will have a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $47,670* (FWD) and $49,070* (AWD).

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 4.3 inches (110 mm) at the rear and used a steeper tailgate window angle than on the two-row models – ensuring good headroom for third-row passengers.

Lexus RX Tail

The standard seven-seat version uses a 40/20/40 split bench-type second row seat. Access to the third row is made easy with the touch of a lever that slides and folds the second seat forward. The available six-seat configuration features second-row captain’s chairs that make third-row ingress/egress easier with “walk-in” convenience.

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-trimmed upholstery is standard for the first and second rows, in the choice of Black, Stratus Gray, Parchment or Noble Brown.

Lexus RX L Rear Seats

A tri-zone climate control system gives third-row passengers separate heating and air conditioning vents, and for convenience, a power-folding third-row seat and power tailgate are both standard on the RX L models.

Details that enhance three-row versatility in the RX L models include a flat load floor behind the folded third-row, two third-row cupholders, an easily stowable tonneau 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 LUV 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 standard Bi-LED headlights. Available premium LED headlights use three unique L-shaped elements per side.

Lexus RX Spindle Grille

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 ten RX L paint colors feature a scratch-resistant self-restoring coat, using a high-performance macromolecular polymer.

Lexus Safety

In the 2018 RX L models, the full-length side curtain airbags cover all three rows. The standard Lexus Safety System+ includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent High Beams and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Braking are also available. Panoramic View Monitor is an optional feature.

RX 350L: 290-Horsepower V6

The 2018 Lexus RX 350L offers plenty of power to go with its six- or seven- passenger cabin and added cargo capacity. The 3.5-liter V6 employs the advanced D-4S fuel injection system, which combines direct and port fuel injection systems. To maximize efficiency, Variable Valve Timing – Intelligent 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 290 hp and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, with performance and efficiency optimized by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Use of regular-grade gasoline is a boon to customer value. Using Drive Mode Select, the RX 350L driver can exert more control by choosing from among three driving modes. Normal provides an ideal everyday balance of performance and energy conservation, Sport puts an edge on powertrain responsiveness and Eco mode operates the powertrain at its most efficient level.

Lexus RX Tires

As on the two-row RX 350, the RX 350L is available with front-wheel drive or available Dynamic Torque Control All Wheel Drive. 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).

RX 450hL Hybrid with AWD

Luxury buyers seeking an eco-advanced 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 gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators, producing 308 combined system horsepower for strong acceleration and passing performance.

The standard AWD system is unique. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels used on the RX 350 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 6- or 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 type 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.

Lexus RX Tail 2

Impeccable Cabin Design and Luxury

The RX L cabin is designed with impeccable details, including form-fitting seats, and the available richly finished wood trim (Premium and Luxury Packages) that curves gently up from the center console toward the glove box.

Lexus RX Interior

Available interior ornamentation includes Matte Bamboo, Espresso Walnut, Matte Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Striated Black Trim (standard) and laser-etched Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. For the Striated Black Trim 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-color Heads-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.

Multimedia Powerhouse

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, HD Radio™, Scout GPS Link, Bluetooth® audio, voice recognition, 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 Navigation Package upgrades to a 12-speaker premium audio system. Also included, the 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; as well as the mouse-like Remote Touch Interface.

Lexus RX L Interior Rear

The 2018 RX L models offer audiophile-quality mobile sound with the available 835-watt, 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System in conjunction with the navigation system. Advanced Clari-Fi™ compressed music restoration technology instills new life into digital music files.

The new three-row RX L models join the two-row, five-seat RX versions that continue for 2018. All RX models now offer Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect complimentary for the first 10 years of vehicle ownership. Both were previously offered with a one-year trial.

With the new RX 450hL Hybrid, the most powerful and most fuel-efficient RX model, owners will still reap the benefits of the two-row model, such as optional heated/ventilated front seats and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Additional photos and video available at pressroom.lexus.com.

Vehicle Details

RX 350L:

  • 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine.
  • 8-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i).
  • Available Active Torque Control AWD system uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the rear differential to vary torque distribution anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions.

RX 450hL:

  • Lexus Hybrid Drive with 3.5-liter V6 engine, Motor Generator 1, Motor Generator 2 and a planetary-type electronic continuously variable transmission.
  • 308 total system horsepower.
  • Standard AWD with independent rear electric motor-generator.
  • 37 kW nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) hybrid battery.

Chassis/Body/Suspension/ Brakes/Tires

  • A number of cutting-edge technologies enhance structural rigidity, including high-tech body adhesives and laser screw welding; liberal use of high-tensile strength steel throughout the vehicle, and annular frame construction for strengthened frame sections around the front and rear doors.
  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/65R18 tires.
  • Two 20-inch wheel options: Split-Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels with Dark Silver and Machined Finish; Split-Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels with SuperChrome and Machined Finish and Interchangeable Painted Inserts (requires Luxury Package).


  • Lexus Safety System+ includes Pre-Collision System, Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
  • Available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Braking.
  • For 2018, all RX and RX L models offer Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect complimentary for the first 10 years of vehicle ownership.
  • 10 SRS airbags including dual-stage and dual-chamber driver’s and front passenger airbags; driver’s and front passenger knee airbags; front side airbags; rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags for all three seat rows.
  • 4-sensor, 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill-start Assist Control.
  • Additionally, Smart Stop Technology automatically reduces engine power when there is simultaneous application of the brake pedal and accelerator pedal under certain conditions.
  • Active front headrests help to reduce the severity of a whiplash injury in the event of certain types of lower speed rear collisions.
  • Panoramic View Monitor (optional).

Luxury/Comfort/Convenience (Highlights)

  • 10-way power front leather seats with power lumbar adjustment.
  • Memory settings standard (mirror, seat, steering wheel)
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • Power-folding autodimming mirrors with memory
  • Rear armrest with storage box with two USB ports
  • Acoustic glass windshield
  • Customizable vehicle settings, including personal door-lock preferences, interior/exterior light adjustments, driver’s seat Easy Exit, and window-closure settings
  • Tri-Zone automatic climate control with interior air filter
  • Leather seating surfaces (first and second row)
  • Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with integrated audio controls
  • Lexus Display Audio with 8-inch color multimedia display and 9 speakers
  • Power liftgate with optional hands-free operation
  • Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column
  • SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop
  • Subscription-free Traffic and Weather updates via HD Radio™

The RX 450hL enjoys the same standard equipment as the 350L, with the added feature of Captain’s Chairs as standard.

Luxury Options (Highlights)

  • Premium Package with moonroof and wood trim.
  • Luxury Package includes contents of Premium Package plus 20-inch super chrome wheels, heated maple steering wheel, semi-aniline leather trimmed seating, manual rear door sun shades, LED ambient illumination, four-way power lumbar, cushion extender, laser-cut gray Sapele wood with aluminum and LED illuminated door sills.
  • Navigation Package with 12.3-inch display, Remote Touch Interface, advanced voice control, Lexus Enform® App Suite, Lexus Enform® Destination Assist, HD Radio with iTunes® Tagging and more.
  • 15-speaker Mark Levinson® Surround Sound system (with Navigation Package).

Connected Technologies

The 2018 Lexus RX L offers five available Enform services for enhanced convenience:

  • Complimentary now for the first ten years, Lexus Enform Safety Connect includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, and Stolen Vehicle Notification. The Lexus Enform response center operates 24/7/365.
  • Lexus Enform Service Connect (complimentary 10-year subscription now included), enables the LS to send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer.
  • With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the vehicle using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Once registered, the app can operate remote door lock/unlock; remote stop/start for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor, and more.
  • The complimentary Lexus Enform App Suite app offer access to favorite mobile applications through the vehicle’s center console display, including Pandora®, iHeartRadio, Slacker and Yelp (with Navigation Package).
  • Lexus Enform Destination Assist (complimentary for one year) acts as an in-car personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent (with Navigation Package).

MSRP does not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $995.


Did anyone see captains chairs version?
  • C
  • November 29, 2017
Well, it looks better than I expected, although Lexus is showing it off with the 20 inch wheels of course. I think it will look more awkward with the base 18 inch wheels. On the other hand, the more practical rear end makes it look more like a Highlander in profile.

Other than that, no big surprises here. Same old engine offered, so the RX L is bigger yet slower than the regular RX. Also that 3rd row area is quite small, which is not surprising. What is surprising is some rumors said the RX L was going to grow about 10 inches over the regular RX, but this is simply not true. A length increase of only about 4 inches over the regular RX is disappointing.

The video of the cutaway model perfectly illustrates just how little size difference there is between the RX and RX L. Yet the RX L has reduced cargo space. This RX L seems like a half-measure to me, and certainly not a very strong effort IMO. It almost seems like Lexus decided to make this RX L after many years of customers and dealers on behalf of customers requesting a large 3-row crossover. However this RX L is not it. To call the RX L's third row comfortable or luxurious is a huge stretch.

Now don't get me wrong, this will totally eat into sales of "in-between" competitors like the MDX. However very large competitors like the Mercedes GL don't have a whole lot to worry about, as the RX L simply isn't big enough compared to the GL.

I have to wonder if the next-gen RX and RX L on TNGA will be the same old, or will the next-gen RX and RX L be much better differentiated.

The rear windshield wiper comes out of hiding... /:
Great catch! That's a very odd change for Lexus to have made. Did they rush the R&D of this? Why would they suddenly remove the rear wiper from hiding? That's something you'd expect on a Toyota model, not a Lexus. An exposed rear wiper IMO is much more annoying to have than a hidden one.
krew [​IMG]

Two video overviews of the new model.
View the original article post
Some notable tidbits on RX L:

From Automotive News' Laurence Iliff:

RX L...will be built in Japan and go on sale in December, a key month for Lexus and other luxury brands.

U.S. sales of the RX are flat at 84,254 this year through October in a midsize premium market that has expanded 4.9 percent.

Cooper Ericksen, vice president of marketing for Lexus, said brand officials expect about a 30 percent take rate for the RX L, with half of those buyers coming from current RX owners and the other half coming from new consumers attracted to the availability of the third row.

A 30% RX L / 70% RX split? I think RX L's take rate will be higher than that. In fact, I think RX L will eventually outsell RX.

Car and Driver's Greg Fink breaks down the RX L vs RX cargo space numbers:

With all three rows of seats upright, there’s just seven cubic feet of luggage space behind the third row. Fold down the third row, and that volume increases to 23 cubic feet, which betters the standard-length model by five cubes. With all seats folded, the bigger RX has 58 cubic feet of cargo space, versus 56 in the regular RX.

Motor Trend's Zach Gale reports some bad jokes and further sales projections:

“I’ve gotta say it,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager for Lexus, at the RX L’s debut, “that’s one L of a vehicle.”

Amusing eye-roll-worthy jokes aside, the new three-row 2018 Lexus RX L is an important vehicle for the brand, with the potential to match sales of the larger GX three-row SUV by itself. A Lexus representative tells us the RX L could add 30,000 sales to the RX’s already impressive annual sales.
RIP MDX and QX......

It doesn't look awkward at all...looks great..interior stuns still... Hopefully F-Sport comes next year
IDK about RIP, but $$$ on the hood I can imagine that the pressure will be on with the sales war.
30k additional projected sales on top of RX? Wow, that would be completely worth it.
But at the cost of GX I guess. I'm more convinced that recent GX booms is due to the absence of RX-L not demand for premium offroaders. The dealers might be desparately holding on to their customers by keeping more GX in stock and try to convince a purchase before the RX-L becomes available. Now there must be lots of happy faces at Lexus dealers.
But at the cost of GX I guess. I'm more convinced that recent GX booms is due to the absence of RX-L not demand for premium offroaders. The dealers might be desparately holding on to their customers by keeping more GX in stock and try to convince a purchase before the RX-L becomes available. Now there must be lots of happy faces at Lexus dealers.
It is not China :)

Us dealers don't buy cars in Stock to inflate sales, average Gx selling price is 10k more than RXL, it is different type of buyer.

Sales are reported here when customer buys vehicle not the dealer. So if there is low stock of Gx, it means there are not on lots but sold.
krew [​IMG]

Tidbits and details from the show floor.
View the original article post
I realized why I like the RX L more than the standard RX: I always felt that the grill of the standard RX was too big in comparison to the rest of the vehicle. The extra heft of the RX L seems to make all of the pieces work better together... it looks more balanced, IMO.
Here's the recording of the LA press conference, also taken from the Lexus.com website:

That trunk space with 3Rd row up is pretty good
Impressive...nice luggage too...is that Rimowa and not Tumi?

Us dealers don't buy cars in Stock to inflate sales, average Gx selling price is 10k more than RXL, it is different type of buyer.
Oh, yeah. Having finally gotten to drive a GX for a couple of days, I think I can authoritatively state that there's gonna be no such thing as cross-shopping RX L and GX. GX is the full body-on-frame experience, and is, frankly, the least Lexus-like Lexus vehicle. The center stack is from the 3LS (!) but made with much cheaper materials, and the overall driving experience I would rate as "get a Grand Cherokee instead".
I just saw the 30k sales a year in addition to what the RX sells now. That would mean the RX damn near outsells any luxury brand not the Germans....if this holds true...

This is going to be a big test for the GX and conquest sales. I doubt the rear is as roomy as the competition but the interior alone destroys them.
Asked Lexus Europe about availability:

We will launch RX 450hL in EU and RX 350L in Russia/Eastern markets.
We will launch RX 450hL in EU and RX 350L in Russia/Eastern markets.
In a new Automotive News article, Laurence Iliff expands a bit upon the Lexus RX L's U.S. sales goals:

At Lexus, the three-row RX L is expected to generate about 30,000 sales in 2018, said Jeff Bracken, Lexus general manager, split between conquests and RX customers deciding against the two-row.
WardsAuto's Christie Schweinsberg's most recent Lexus-centric article focuses primarily on the upcoming UX, but also contains this passage about RX L:

Lexus dealers were the force behind getting a 3-row version of Lexus’ popular midsize RX CUV to market...

Bracken sees the 3-row RX as stemming the flow of Lexus owners to other luxury marques that have such a vehicle.

“We’ve certainly lost business to our competitors that have a 3-row (CUV) in that segment and we obviously are trying to re-interest them in us…Every year that went by it was making it more and more difficult to bring some of those lost folks back to us,” he says of why Lexus, after years of discussing a 3-row RX, finally had to pull the trigger.

Having said that, Bracken expects some RX L sales to be incremental, not entirely 2-row RX owners trading up to the new 3-row model.

He estimates U.S. RX sales will hit 115,000 next year, up from 100,000 this year, with the RX L accounting for 30,000 2018 deliveries. Half of those 30,000 are expected to be sales to customers new to the model or brand.