We’ve test driven previous versions of Lexus’ RX in the past, but after announcing the addition of a third row in the mid-size SUV crossover, we had to check it out for ourselves.
The new 2018 RXL is the latest addition to Lexus’s lineup of SUVs, keeping the same compact size, but adding just a bit more room for passengers. Yep, the brand added 4.3 more inches to the cabin, allowing them to squeeze in a third row… and we meet that quite literally. Once you see it for yourself, it’s pretty clear that the added third row is for “occasional-use” only … because it’s very tight back there. While a full-size adult can fit into the third row, they won’t be very comfortable. Ultimately, it’s great to have the option of the third row (if occasionally needed), but do not plan on using it daily, because it’s not going to work.
Aside from the tight space the third row offers, the RXL is just as luxurious and beautiful as you’d expect.
The exterior of the RXL sports aggressive style, with sharp edges and curves for a look similar to a sedan, but not, obviously. It’s all highlighted by Lexus’s beautiful and eye-catching signature spindle grille, which is wrapped in chrome and flanked by LED headlights that come of the shape of an “L”. The spindle theme also finds its way to the rear, with L-shaped LED taillights enveloping the tailgate and wrapping into the rear fenders. Finally, 20-inch wheels complete the beautiful look.
The inside matches the luxury feeling of the outside as well. Upon entering the vehicle, you are met with soft material on the inner door and the quality and softness of the leather seats is just immaculate. For top trim packages, you even get some pretty exquisite wood trim, but the focal point is definitely the 12.3-inch infotainment screen that is prominently placed in the center of the dash. From the screen, you can control everything from navigation to entertainment and everything else.
The one gripe that we’ve also brought up in the past is the Remote Touch interface, which includes a mouse-like controller to navigate the infotainment screen. While you get used to it with time, it still doesn’t feel natural. We feel there’s a better way to execute this… which we’re sure Lexus will figure out in future models.
However, the RXL does not disappoint overall. Being the best-selling luxury vehicle of 2017 means… Lexus is doing something right, and we can co-sign that. From the sleek and sporty exterior, to the plush interior and smooth ride, it’s clear why so many people buy the Lexus RX. They are just nice!
The Lexus RXL starts at $47,670 (FWD) and $49,070 (AWD), and can go up quite substantially from there, with added premium trims and other options. But, if you’re in the market for a mid-size crossover, you can’t overlook the fact that the RX is the best-selling in the country.
Special thanks to Lexus for providing us the vehicle, insurance and tank of gas for this review.