“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.
With a three-row variant that’s 4.3 inches longer than the regular model, the RX L could also take a slightly larger chunk out of the sales of the also-popular Acura MDX, which already has three standard rows of seating. In person, you can tell the RX L is stretched by its noticeably longer rear overhang, but otherwise it looks the same.
The third-row seats can be folded down from the cargo area by pressing and holding a button in the cargo area (too bad it doesn’t offer one-touch operation), and Lexus claims you can still fit a stroller behind the third-row seats when they’re in place.
As for the comfort of those third-row seats, access them by pulling a large lever on the side of the second-row seats and pushing them forward. It’s easy enough, but—surprising no one—getting back there is a bit difficult. Lexus says it bumped up the second-row seats to increase rear foot room, and that touch is appreciated. It’s cozy back there, but can still help out when you need more seats for a cross-town trip.
Just like the new two-row LX that also made its debut in L.A., the value of the three-row RX L is also in its addition of a tad more cargo space when the third-row seats have been folded down.
However customers use those small third-row seats, we’re sure Lexus won’t have any trouble selling the RX L, a crossover that allows the brand to say it offers a three-row crossover just below $50,000. Before Lexus offers a full-size three-row crossover to complement the expensive LX SUV, the six- and seven-passenger RX L should help keep the model on more automotive shopping lists despite its “occasional-use” limitations.