Considering the state of the crossover-crazed market, that should be a surprise to absolutely no one. Still, customers demands more, and automakers are happy to deliver. Currently, Lexus has a three-row crossover-shaped hole in its lineup. Soon, that gap will be filled by the new seven-passenger 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL.
Sure, you can get three rows in the GX and LX, but traditional SUVs like that aren't selling nearly as well as more fuel efficient and more affordable car-based crossovers. The RX 350L and RX 450hL are based on the standard and hybrid RX variants. The pair have been extended by 4.3 inches to help accommodate an extra pair of seats. The angle of the rear window has also been changed to make sure third-row occupants have a reasonable amount of headroom.
The RX's second row folds in a 40/20/40 split. Access to the third row is granted with a lever that slides the second row up and forward. The second row also sits slightly higher than the third, creating some much needed footroom. Tri-zone climate control is available, and gives those in steerage control of their own ventilation. A pair of cup holders keeps drinks from ending up in the hair of those sitting up front. The third row folds flat when not in use.
Like the standard RX 350, the RX 350L is powered by a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and is available in both front- and all-wheel drive. The RX 450hL comes standard with all-wheel drive. It's powered by a 3.5-liter V6 and two electric drive motors. Total power output is 308 horsepower. An EV mode allows the hybrid to run on pure electricity for a short amount of time. The models go on sale early next year.