Lexus stretches SUV to fit third-row seating
Lexus has stretched its RX luxurySUV to include third-row seating for the first time. The new model has just gone on sale in New Zealand.
The seven-seat configuration is available in two variants: the hybrid RX 450hL Limited and the V6-petrol RX 350L Limited.
The change has been made without adding to the RX wheelbase. Instead, the body is extended 110mm at the rear. A steeper tailgate window helps with headroom and luggage space.
The third-row seat features power-folding and is split 50/50. The rearmost row still has climate control air conditioning and is set slightly lower than the second-row seat to provide more legroom. Lexus acknowledges it’s suitable for children rather than adult occupants.
When folded flat the third row seat provides a flat extended luggage area, accessed through a hands-free powered tailgate by waving a hand over the Lexus ‘‘L’’ badge, providing the key is being carried.
Access to the third row is enabled by a one-touch lever that folds and slides the second row seat forward.
A smaller power tilt and slide moonroof in the seven-seat models replaces the panoramic glass roof used in the five-seat models.
The new seven seat version of the RX adds just $500 to the price of the equivalent five-seater: $108,400 for the 350L Limited and $126,400 for the 450hL Limited.
The five-seat RX will continue to be available in six variants with a choice of hybrid and 3.5-litre V6 powertrains in standard, F Sport and Limited specifications.
Revisions to the 2018 five-seat RX see the alloy wheels on all models now having the black centre caps with a chrome Lexus logo, previously only fitted to the F Sport model.
The Lexus Safety System+ is standard, upgraded across the entire RX range to include pedestrian detection as part of the pre-collision system.
In the cabin, models with ivory upholstery now have brown seatbelts to provide colour contrast.
The 3.5-litre V6 engine used in the RX 350 makes 221kW and 370Nm. The output in the RX 350L is reduced slightly to 216kW/ 358Nm, due to packaging requirements resulting in a single rather than dual exhaust system. The engine is mated to an eightspeed automatic transmission.
The hybrid models have a revised version of the 3.5-litre V6 with two electric motors producing a combined performance of 230kW. The AWD system for the hybrid models uses one of the electric motors at the rear, instead of the transfer gears and drive shaft used on the RX 350. Once wheel slip is detected, the rear electric motor is activated to provide AWD traction.
The RX 350 and 450h come with Lexus Safety System+, leather accented upholstery, 20-inch alloy wheels, smart entry and start key, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, eight-way power adjustable front seats with heaters and ventilation, 12-speaker audio, satellite navigation, reversing camera and front/rear parking sensors.
The F Sport variants add special wheels, alloy trim in the cabin and F Sport upholstery, steering wheel paddle shifters, adaptive variable suspension, panoramic view monitor, handsfree powered tailgate, rear seat heaters and head-up display.
The seven and five-seat Limited variants have wooden steering wheel trim, unique wheels, 10-way power adjustable front seats with memory function, power-fold backrow seats and 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.
New Lexus RX will now be available with third-row seating, at only $250 per extra seat