Published on August 22nd, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lexus RX ‘L’, the video review
The new Lexus RX L opens up new dimensions in convenience and customer appeal for Lexus’ luxury crossover as the brand’s second (The gigantic LX570 is the first) 7-seat model to be offered Malaysia.
This addition to the Lexus RX range responds to the priorities of families for built-in versatility that provides extra seating when needed with a 3rd row of 2 individual seats, and easily adaptable, practical load space.
In some 7-seat vehicles, the extra accommodation is simply added to an existing 5-seat model, the kind of solution that can create a cramped interior. Faithful to the concept of ‘Omotenashi’, Lexus has used ingenious design and packaging to ensure that the two 3rd row seats are comfortable to use and easy to access.
Although the Lexus RX L retains the profile of the five-seat RX, suitable headroom for the third-row occupants has been secured by making the angle of the tailgate window slightly steeper. The second-row bench seat has been set higher, so that there is good foot space for the 3rd row passengers, too. The seats are ideal for children on any journey, and comfortable for adult users on shorter trips.
Accessing the 3rd row has been made easy with a one-touch lever control on the outer second row seats which tips the seatback forward and slides the bench smoothly away. A step on the floor guides you in and the seat design has not exposed catches or mechanism that can snag clothing or trip you up as you enter or exit the vehicle.
The 2nd row bench is divided 40:20:40 and, thanks to the RX L’s longer design, can be slide-adjusted through a 150 mm range, which is greater than in any other current 7-seat SUV.
The 2 rearmost seats are fitted with 2 cupholders positioned in the centre. The tri-zone air conditioning system can be independently operated using controls located next to the left hand seat.
More Seating Now
As well as being comfortable, the 3rd row seats in the new Lexus RX L are simple to deploy – just the press of a button on the 2nd row seats or in the boot is all that is needed to raise them into place or stow them flat into the floor.
When the seats are folded, the load space has a flat floor that extends to 1,067 mm in length. A retracting tonneau cover keeps luggage out of sight; when not required, the cover unit can be stored in a dedicated space beneath the boot floor.
To make loading and unloading even easier, the Lexus RX L is available with a power tailgate with a “no-touch” sensor system, so it can be opened simply with a hand or even elbow gesture, when the system detects the vehicle smart key on your person.
Exterior & Interior Design
In its commitment to producing a comfortable and practical 7-seat version of its successful RX crossover, Lexus decided to create what is effectively a bespoke new body style, rather than try to work within the confines of the established five-seat model.
Its solution was to design a new rear end for the vehicle, extending the length behind the rear axle. Although only 110mm longer overall, the Lexus RX L makes excellent use of the additional space to ensure that everyone on board can travel comfortably and that the third-row seats have easy access and generous head and leg room.
Rear-seat headroom has been further helped by making the angle of the tailgate window slightly steeper, so the interior roofline is higher towards the back of the car. At the same time, the designers were careful not to detract from the RX’s distinctive, coupe-like profile and the floating roof effect created by the blacked-out rear pillars.
The close attention detail extends to the motor for the tailgate wiper being moved from the top to the bottom of the screen, to maximise the potential headroom.
Under the Hood
Under the RX hood is the all new Lexus 3.5-liter turbocharged engine. This 289bhp engine provides a smooth and easy revving momentum in the RX despite its size and heft. Yes, this new RX is larger and more spacious for its 7 seat configuration.
When it comes to delivering precise, controlled handling, the new RX offers impressive dynamic capability. The entire chassis has been fortified to provide enhanced straight-line stability and control through turns. The vehicle’s body structure has been strengthened with added stiffness, helping to enhance its handling response while reducing engine and road noise in the cabin. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is standard, while Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is available on select models. Each system is designed to help recognize loss of vehicle control, and help mitigate potentially dangerous situations with automatic and often transparent adjustments to help the vehicle maintain optimal traction.
The RX’s fully independent suspension system, which consists of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone setup at rear, has been tuned and reinforced to enhance handling while keeping ride quality remarkably smooth. Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is available on the RX for the first time. AVS electronically monitors and adapts the shock absorber damping and steering to help ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions. The system is also designed to produce less body lean through corners, providing an engaging driving experience.
Safety is a Priority with Lexus Safety System+
Lexus has always stressed safety in all of its vehicles, so it should come as no surprise that the new RX is enhanced in the areas concerning the well-being of its occupants.
- Lexus Safety System + includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with corrective steering input, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control to provide 5 Star Euro NCAP safety standards
- Available Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Braking
- 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.
- 5 star EuroNCAP rating
Dynamics On Road & Highway
Lexus has never shied away from giving its RX models a generous helping of drive attitude and this new RX-L looks to be very generously equipped in that regard. It also has the underlying qualities to match all its segment brand rivals on the road and on the beaten path.
The new 3.5-litre Turbo unit that powers this RX is nothing new to the Lexus brand. Hard throttle accelerations are not disappointing and on par with similar powered rivals. The 4×4 system distributes the power automatically according to the levels of grip detected by sensors at each wheel.
Whatever version of the RX you choose, one thing is perfectly clear: Lexus’ best-selling vehicle has dramatically raised the bar yet again in the mid-size luxury utility segment, flawlessly combining bold luxury styling inside and out with an engaging driving performance.
Lexus RX-L Specification
Engine: V6-cylinder 24v DOHC
Transmission: 8 A/T, AWD
Max Power: 289hp @ 6300rpm
Max Torque: 358Nm @ 4600rpm
Top Speed: 200km/h