The 2018 Lexus RX 350L is the longer version of the regular RX 350, adding an extra 4.4 inches to the length of the popular SUV. This extra length makes room for a six- or seven-passenger configuration with third-row seating. The vehicle’s personality is on the sporty side, however. Even though it can seat seven rather comfortably, its style lends itself to a more upbeat, trendy persona.
The RX 350L is propelled by a 3.5-liter, 290 horsepower V6 engine with dual VVT-i, regulated through an eight-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission and Drive Mode Select. There is definitely power at the pedal.
The EPA fuel economy for the AWD version of the RX 350L is rated at 21 mpg combined, alongside an impressive 25 mpg highway.
The RX 350L makes a statement with its front exterior, featuring a distinct floating roofline and premium triple-beam LED headlamps. The headlamps have a three-projector design with an eye-catching “L” shape.
Then there are the fog lamps, tail lamps, daytime running lights, and illuminated door handles, which collectively provide excellent visibility around the vehicle. In addition, the 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels and color rim inserts allow the occupants to ride in style and safety.
Although the exterior of the RX 350L is very attractive, it is the interior that bathes you in comfort, whether you’re out on the town or with family on vacation. The vehicle offers 10-way power-adjustable leather-trimmed front seats, laser-cut with fashionable trim, and a heated wood steering wheel. The reclining and sliding 40/20/40 split rear seat and power-folding third-row seat make it easy to get in and out. And LED ambient lights illuminating the cabin make for a more comfortable and practical experience.
The touch-free power back door opener makes loading and unloading cabin compartments an easy exercise. Simply hold your hand or elbow near the badge to open the door.
The RX 350L is loaded with premium technology that includes a 12.3-inch multimedia display with full-screen map and a full-color Heads-Up Display. The Lexus nine-speaker Premium Display Audio System provides the perfect feeling of ambience, placing you in a traveling mood. The technology goes perfectly with the 4.2-inch multi-information display in the dash that features Lexus personalized settings, a trip computer, and an outside temperature display.
The cabin looks refreshingly clean and tidy, kept cool with the automatic multi-zone climate control with a rear-control panel. Above is a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, letting you feel connected with the environment outside.
On top of the numerous advanced safety features is an array of airbags and side curtains to provide all occupants with a last-line safety assurance. The standard Lexus Safety System+ includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with lane-keep assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps.
I was surprised that blind-spot monitor with rear-cross traffic braking and intuitive park assist are not part of the standard safety package, but nevertheless they can be added for an additional cost of $1,065.
This vehicle sits low to the ground, and the seats are a little snug and somewhat confining, especially for passengers sitting in the back.
Overall, the Lexus RX 350L sets out to help all occupants involved in the riding experience enjoy their adventure to the fullest extent. The advanced technology definitely goes well with the comfort and attractive design, and the craftsmanship is evident throughout the entire vehicle .
The RX 350L has the accoutrements needed to please the eye, but it is when you get behind the wheel and start driving the car that you begin to appreciate the great driving experience it has to offer.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the RX 350L starts at $47,670 for the FWD and $49,070 for the AWD.
Lexus New Vehicle Warranty
4-year/50,000-mile Basic Warranty
6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
6-year/unlimited mile Corrosion Perforation Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at [email protected].