We recently drove the Lexus RX350L on a coastal route near Hermanus in the Western Cape, at the local launch.
If you want a roomy, comfortable and luxurious vehicle the Lexus RX350L might just be what you’re looking for.
This SUV is slightly longer (110mm) and has marginally more headroom (10mm) than the previous RX model. The increased length allows for the third-row seating, which Lexus say has been introduced because of ‘frequent requests from customers and dealers’.
Propelled by a 3.5-litre V6 engine, it delivers a maximum 216kW of power at 6300rpm and 358Nm of torque, mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite its bulk the RX350L is in no way under powered. In fact, when we were able to put our foot down a bit we could overtake other cars with the utmost of ease, loaded with four adults and luggage.
At first we got to experience the rear seats in the second row, as there were four motoring journalists in the vehicle. We rotated over the course of two days to make sure that we all had ample driving time and time to experience being a passenger.
The front and second row seats int he RX350L are exceptionally comfortable. The type of comfort that can be likened to being hugged by a gigantic marshmallow, except that the pews are supportive at the same time.
For the first time the RX offers a derivative with third-row seating that folds flat to extend the boot space when not in use – as does the second row.
With the third row folded flat into the floor (this can be done electronically), the cargo space expands to 432 litres ,with the tonneau cover. When both the second and third rows are flattened there is a whopping 966 litres of cargo volume.
We did put the third row up and climbed into the very back to ascertain exactly how spacious the third row is. It wasn’t as roomy as the second row, although children under twelve would probably be comfortable. As some consolation, occupants at the very back do get their own dedicated climate controls and vents.
Lexus put a lot of effort into building a solid, reliable vehicle that is the epitome of luxury and yet offers pleasurable performance as well. The 350L seems to glide over the road surface – the ride is neither too hard and sporty or too bouncy. It corners well, accelerates smoothly and powerfully with the eight-speed auto transmission doing a fine job. What we really liked was the braking. The SUV does an excellent job of modulating the amount of stopping power, resulting in a decidedly smooth deceleration.
Other notable features are the elongated 12 -inch touchscreen display screen and the 20-inch alloy wheels.
The 10 airbags include extended curtain-shield airbags to protect third-row passengers, and an additional child-seat anchorage point has been added. Other safety features include vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-skid brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, hill-start assist control and tyre-pressure warning.
The exterior colours comprise; White Quartz, Platinum Silver, Sonic Titanium, Graphite Black, Morello Red, Amber, Opulent Blue and the newly introduced Sleek Ecru (Pearl Beige).
RX 450H R1 222 600
RX 350L R949 300
RX 350 R916 600
The Lexus RX models come with a four-years/90 000km maintenance plan.