The popular Lexus RX is finally available with 3 rows

Lexus has been on the receiving end of many a buyer request for a three-row variant of its massively popular RX crossover. Years have gone by without one, but Lexus finally gave the people what they want in the 2018 Lexus RX.

For the first time, Lexus will offer three-row variants of the RX crossover. It'll be available in both RX 350L and RX 450hL trims, with seating for either six or seven, based on a second row of either captain's chairs or a bench seat, respectively. In order to accommodate that third row, Lexus extended the RX's body by 4.3 inches and changed the rear windshield's angle to be steeper.

No matter what's in the second row, the seats have been raised slightly over the two-row version in order to create a bit more room for the third row passengers' feet. Three-zone climate control lets the back row choose its own temperature, and two cup holders ensure everybody has a place to store the junk in their pockets -- or a cup of coffee, I guess.

It'll be interesting to see if the RX 350L has an effect on the sales of Lexus' other three-row crossovers.

Lexus

The 2018 RX 350L relies on a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 290 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available.

If you're feeling green, there's also a hybrid variant. The RX 450hL pairs a 3.5-liter V6 to two electric motor-generators, producing a net output of 308 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard here, and the RX 450hL can drive for short distances on electricity alone.

As with other Lexus models, there is a fair number of standard safety systems built into the 2018 RX. It packs forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control. If that's not enough, blind spot monitoring is an option, as is a surround-view camera.

You'll have to pony up some dough for that third row, though. The RX 350L starts at $47,670 with front-wheel drive, and $49,070 with AWD. For comparison's sake, the two-row 2017 RX 350 starts at $43,220 for FWD and $44,620 for AWD.

The RX's look doesn't change all that much, despite an extra 4 inches of body out back.

Lexus

Discuss 2018 Lexus RX