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2018 Lexus RX 350L: A three-row luxury crossover full of compromises

Lexus finally gives its dealers and customers a unibody three-row crossover, but it's filled with compromises.

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jonwong.jpg

Jon Wong

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Lexus dealers have been asking for a three-row unibody crossover to fight the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60. With the RX 350L, they have not gotten one.

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Sharing the same 109.8-inch wheelbase with the standard RX 350, the L's additional 4.4 inches of length comes behind the C pillars.

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The additional length does give the RX 350L 70.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats with both rows of rear seats folded. That's up from 56.3 cubic feet in the regular RX behind the front seats.

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Unfortunately, space in the third row is extremely tight and can only accommodate small children.

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Since the RX was never designed to feature a third row from the beginning, the tight rear quarters and difficultly accessing the rearmost seats are some of the package trade-offs.

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Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 290 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque.

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Together with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the RX 350L with all-wheel drive is estimated to return 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

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Lexus' Enform infotainment system sadly still doesn't feature Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capabilities.

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The Remote Touch controller for the infotainment system remains the biggest infotainment sore spot, being difficult and distracting to use while driving.

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The 2018 Lexus RX 350L with all-wheel drive starts at $50,095, including $1,025 destination.

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Click or scroll through for more of the 2018 Lexus RX 350L.

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