The luxurious Lexus RX L is an RX with a longer body and two extra seats. It’s relaxing to drive and is relatively cheap to run, but you’ll find alternatives are more spacious
If you’re looking for a seven-seater SUV that puts an emphasis on comfort and low running costs, then the Lexus RX L will be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s based on the current RX that was launched in 2015, but is 110mm longer to accommodate its third row of seats.
That’s about all that has changed on the inside though, which means interior quality is great. You can also pick between an 8.0 and a 12.3-inch sat-nav system. Sadly, though, the game has moved on significantly now and most alternatives offer systems that are more high-tech, prettier to look at and easier to use. The same alternatives also have less button-heavy dashboard designs with a more minimal, modern appearance.
On the bright side, the Lexus RX L has a very comfortable interior. Leather comes as standard on all models – the hide in Premier cars is particularly soft – plus the front seats are thickly padded and supportive. Electric adjustment comes as standard and the front seats are also heated and cooled – the latter being a rare standard feature in a car, even at this price.
Your adult friends will be almost as happy sat in the middle row. There’s plenty of legroom and enough headroom to ensure tall adults are able to get settled.
With a bottom that sticks out an extra 110mm past the back wheels, the Lexus RX L looks like an RX that’s had multiple rounds of butt-lift surgery
But the rear seats are only really suitable for kids, although they do come with their own air-conditioning controls and a couple of cupholders.
Fold the third row flat into the floor and the resulting load bay is square and easy to load, if not particularly large for this size of car. A handy feature is the boot lid that opens when you touch the ‘Lexus’ badge so you don’t need to yank it open when you have your hands full with shopping. Fold all the seats down and the RX L can swallow a bicycle without even flinching, although an Audi Q7 is significantly roomier still.
Set off down the road in the Lexus RX L and the first thing that strikes you is how easy, comfortable and relaxing it is to drive, although it’s a shame the self-drive tech is pretty basic.
Pootle along at town speeds and the car will run on silent electric power alone, only using its petrol engine if you need a little extra go, which makes it an extremely calming way to cut through busy city streets.
The 3.5-litre V6 petrol only ever sounds harsh under hard acceleration but, since the Lexus RX L isn’t a car that likes to be driven quickly, you probably won’t be doing that very often. Compared with, say, an Audi Q7 the Lexus’ steering feels slow and unresponsive and its body rolls a lot in bends.
Drive sensibly, however, and you can enjoy the low running costs of the RX L’s petrol-electric engine – Lexus claims it can return fuel economy of up to 47.9mpg. Getting close to that figure in the real world will depend on how hard you drive the car – mid-30mpg is a realistic expectation.
As a stress-free way to get from A to B in town, then, the RX L is hard to fault but, the infotainment system can be infuriating and if you do a lot of motorway driving, an Audi Q7 will be a much better bet. It is also a good deal cheaper than alternative seven-seat hybrids and provides even better value when you see the carwow Lexus RX L deals on offer.
For a more detailed and in-depth analysis of the Lexus RX L read our following interior, driving and specifications review sections.