Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Lexus LX 570 gets 2-row option for 2018

Lexus LX 570 gets 2-row option for 2018

The outboard sections of the RX's standard second-row 40/20/40 split-bench seat slide and fold forward via a lever, creating access to the new third row.

"With the new RX L models, Lexus drivers will now have the option of a third row without compromising the sleek styling and easy maneuverability" of the RX, Lexus said in a statement. We'll see how that impacts visibility for third-row passengers when we get into it at the show.

The 2018 RX 450hL comes standard with all-wheel drive and seating for six with the captain's chairs. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking should help mitigate any fender benders, while adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning will keep the vehicle in a little bubble of safety on the highway.

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For the RX 450hL, power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine and two electric motors that produce 308 combined hp.

The added weight of the RX L appears to have sapped some power, as Lexus notes the 3.5L makes 290 hp in the 3-row CUV, not the 295 hp it does in the '17 RX 350. Lexus' Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect, offering features such as emergency assistance, stolen vehicle notification and driver alerts on factory recommended maintenance, are now free for the first 10 years of RX ownership. (20-cm) display screen, while a 12.3-in. Also available is a color heads-up display.

The 2018 RX 350L starts at $47,670 for a front-wheel drive version ($4,400 higher than the RX 350) and $49,070 for an all-wheel drive model. Destination and handling adds $995 to pricing.

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Lexus will now have "the opportunity to hold buyers who might have left RX and replaced it with the likes of an Acura MDX or Audi Q7 - but the long version will also appeal to some buyers already committed to the RX", IHS Markit said in a report ahead of the auto show. The updated model ditches the third row, helping expand cargo capacity by 15 percent without the need to deal with removing the seats. (1.4 cu. -m) from 44.7 cu. -ft.

A roof rack with rails is standard in the new LX and further increases cargo-carrying capability, Lexus says. For 2018, the two-row LX 570 is offered at $86,175, including destination. The same 5.7-liter V-8 pumps out 383 hp and 403 lb-ft, routed to all-four-wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

There are a few driver-assist systems baked into the LX 570, as well. Whereas the three-row LX 570 starts at $89,980, buyers can pick up the two-row version for just $84,980.

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