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Lexus Rips Third-Row out of LX 570, Crams It Into New RX 350L

Ok, not exactly

In a classic case of switcheroo, Lexus now offers its midsize RX SUV in a three-row configuration while giving buyers of the full-size LX the option of removing the third row that was previously standard.

Of the automaker’s two 2017 Los Angeles auto show debuts, the new 2018 Lexus RX L is likely more significant. Once considered a small-ish crossover, the SUV has steadily ballooned into a larger segment, one populated by standard and optional third-rows. Now, the RX L incorporates a six- or seven-seat layout with an additional power-folding row in the back. To accommodate this additional bench, body length grows by 4.3 inches. Additionally, a steeper rear hatch angle is incorporated to provide more headroom for those third-row occupants than the existing two-seat format would allow.

Power comes from the same 3.5-liter V-6 found on the two-row variant, offering 290 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque, routed to either the front or all-four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The eco-conscious can opt for the hybrid RX 450hL, which incorporates two motors for a combined output of 308 hp.

The three-row RX 350L begins at $48,665 for the front-wheel-drive model and swells to $50,065 for all-wheel-drive, including destination.

On the complete opposite of things, if you need more cargo space in the massive LX 570, Lexus will happily rip the third-row out to give your knick-knacks some breathing room.  With just five seats, the two-row 2018 LX 570 offers an additional 5.8 cu-ft of space for a total of 50.5 cu-ft.

Just like the RX 350L, the interior changes do not extend to under the front hood. 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.

In addition to the new seating arrangement, this two-row beast arrives with a new mono-price package, removing the need to load it up with options. For 2018, the two-row LX 570 is offered at $86,175, including destination.

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EPA MPG:

20 City / 27 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

18 / 56 cu. ft.

Seating:

5/5