Lexus has succeeded in designing its first seven-seat version of the RX luxury SUV, the new Lexus RX L, adding just a few millimetres to the SUV’s overall length.
Inside the new RX L there are two extra seats, generous knee and headroom for everyone and plenty of space for luggage. But on the outside, the car is only 110mm longer than the five-seat model – barely the width of a man’s hand.
In fact, it’s by adding those few extra millimetres that Lexus has gone further than most of its competitors, in effect creating a new body for the RX, rather than trying to squeeze more seats into its existing model.
At first glance, there’s no mistaking that this is an RX, with all the intriguingly elegant and incisive styling that make it of the best-looking models in its class. In fact, the designers were clear the RX’s distinctive coupe-like profile had to be preserved.
But look more closely and you will notice that not only is the RX L longer at the rear, the angle of its back door/tailgate has been made slightly steeper. That fine adjustment is actually key to making sure there’s comfortable headroom if you sit in the third row of seats. Even more valuable millimetres have been gained simply by moving the rear wiper mechanism from the top to the bottom of the window.
The cabin is designed to be a social space, what Lexus designers call a “lounge” effect that’s open and light and where it’s easy for everyone to see what’s happening, share conversations and enjoy the in-car entertainment together on longer journeys.