A Three-Row Version For The Lexus RX 350 in 2018?

Lexus brought us the RX back in 1998, although truth be told, it was just a rebadged Toyota Harrier from their own home Japanese market, it had been on sale there since 1997. It has gone on to become the most popular model from Lexus, and they continue to keep it updated regularly, although we won’t be seeing much for difference for 2018.

Lexus gave the RX 350 a significant update for 2017, so there’s not much that’s going to change for 2018 – we’ll see a couple of new colors and that’s going to be about it.

However, it’s not all bad – the 2018 Lexus RX 350 is a fine-looking car, and it has some great equipment fitted as standard, with plenty more choices as options.

There are plenty of rumors surrounding the new 2018 RX 350, but many seem to be just that – rumors. In all honesty, we don’t know 100 percent as to what Lexus will do (especially with the talk of a three-row version for 2018) but these are our best thoughts.

A range of tech for the 2018 Lexus RX 350

Contents

1. A range of tech
2. V6 Power (again)
3. Three-Rows?
4. Different Trim Spec
5. Fall 2017

Lexus took the decision to fit their Lexus Safety System+ to all models across the range for 2017, this includes such technology as pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with automatic steering, automatic high-beam lighting and adaptive (radar guided) cruise-control. The pre-collision system is a necessity to get the highest award for safety – this means that all RX vehicles are rated Top Safety Pick+.

As for the rest of the technology – there’s plenty to choose from, some will be fitted as standard, and of course, some will be optional for extra money. Expect things such as power liftgate, keyless entry and push-button go, rear-view camera, steering linked headlamps, tripe beam LED lighting and rain-sensing wipers.

Of course, there will be Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system (upgradeable to 12.3-inches), navigation, satellite radio and powered everything – seats, mirrors etc. Given that the Lexus is aimed at the luxury market, it won’t be cheap inside.

The main competition will come from the likes of the Acura RDX and the Infiniti QX 60 – both mid-sized luxury crossover SUV’s, similarly priced.

V6 Power (again) for 2018 Lexus RX 350

As for powering the 2018 RX 350, it’s the same story again – the engine from the predecessor will continue to power it for now, this means a solid 3.5 liter V6 with 295 horsepower and 267 pounds/feet of torque, connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission – an all-wheel drive version is optional for another $1,500.

We suspect that Lexus will be upgrading and improving the 2019 RX series significantly, we may even see new powertrain options, so for now, Lexus are sticking with the faithful old V6 that does the job perfectly.

Three-Rows?

There are many stories about Lexus introducing a three-row version of the RX 350, to be sold alongside the regular 5-row, but as far as we have been able to ascertain, Lexus haven’t officially confirmed this, so in all reality, it could just be a rumor, albeit a strong one.

However, we would find it odd that Lexus would introduce a completely new model into the line-up while still not updating the existing model – surely, if they were going to all the expense and trouble of developing a three-row version, they would launch it with their next big update? Which would coincide with a 2019 Model Year.

This would also mean that any model introduced now would need updating again within the next year so as to remain in the same style – it just doesn’t make any sense, so for us, we’d have to say that it’s probably going to be a false rumor.

Different Trim Spec

If you’re looking to upgrade over the standard RX series, you can choose the F Sport trim, which will give you enhanced handling & ride, updated and unique trim and seating – but not much more. The one area that Lexus seem to be lacking in is a proper performance version – it would be nice for Lexus to add some more horsepower into the mix, but again, maybe that’s something for next year. (Please)

As for the rest of the trim levels, we don’t yet have any confirmation from Lexus as to what we’ll get for our money, or even how many different trim levels there will be; the standard ‘base’ model is pretty well appointed and includes all the safety gear necessary for a high rating, so just what else can Lexus include?

Fall 2017

Lexus have said that the 2018 RX 350 will go on sale ‘later this year’ and that’s all the official story is, but looking at the past history, we think that Lexus will be looking to have a September roll-out, with perhaps the model going on show sometime in the summer.

In all honesty, if you’re desperately wanting an RX 350, you might as just go and buy one now or in a month or two – get one while the dealer is trying to shift their inventory and offering good deals and pricing. The forthcoming RX 350 isn’t going to be any different, aside from a few hundred dollars extra on the screen price – buying one now would mean that you won’t pay anywhere near that screen price.

Current prices start at $44,095 for the base model (with destination) and rise up to $52,495 before further options are added in. The 2018 model is expected to go on sale for $44,300 for the standard model and $45,800 for the all-wheel drive version, and of course, the fully-loaded flagship will be in the same region as before – around the $53,000 mark.

2017-03-9 by Luke Widmeyer