2016 Lexus RX350 F Sport
Do you love the Lexus RX but continue adding offspring to your family roster? Or is its current back seat just not far back enough when your whiny sister-in-law climbs aboard? If either of those conditions apply to you, or if you simply like the idea of a cushy crossover with “just-in-case” seating, you may be happy to hear that Lexus is exploring adding a third-row seat to the all-new RX, the two-row version of which is poised to start rolling into Lexus showrooms this fall. In an interview with Reuters, Lexus general manager Jeff Bracken said that the brand’s U.S. dealers are clamoring for an RX with room for seven or eight passengers. It’s their “number-one request,” according to the report.
It’s hardly a done deal, however. While a third-row seat option seems like a no-brainer in the U.S., one that would help the RX350 more directly compete with the Infiniti QX60, BMW X5, and Volvo XC90, among others, Lexus has become a global brand these days, and other markets may not have quite as much enthusiasm for such a vehicle. Besides, Lexus already has not one but two other SUVs with three rows of seats, the GX570 and the LX570. But those are thirsty, body-on-frame trucks, while the RX is a trendy crossover, one that shares its platform with the Toyota Highlander, which has three rows already.
If the project gets the green light—which could happen as soon as this fall or early next year, we’ve been told—expect the new model to appear fairly quickly. “We don’t want to wait for a next generation” to make it available, Bracken told Reuters.