The 2022 Lexus RX350L is an intriguing option in the midsize luxury SUV segment. It builds on Lexus’ popular RX350 formula by stretching the body to add a third row of seats.
However, the RX350L is much more than just a bigger RX350. In this comprehensive review, we’ll explore what makes the RX350L stand out.
Introduction to the Lexus RX Lineup
First, let’s understand where the RX350L fits within Lexus’ SUV lineup. The standard RX350 is a two-row, 5-passenger midsize SUV. It offers a comfortable and quiet cabin, a smooth V6 engine, and a generous cargo room.
The RX350L uses the same mechanical components but has a longer body to accommodate a third row. This expands seating to 7 passengers. Both RX350 and RX350L compete with SUVs like the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes GLE.
Above the RX line are Lexus’ truck-based SUVs - the GX and LX. The GX has 3 rows like the RX350L but is built on a rugged truck frame for off-road ability. The LX is Lexus’ flagship SUV with superior luxury, performance, and capability.
Now that you understand where it fits in Lexus’ lineup, let’s take an in-depth look at what makes the RX350L unique.
Powertrain and Driving Characteristics
Under the hood, all versions of the RX350 use the same engine - a 3.5L V6 with 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. “Horsepower” and “torque” measure an engine’s power and pulling capability. More means faster acceleration.
This V6 uses modern technologies like variable valve timing (VVT-i) to optimize power and efficiency. It is “naturally aspirated” meaning it breathes air at atmospheric pressure rather than being “force-fed” pressurized air like a turbocharger. This tends to enhance smoothness and responsiveness.
The RX350L pairs this proven V6 engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The additional gears allow the engine to stay in its optimal operating range for efficiency or power as needed.
Fuel economy is decent for a midsize luxury SUV at 19 mpg city/26 highway for front-wheel drive or 19/25 with optional all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (AWD) gives added traction and capability in snow or off-road but slightly reduces mpg.
Performance is brisk – we recorded a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds for the RX350L AWD. Acceleration from the smooth V6 feels effortless. The 8-speed shifts quickly and imperceptibly in the background.
Ride quality is compliant over bumps and pavement imperfections thanks to the supple suspension. Handling is secure for an SUV of this size. Lexus tunes the RX350L to deliver quiet, refined cruising over sporty agility. Overall, it’s a very pleasant luxury driving experience.
The RX pioneered the “sport utility” crossover genre. Its car-based design has more refined on-road handling versus truck-based SUVs. Design is subjective but the RX350L exterior styling stands out in the segment.
It all starts up front with Lexus’ oversized “spindle” grille. Love it or hate it, the huge pinched-hourglass grille gives the RX an instantly recognizable face. Sweeping LED headlights and 20” machined alloy wheels add to the bold front-end styling.
In profile, the RX350L has a coupe-like floating roofline that tapers into the liftgate. A chrome strip outlines the greenhouse (glass area). The longer body and wheelbase expands cargo and passenger space over the standard RX350.
In the back, chiseled LED taillights echo the headlight shape. Dual exhaust outlets integrated into the rear bumper provide a polished look. Overall, the RX350L successfully grafts luxury styling cues onto a functional SUV shape.
Interior Luxury Appointments
Lexus crafts some of the finest SUV interiors on the market and the RX350L is no exception. The seating space is generous, especially in the first two rows. The standard perforated NuLuxe synthetic leather feels supple. Real leather is optional.
All three rows get dedicated climate control vents. Power-folding and reclining second-row seats make accessing the third row easier. Optional heated/cooled front seats and heated second-row seats pamper occupants in any weather.
Lexus designers pay close attention to material quality and tactile feel. Padded surfaces abound with soft-touch materials on the dash, doors, and center console. Contrast stitching on the leather and seats adds visual appeal.
Interior color schemes pair black upholstery with silver, grey wood, or matte bamboo trim for a modern upscale ambiance. Ambient LED lighting casts a gentle glow at night. Lexus takes luxury to the next level with details like the old-school analog clock.
Technology & Connectivity
Lexus vehicles have long trailed rivals in terms of infotainment technology. The RX350L demonstrates Lexus is catching up in this area. A 12.3” touchscreen is now standard. Smartphone integration arrives via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The touchpad controller takes some familiarization but enables the use of the screen without fingerprints. The standard 9-speaker sound system provides impressive audio quality. Audiophiles will appreciate the crystal-clear 15-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson premium system.
In addition to the latest tech features, the RX retains some trademark Lexus touches like the color multi-information display positioned between the speedometer and tachometer (aka the instrument cluster). Helpful driving data like navigation directions appear right in front of the driver’s sightlines.
Newer advances include the available head-up display that projects key info like speed onto the windshield. Lexus also equips the RX350L with plenty of USB ports for device charging - two in front, two in back, plus more in the center console.
Generous Cargo Flexibility
While the RX350L isn’t the biggest 3-row SUV, cargo space is quite generous thanks to the stretched body and fold-flat seats. There’s still 16 cubic feet behind the third row – enough room for several suitcases.
Lowering the 60/40 split-folding second row opens up 32 cubes. For maximum utility, folding both rear rows creates 58 cubic feet of storage. The power liftgate makes loading bulky items easy. Clever details include bag hooks, LED lighting, and ample small item storage.
Safety & Driver Assistance Features
Lexus prioritizes safety - the RX350L comes standard with an array of active safety features under the Lexus Safety System+ umbrella. This includes advanced capabilities like:
- Pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection
- Lane tracing assist
- Road sign assist
- Dynamic radar cruise control
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
These systems use cameras, sensors, and radar to help avoid or mitigate crashes. Ten airbags offer passive protection in a collision. The RX350L also earned top scores in IIHS crash testing - the gold standard for safety.
F Sport Performance Model
The RX350L F Sport turns up the excitement a notch with its unique styling and tuning. Exterior upgrades include a bespoke F Sport grille, lowered sports suspension, and bold 20” wheels. F Sport styling accents signal the model’s sporty intentions.
Inside, the F Sport features aluminum pedals, unique instrument cluster graphics, and perforated leather sports seats with enhanced bolsters. A stiffer suspension with adaptive damping tightens up handling. F Sport models also add drive mode select with Sport S/S+ modes.
While not a hardcore sports SUV, the F Sport treatment infuses the RX350L with added performance flair for drivers who plan to do more than just cruise to the country club.
Reliability & Ownership Costs
Lexus has built an esteemed reputation for stellar reliability and low ownership costs. The RX350L should prove very dependable thanks to its proven V6 powertrain and luxury parent company Toyota’s manufacturing expertise.
Fuel economy is average for a midsize SUV. Premium fuel is recommended to achieve the advertised mpg figures. Maintenance costs will be higher than a non-luxury brand but the Lexus should reward owners with years of trouble-free service.
Resale values are traditionally very strong for the RX line though the RX350L is too new to have clear data. Lexus vehicles are known to command higher resale prices relative to German rivals, saving owners money when they eventually sell or trade in.
Pricing & Trims
The 2022 Lexus RX350L lineup offers models in Base, Premium, and Luxury trims ranging from $50,000 to $57,000. Adding options like all-wheel drive, Mark Levinson audio, panoramic roof, and more can push the MSRP over $60,000.
The sporty F Sport model with enhanced handling starts at around $56,500. There are also Special Edition packages that bundle popular options into one package to provide more value.
In summary, the RX350L commands a premium over the standard RX350 but offers more space and seating flexibility in return. Compared to rivals, it undercuts the starting price of German brands while offering equal or greater luxury.
Conclusion - Ideal Blend of Utility, Comfort & Quality
The 2022 Lexus RX350L artfully builds upon the winning RX formula. A stretched body and third row make an already versatile SUV even more functional for larger families. The proven V6 powertrain delivers ample performance with Lexus’ trademark refinement.
Inside, few SUVs can match the RX350L’s levels of luxury, quality, and attention to detail. Technology is improved versus prior years with a larger touchscreen and smartphone integration. Safety credentials are stellar as well. There are good reasons why the RX lineup is Lexus’ perennial best-seller – it ticks so many boxes.
Shoppers seeking a 3-row SUV with upscale amenities, quality engineering, and pleasant road manners will find the 2022 Lexus RX350L checks all those requirements. Its balance of practicality, comfort, and premium appointments make it a compelling choice in the midsize luxury segment.