Johannesburg - Apparently Lexus customers and dealers have been crying out for a seven seat version of the RX, and that’s exactly what they now have in the form of the new RX 350L, which has just rolled into South Africa.

It’s not the only Lexus with seven seats - remember, there’s also the huge, Land Cruiser 200 based overlanding behemoth called the LX - but if you prefer the sportier, more road-hugging nature of the BMW X5 rivalling RX then the new RX 350L will be right up your alley.

To accommodate the two extra seats, Lexus lengthened the body by 110mm, while a steeper tailgate and 10mm-taller roof provides the necessary headroom for this third row.

The third row seats can accommodate a child seat, and can be accessed through a one-touch lever on both sides. This row also has its own air vents and controls. When not needed the 50:50-split back seats can be folded flat at the touch of a button, increasing boot space to 432 litres.

As far as spec changes go, the panoramic roof has been replaced by a moonroof and the middle-row seats are no longer electrically adjustable, while the engine loses some power.

The packaging ‘baggage’ imposed by the third row meant that the regular RX350’s dual exhaust system had to make way for a single exhaust, thus the normally aspirated V6 engine now makes 216kW and 358Nm - down 5kW and 12Nm.

As with the five-seater, power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Standard features in the RX 350L include a 12-speaker infotainment system with a 30.5cm screen and Electronic Multi-vision navigation system, three-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats with 10-way power adjustment, two 5V USB power sockets in the second row seats, LED headlights and 20-inch alloys.

Prices include a four-year/90 000km maintenance plan.

PRICES

RX 350 - R916 600

RX 350L - R949 300

RX 450H - R1 222 600

IOL Motoring