The 2020 Lexus RX 350L is quite similar to the RX 350, just with a third row. Active families may want to opt for the RX 350L strictly for the extra space. Versus the prior generation, Lexus says the ride is smoother and the steering is more responsive. We found this to be true on our drive. As is common with luxury SUVs, the price can climb quickly with options. This is also true of the Lexus RX 350L.
Safety & Tech Features
Advanced Safety Features
Price Can Add Up Quickly
Lexus looked at their SUV lineup and realized they couldn’t compete in the three-row family hauler segment; so they stretched their popular RX 350 by adding a third row of seats, and called it the RXL. It’s almost identical to the 2020 Lexus RX 350. The interior is still luxurious and quiet, and it’s powered by the same dependable and fuel-efficient V6.
Families wanting luxury with more kid-hauling capability should have the Lexus RXL on their shopping list.
For 2020, the RX 350L gets a firmer suspension with slightly sportier handling; revised front and rear styling; more standard safety features and a new infotainment touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa.
Front-wheel drive is standard for the 2020 Lexus RX 350L, although all-wheel drive is optional.
Features & Options: Tech & Safety Focused
The 2020 Lexus RX 350L with all-wheel drive ($48,700) comes standard with a power liftgate; dual-zone automatic climate control; simulated leather upholstery; an eight-inch touchscreen; and adaptive cruise control. A suite of driver safety aids (Lexus’ Safety System+ 2.0) is also standard equipment.
The Navigation package adds navigation of course, but also a larger 12.3-inch display and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. Other extras on our RX 350L tester included a heads up display; heated and ventilated front seats; heated steering wheel; power moonroof; blind-spot monitoring; and second-row captain’s chairs. A cold weather package, 20-inch dark alloy wheels, and triple beam LED headlamps completed the list of options.
What Does The 2020 Lexus RX 350 Cost?
Total MSRP, including destination, for our 2020 Lexus RX 350L tester: $63,100. By comparison, the 2020 Lexus RX 350L starts at $47,300 with front-wheel drive; $48,700 with all-wheel drive. The regular RX 350, with two rows of seats, starts at $44,150 with front-wheel drive; $45,550 with all-wheel drive.
Interior Highlights: Warm & Connected
The 2020 Lexus RX 350L offers a driver-focused cockpit with plenty of leather trim and quality materials throughout. You can’t miss the large 12.3-inch screen in the middle of the two-tier dash. We made liberal use of the heated steering wheel and three-tier heated front seats as snow and cold descended on the Denver area recently.
Lexus listened and finally moved away from the Remote Touch interface with its annoying mouse-style joystick controller. They upgraded it with a new touchpad for 2020. While it’s still a bit awkward, it’s better than the outgoing touch-control system. Lexus Enform Safety Connect, complimentary for three years, and Enform Service Connect, complementary for 10 years, are included with the RX 350L.
Interior Highlights: Passenger & Cargo Space
There is enough legroom and headroom for taller passengers in the second row, a result of the RX L being stretched to accommodate the third row. As far as the third row itself, it isn’t really big enough for adults but perfect for kids. We liked the optional second-row captain’s chairs making for easier access to the back.
The standard RX, with its rear seats up, offers up 18.4 cubic feet of cargo volume, while the L provides 23 cubic feet of volume with the second and third rows up. But with the second and third rows folded down, the gains are less tangible. The regular RX has 56.3 cubic feet versus 58.5 cubic feet in the L.
2020 Lexus RX 350L: Engine & Powertrain
The Lexus RX 350L is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 producing 290 horsepower and 263 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic with steering wheel paddle shifters. Our tester sent power to all four wheels by way of a full-time, Active Torque Control all-wheel drive system.
What Is The Gas Mileage of The Lexus RX 350L?
EPA-estimates come in at 18/25 city/highway and 21 combined with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models improve only marginally to 19/26 city/highway and 22 combined.
How Does The 2020 Lexus RX 350L Drive?
The main goal of the Lexus RX 350L is to provide growing families with a comfortable ride and plenty of utility, and it doesn’t disappoint. Even with the larger 20-inch aluminum sport wheels, the ride is smooth over broken pavement and on dirt roads. The shock absorbers were re-tuned, while the dampers feature a new friction control device to reduce vibrations. The result is an overall much smoother ride, regardless of the road’s condition.
Driving Dynamics: Quiet & Powerful
The RX 350L is quiet and comfortable, but with a splash of energy and fun. It’s not a sports SUV, but it offers above average driving dynamics whether in the city or on mountain roads. The V6 engine has enough power for most driving situations and never left us feeling like we needed more. At our high-altitude testing west of Denver, we pushed hard up I-70. We had the extra power to easily get past slower traffic.
Driving Dynamics: Dashing Through The Snow
This week, the snow offered us the opportunity to test the vehicle’s all-wheel drive capability. The all-wheel-drive system kept us firmly planted even on the icy mountain corners where you can slide easily. Through turns, Lexus uses something known as “active corner braking” to help prevent understeer. When necessary, the RX 350L will brake the inner wheel to provide more stability – something we noticed as we drove through the snowy weather.
We never felt out of control, but felt safe, secure, and confident well beyond any average commute.
Conclusion: A Smart Choice
The 2020 Lexus RX 350L is a good family hauler for those needing a third row. It delivers the smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride you would expect from a luxury vehicle. There are lots of positive attributes that make the Lexus RX 350L a smart, practical, and even energizing choice for families.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy