Longform Luxury: The 2019 Lexus RX450hL

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Lexus RX450hL
The 2019 Lexus RX450hL.
As strong a seller as the RX series has been for Lexus, one can't help but wonder how many sales were lost for want of a third row.  For 2019 (and 2018 before it), that lack of wayback seating has been rectified with new "L" models.

The one we drove is arguably our favorite of the RX lineup, the RX450hL hybrid.

Rear 3/4 view of 2019 Lexus RX450hL
2019 Lexus RX450hL.
The L is recognizable at first glance.  There's simply more room between the rear wheel and the back of the vehicle, and the chrome trim that runs above the windows has a longer slope downward as it reaches the rear.

The extra length and seating for two additional humans adds just a shade under $5,000 to the base price of an RX450h.   A five-seater starts at $45,995.  The L begins at $50,720.  And our tester had the Luxury Package (20-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with superchrome machined finish and interchangeable painted inserts, driver and front passenger seat power cushion extender and four-way lumbar support, semi-aniline perforated leather-trimmed interior, manual rear-door sunshades, gray saepele wood with aluminum interior trim, a rear armrest storage compartment, illuminated front door sills, heated wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel, electrochromic outside mirrors, ambient lighting, a power moonroof and the Lexus memory system) for an extra $3,935.

Interior view of 2019 Lexus RX450hL
2019 Lexus RX450hL interior.
All of which combines to make as nice an environment as imaginable while you're getting your 29 miles per gallon city and 28 highway (an improvement over 19/27 in the gasoline-powered RX350L).

Naturally, the one we drove for a week also had extra-cost options:

  • Blind spot monitor,  intuitive parking assist with auto braking, auto-dim power fold miror, panoramic view monitor ($1,865).
  • Cold weather package, including windshield wiper de-icer and headlamp cleaner ($200).
  • Touch-free power rear door ($200).
  • Heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats ($1,080).
  • Triple-beam LED auto-leveling headlamps with cleaners, cornering lamps, LED front turn signal lamps and rear combination lamps ($1,515).
  • 12.3-inch navigation system, 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium audio system and Lexus Enform Destination Assist ($3,225).
With $1,025 delivery, processing and handling fee, the total was $63,765.  That's about $5,000 more than the RX450h we tested two years ago---and that wasn't an L.  

Between the demographic that buys Lexus RXs and their length of ownership, grandparenthood is a factor.  An extra two seats for the kids and three more for the grandkids can be a major selling point.  Lexus was wise to add the L.