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Lexus RX350L: The perfect motorway cruiser, save for one flaw...

Lexus RX350L: The perfect motorway cruiser, save for one flaw...

clarencegi75

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Is your S.O. always complaining about length?

Well then this might be just the thing that she (or he?) is looking for. Lexus has extended (literally!) their popular RX model range to now include a three-row version, apparently because showroom visitors in the U.S.A have been asking for a seven-seater of their favorite SUV.

Lexus inform us that numerous improvements have been made to this facelifted model of the RX350L in order to sharpen up its handling, including the use of new Laser Screw Welding and high-strength adhesives for the body, and new dampers equipped with a Friction Control Device to keep said body in check. And from the driver's seat, the car feels those improvements. Despite being such a large car, the whole thing steers accurately and is very easy to place on the road, after a little acclimatisation of course.

Which is all well and good, but let's get real. Nobody is going to buy this Lexus with the expectation of razor-sharp handling through the roads of Kent Ridge. 

So let's talk about how this car performs where it was truly designed to excel: On the highway. I would typically be the first to join the anti-SUV bandwagon but gosh, is this thing a revelation. Yes, you do get some float when you hit some low-frequency undulations at just the right speed, but I'll excuse the car's weight and necessarily soft damping. Everywhere else, the car rides over bumps with absolute aplomb. Ignore any camber changes and bumps on the road, you simply keep the steering wheel in the direction of intended travel and plough along, just as a proper limousine ought to. Mind you, this thing was riding on 20-inch rims as tested.

But a quality ride does not alone make a good cruiser, and the RX350L also comes in hitting with supreme insulation. You genuinely will not be able to tell the quality of the tarmac as you ride along in the RX350L, either with your ears of through the steering wheel. With the three days I had the car I frequently found myself anticipating the hour in which I would be able to leave my desk just so that I can fall into the supple leather seats, shut the doors, and then just laze in the cabin's supreme quietness. It genuinely is that good.

Combine this with the fact that the car comes with ventilated seats and an air-conditioning system that works very well, and I think you will not doubt when I say the car could rival many bedrooms for comfort levels.

Which is a good thing then, because you do not want to have too many kids to ferry around in this thing. Third-row passengers are genuinely woefully catered for space-wise, although the forward two rows will get more than a generous share of the car's length. But hey, space for all that suspension travel and the rear double wishbones has to come from somewhere right? Fold the third-row down however, and you get a whopping 652 litres of boot space, so think of this as a covered luxury truck and you should be fine.

And the one flaw with the car? Well, the 12 speaker system needs a bit of work. I'm no sound engineer for sure, but the car's speakers manage to combine that tinny effect you get from cheap earphones with the muddy sound you get from a bass-boosted headphone. It ain't terrible to listen to, but it sure as hell stands out when everywhere else you see and touch (and even the places you don't, read the full review) is so well put together.

But if you can get over something like that and need a large SUV to ferry your kids along on your frequent Ikea runs, rest assured that this thing have the necessary length to satisfy anyone.

Read the full review here!

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