So I'm a current Lexus owner, love the brand and have been waiting months for the RX-L to come out and replace our family vehicle with a 3 row SUV. I was so excited when the RXL came out and I went to the dealership with checkbook in hand, ready to buy. I literally cannot understand what Lexus was thinking with the 3rd row design. I expect midsize SUV 3rd rows to be child-sized, but this was completely non-functional and worse than any I've ever seen. With the 2nd row seats in the back position, the back of the 2nd row seat touches the bench of the 3rd row with precisely zero leg space. It touches! With the second row seats in the farthest forward position, I (or my teenage kids) STILL could not lock the second row seat in place (in it's farthest forward position) because the knees of the 3rd row passenger were in the way. It was physically impossible. The fact that the car is only 4 inches longer than the 2 row version should have been my first clue. If you need to get any child older than about 5 or a dog (which is exactly what they show in the new RXL commercial), the 3rd row is physically impossible to use. Not just cramped, not just tight, both of which I expected. Literally physically impossible to use and completely worthless. It was such a disappointment. We ended up buying the highest optioned Toyota Highlander (AWD hybrid limited platinum) instead. Not quite a Lexus, but darn, darn close and a bit cheaper too. I was so excited waiting for the RXL, but it's a complete whiff with regard to the 3rd row, which is what we were holding out for. I still love the two row version, the RX is still a great vehicle, but the RXL turned out to be completely pointless.
We just got the RX 350L and could not be happier with it. The ride and comfort and quality are outstanding. We drove the Audi, Infinity, Accura and BMW over the past week and this was easily our favorite of the group and it came in lower than most when comparing similar packages. I also like the look a bit more than the RX 350 with the less slope backend. The base sound system also was a real pleasant surprise ... with some slight adjustments to the balance and bass it was really surprisingly great and I love good sound. The ride is very smooth and quiet with very comfortable seats and easy to use controls including the great safety technology package. To be fair, as another reviewer wrote, the 3rd row is tight, but we did not feel anywhere near as bad as the reviewer described. My wife 5'4" tried it out on our ride and said it was comfortable with the mid row seats still in a reasonable position. This would work for our needs of 2 hour or less drives with an extra ability to fit 1 or 2 more kids or shorter adults avoiding the need for a second vehicle on the trips. There is still nice storage behind the 3rd row too. For us, this was a great choice and we're really happy with nearly every aspect of the car and would recommend it to friends or family.