The Lexus RX350L is a seven-seater SUV that looks great from the outside! I was very keen to get inside and see how it was as a BabyDrive!
Boot storage is impressive whether you use the RX as a seven-seater or a five-seater! As a five-seater, the boot is really big and I could fit 18 shopping bags in it. That is the same as the Mazda CX9 and Nissan Pathfinder, two more than in the Kia Sorento, and three more than the Skoda Kodiaq!
The Britax Flexx single and tandem strollers fit with 12 shopping bags alongside them and the Britax compact Holiday stroller fits with 15 shopping bags!
When using all seven seats I could get seven shopping bags in the boot, or the Britax Flexx single and tandem strollers fitted with three and two bags respectively.
The boot space is so large when using the RX as a seven-seater that you could do an emergency nappy change on there!
However, I feel the larger boot space takes away from the space in the car and when I came to install child seats, I discovered there is not really enough legroom in the car for it to be used as a genuine seven-seater. There are three top tethers across each of the backrests in the second row of seats and one in the third row of seats, in the backrest on the passenger side. They are all well labelled and easy to access and connect to.
In the second row, there are ISOFix points in the two outer seats and although they are not within plastic guides, they contrast to the seat upholstery so are easy to locate and connect.
I found I could not fit three forward-facing child seats across the second row there was not enough shoulder room, I could fit a forward facing Maxi Guard Pro booster seat in the central seat and a rear-facing Britax Unity infant capsule on one side and Britax Graphene (rear-facing) on the other outer seat.
In the third row, I installed the forward facing Platinum Pro child seat, using the seatbelt and top tether, but there was very little leg room.
I found the only way to access the third row was bringing the second-row seatback forward and so having to uninstall any child seats in the second-row outer seat! Which is totally impractical! Also with child seats installed in the second row, there really wasn't any legroom in the first and third rows!
The RX350L was a great car to drive, it was very smooth and quiet. In fact, it was easy to speed in as I couldn't feel the road beneath and felt quite cocooned from the outside world! I did find the brakes had to really be stamped on to be confident I would stop but other than that it was great around town and on the open roads.
The media system really let the car down for me, it made the whole car feel out of date. It was very basic and hard to navigate. It didn't have Apple CarPlay or Android auto either.
The sat-nav command volume could be adjusted and turned off within the settings and you could replay the last instruction which I always find a very useful feature!
I found the interior had some nice styling and it was all very comfortable and well thought out in terms of design and storage practicality, especially the rear cup holder and phone storage with USB charging in the second row.
However I am not a fan of the brown and cream leather combination, it automatically makes the car feel out of date and the cream leather is totally impractical and a disaster waiting to happen with kids!!
The five-seat version of the Lexus RX scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2015 and all versions have 10 airbags as standard.