LOS ANGELES -- Lexus is stretching the segment-leading RX crossover by more than 4 inches to add an optional third row of seating long sought by dealers who have clamored for a family-friendly version of the brand's top seller and the best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S.
The body of the 2018 RX L is stretched 4.3 inches at the rear and uses a steeper tailgate window compared with the standard two-row RX to provide better headroom in the back without dramatically altering the styling.
The RX L debuted Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be built in Japan and go on sale in December, a key month for Lexus and other luxury brands.
U.S. sales of the RX are flat at 84,254 this year through October in a midsize premium market that has expanded 4.9 percent.
Cooper Ericksen, vice president of marketing for Lexus, said brand officials expect about a 30 percent take rate for the RX L, with half of those buyers coming from current RX owners and the other half coming from new consumers attracted to the availability of the third row.