Although it hasn’t received many updates for the 2015 model year, the Lexus RX 350 remains a strong competitor in the crossover market mainly due to its luxurious cabin and smooth ride. However, the vehicle lacks the power of its main rivals and, more importantly, it doesn’t come with the third-row seat featured in the Acura MDX for instance.
Lexus is obviously aware of the latter, especially with many customer complaints reaching its headquarters via dealers, and, according to brand chief Jeff Bracken, the company is planning on resolving this issue by rolling out a seven-seat crossover under the TX nameplate.
"Third-row seating is the No. 1 issue we hear from dealers. We feel like we’re missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We’re working hard to rectify that," Bracken told Automotive News, without going into specifics.
Despite the lack of details, it appears that the vehicle is likely to be a car-based crossover underpinned by either the platform used for the Toyota Highlander /Camry (FWD) or the architecture found under the Lexus IS and GS sedans (RWD). Specifically, the seven-seat crossover will be similar in size to the RX, with a slightly longer body to provide additional third-row space inside the cabin. "We won’t be bothered if it steps on RX. We want it," Bracken was quoted saying.
A little more than a clean sheet of paper at the time of this writing, the vehicle won’t arrive until "2016 or 2017" and there’s no word as to what engines might be offered. The TX name remains unconfirmed for the time being, but the aforementioned source reports that Toyota has already applied for a trademark.
Note: The recently unveiled Lexus RX pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Lexus TX.
The MDX is one of the very few midsize SUV that offer seating for seven. That’s a key selling point for Acura , but the said vehicle has more to offer than the additional two seats at the back of the cabin. As our editor-in-chief Justin Cupler found out earlier this year , the 2014 MDX delivers outstanding value for the buck with an attractive exterior, numerous amenities inside, and plenty of power with pretty good highway mileage.
Speaking of power, the MDX is currently motivated by a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine — shared with Honda Odyssey minivan — that generates 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy estimates stand at 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. These figures are likely to change by the time the Lexus TX arrives, as the MDX will get mid-cycle refresh by 2017.
You won’t find a brand-new MDX for less than $42,290 at any Acura dealership and expect to up to $55,000 if you’re looking to check several boxes on the options list.