What’s the Difference Between the 2021 Lexus RX and RXL?

Lexus makes some of the best SUVs on the market right now. However, many Lexus models don’t have creative names. That’s very much the case with the 2021 Lexus RX, which customers shouldn’t confuse with the 2021 Lexus RXL. Here’s a look at how those two similarly-named SUVs are the same and how they’re different from each other.

What these two Lexus SUVs have in common

The 2021 Lexus RX and 2021 Lexus RXL models
The 2021 Lexus RX and 2021 Lexus RXL models | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Like the names imply, there are quite a few similarities between the RX and the RXL. For example, they’re both in the midsize crossover SUV segment, and, according to Edmunds, they’re almost identical in many ways. On the outside, they look very similar, and it wouldn’t be strange if someone confused one for the other based on their looks.

On the inside, they both share many of the same features. For instance, both SUVs have a luxurious and well-designed interior that uses plenty of high-quality materials. Furthermore, both SUVs have many standard smart safety features, and they both have a comfortable ride and comfortable seating. As a result of those similarities, both Lexus SUVs have great reviews. However, they’re both ultimately different in one critical way.

The 2021 Lexus RXL is bigger than the 2021 Lexus RX

According to Edmunds, the RXL has a stretched wheelbase when compared to the regular RX. This change allowed Lexus to add a third-row of seating to the RXL. With that being said, this additional third row has its drawbacks. As Edmunds said, some competitors in the SUV with third-row seating segment will have a more spacious third-row than the RXL will.

On top of that, while the RXL can seat two more people than the regular RX can, there’s not much space behind those third-row seats. As such, the RXL also has less cargo capacity than some of its peers have. Furthermore, this upgrade isn’t free. The regular RX starts at about $52,000, and the RXL starts at about $57,000. Additionally, picking the RXL will mean losing a trim option. The regular RX has access to the F Sport trim, while the RXL upgrade loses access to the trim. Instead, the RXL gets the Luxury trim, which is not an option on the regular RX.

Elsewhere, the RXL received upgrades for its 2021 model year. For example, Edmunds said that more smart safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard on the RXL. Additionally, wireless smartphone charging is now an optional feature. 

The Lexus RX has continued to sell well

These features, when combined with Lexus’ reputation for making high-quality cars that are very safe and reliable, and it’s obvious why the RX has continued to sell well. Indeed, the sales numbers back it all up. According to GoodCarBadCar, the RX has had nine straight years where Lexus sold more than 100,000 units.

Lexus was also able to keep that streak alive in 2020, despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the massive recession that happened. In fact, the last time that Lexus sold fewer than 100,000 RXs in a year was during the Great Recession back from 2008 to 2011. 

So far, in 2021, the RX has continued to sell very well. By June 2021, Lexus had sold about 56,000 RX models. This means that Lexus is currently on track to continue its streak of selling at least 100,000 RXs a year. As the economy continues to recover, there’s no doubt that the RX and the RXL will be some of the cars that customers will try to get their hands on.

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