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  • Lexus RX 350L is on a Mission to do Good

    Posted on March 27th, 2018 ninarussin

    Automaker supports Benevilla’s outreach to Surprise, Arizona residents

    By Nina Russin

    Members of the media help Lexus provide toys and baby supplies to Benevilla

    Members of the media help Lexus provide toys and baby supplies to Benevilla

    At a recent media event in Scottsdale, Arizona, Lexus invited journalists to join in its philanthropic efforts by stuffing the new long-wheelbase RX 350L and RX 450hL sport-utility vehicles full of toys. The toys and baby supplies go to Benevilla: a not-for-profit organization in Surprise, Arizona with free home services, meals on wheels, a family resource center, and life enrichment programs for elderly citizens with dementia.


    Long wheelbase RX models available with three rows of seating

    2018 Lexus RX 350L

    2018 Lexus RX 350L

    The midsize RX is Lexus’ most popular sport-utility vehicle, sandwiched in between the full-size LX and compact NX. Built on a unibody platform, the RX offers buyers who need space and utility but want a more car-like ride an alternative to the body-on-frame GX.

    Increasing the length of the RX by 4.3-inches and making the tailgate more upright enabled designers to offer optional third-row seating, following an industry trend. Families who own midsize utility vehicles need the versatility of six or seven-passenger capacity, mainly for kids. While hip, lead and legroom in the RX’s third row won’t work for most adults, the added space makes it easier to take the soccer team to its weekly practice.

    Third-row seats fold flat 50/50 and second-row seats in a 40/20/40 pattern to create a flat load floor for larger cargo. A lever slides and folds the second-row seat forward to enhance access and egress to the third row.

    Powertrains for the long wheelbase RX are the same as for five-passenger models: a direct-injection V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission for the RX 350L and V-6 engine mated to two electric motor generators and continuously-variable automatic transmission for the RX 450hL, giving that car power equivalent to a V-8.

    The RX 350L is available with front or all-wheel drive, while the 450hL is all-wheel drive only, since once of the motor generators drives the rear axle independently.

    Pricing for the RX 350L starts at $47,670 for the front-wheel drive model and $49,070 for the all-wheel drive crossover. Prices do not include destination. Pricing for the RX 450hL starts at $50,620.

    A mission to serve Phoenix, Arizona’s west valley

    Surprise is located about an hour northwest of Phoenix, Arizona’s city center. The area that was farmland a couple of decades back has grown quickly into a thriving community, due in part to the Toyota proving grounds in the vicinity.

    Benevilla’s history dates-back-to 1981, when residents of nearby Sun City started the not-for-profit to promote health and independence within the community. The organization has grown to over 100 employees and over 1000 volunteers, whose mission is to help people live independently in their homes.

    At the media program, Lexus gave each journalist a gift card for $500 and a ‘wish list’ from Benevilla based on requests from its constituents. Our list included baby and children’s supplies, ranging from diapers to paint brushes, glitter, STEM-friendly books, indoor and outdoor games.

    Ask three women to go shopping and you can be sure that the car will come back full to the brim. After two hours, there was just enough room left in the RX to accommodate a driver and two passengers. The cargo area was full to the roof.

    Giving back

    At a time when many describe our current culture as one of entitlement, it’s nice to see an automaker that produces luxury cars take a different path. Certainly, the media event was opulent enough: much more than necessary in this writer’s opinion. Lavish resorts with sumptouous meals are de-rigueur for these sorts of events and this was no exception.

    But at the end of the day the best part of the program wasn’t the hotel or the lunch at a private Arabian horse ranch in Scottsdale; it was the gratitude of the folks from Benevilla who will give kids that would otherwise do without paintbrushes to create, books to stimulate their minds, and stacks of diapers to stretch the budgets of hard-working families. The greatest gift one can give oneself is to give to someone else.

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