Have you always wanted a Lexus RX but bemoaned the lack of a third-row option? Well, Toyota’s luxury division has finally listened to your pleas and gave its popular premium midsize SUV room for seven, with the RX L unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

To fit the rearmost seats with enough headroom for actual humans, yet still leave enough boot space to fit more than a piece of paper, Lexus has had to hack up its rakish crossover – the RX L gets an additional 110 mm in rear overhang and a more upright rear windscreen. The resulting changes put its length at an even five metres long, besting all of its main rivals apart from the massive 5,052 mm Audi Q7.

Buyers get the option of either seven seats with a 60:40 split-folding second-row bench, or a six-seat configuration with individual captain’s chairs in the middle and walk-through third-row access. Unlike the stadium seating offered by the likes of the Land Rover Discovery, Lexus opted to place the second row higher than the third row, sacrificing forward visibility for those in the latter pews in favour of extra foot room.

Those passengers also get triple-zone climate control with separate third-row air-conditioning and dedicated vents. Lexus claims that the RX L offers more luggage space behind the third row than its competitors, and power-folding third-row seats and a powered tailgate with handsfree operation – activated by hovering a hand over the Lexus emblem at the rear – are fitted as standard.

Otherwise, it’s the same RX as before, with a stylish, well-made cabin featuring form-fitting seats, gently-curving wood trim on the centre console, an optional full-colour head-up display, eight- or 12.3-inch infotainment screens (controlled by the mouse-like Remote Touch controller) and an available 835-watt, 15-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system.

Safety-wise, the RX L gets full-length curtain airbags covering all three rows, joining Lexus Safety System + that is standard in most markets. This includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. A Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Intuitive Parking Assist and Cross-Traffic Braking is optional.

Engine options start with a 294 hp/357 Nm 3.5 litre naturally-aspirated V6 with D-4S direct injection on the RX 350L, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel drive. There’s also the hybrid RX 450hL that pairs this engine with twin electric motors and an independent rear motor (providing all-wheel drive), producing a total system output of 308 hp.

There’s no mention of the 235 hp/350Nm 2.0 litre turbo four-pot from the RX 200t as yet. Meanwhile, the suspension is identical to the one in the standard RX, with front MacPherson struts and rear double wishbones, plus electric power steering and optional Adaptive Variable Suspension damping.