Lexus is giving its full-size LX SUV buyers the option to remove one of three rows with the new 2018 LX 570 2-row version. The luxury make revealed the new version of its largest SUV at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Lexus sells a two-row, 5-seat version of the LX in other global markets and decided earlier this year to bring it to the U.S., a Lexus spokeswoman said. And some buyers told Lexus they weren’t using the third row and instead wanted more space for carrying outdoor gear and to travel with their dogs.  Lexus expects about 10 percent of LX sales will be the two-row variant, which will start to arrive in dealerships in December. The 2-row 2018 LX 570 starts at $84,980 (before the $1,195 delivery/handling fee). That price is $5,000 less than the 8-passenger, 3-row LX 570.                      

The 2-row LX 570 will be sold in a new, single trim level with the same standard features of the 3-row such as leather trim, 4-zone automatic climate control, power tailgate, moonroof and 20-inch wheels.

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Plenty of driver assists         

It also comes with a bevy of safety features such as Lexus’ Standard Intuitive Park Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Panoramic View Monitor and the Lexus Safety System +. That safety package includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection to alert drivers of a possible crash and can begin automatic braking if necessary; Lane Departure Alert with a vibrating steering wheel warning; Intelligent High-Beam headlamps, and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which uses radar and a front camera to maintain a set distance from the car ahead.

The new model looks just like the 3-row version, sporting a flashy and large spindle grille, chrome trim and triple-beam LED headlamps. Inside, the 2-row version also is familiar, centered by a large, 12.3-inch infotainment display.

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Same size, engine

Vehicle dimensions don’t change, but buyers gain 15 percent more cargo space, totaling 50.5 cubic feet when folding down the second row. The 2018 LX 570 also comes with a standard roof rack, and like its bigger sibling, dual-time 4-wheel drive.

The 2018 LX 570 2-row is powered by the same engine: a V8 generating 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission.

The SUV has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds and includes features such as traction control and selectable driving modes for off-roading, and Hill-start Assist Control for driving on steep inclines. The two-row LX 570 also includes Active Height Control, which lowers the SUV by about three inches to help load and unload passengers.

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