How much does it fit behind the third row?

How much does it fit behind the third row?

The name Lexus TX sounds like a title I forgot to put a comma in. People also called it Lexus Texas, which sounds like the name of an adult movie actress. But I also think the Lexus Texas 550h+ is very memorable, which is a good thing, since the TX is one of the least special Lexus cars ever. It’s really just a Toyota Grand Highlander with nicer paint, fancier interior trim, additional features, and some unique powertrain options. Only previous-generation Lexus LX models (the luxury Land Cruiser) underwent a less substantial transformation from Toyota to Lexus.

What does this have to do with cargo capacity and baggage testing? Well, the Toyota Grand Highlander is the current three-row luggage test champion. It has 20.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row, and not surprisingly, the TX is about the same at 20.2. Incidentally, this applies to every version, including this TX 550h+ plug-in hybrid model. If the Grand Highlander is the best three-row non-luxury crossover I’ve tested, the TX should absolutely smoke the luxury field since it generally has much less cargo space behind its third rows. Admittedly, I haven’t tested many of these cars, but the best result I’ve seen so far is the Volvo XC90 (15.8 cu. ft.), and the previous best in this class was the Lincoln Aviator at 18.3.

But let’s see if these numbers match reality. Is everything really bigger in Texas? Sorry, pun inevitable.

Here is the shipping area. I took the Grand Highlander at a different angle due to the lighting conditions, but trust me, it looks the same.

Like the Grand Highlander, the TX doesn’t have underfloor storage space that could contribute to its cargo-carrying capabilities. This is the main reason why the Grand Highlander’s result is so impressive. I also like that the cargo cover fits right down here.

Oh, and the TX has a handy hook on a string that can support the floor. Unless I completely missed it, the Grand Highlander doesn’t have that. So, to upgrade: nice paint, fancier interior trim, additional features, some unique powertrain options, and string on a string.

Let’s get to the bags. As with every luggage test, I use two medium-sized wheeled suitcases that must be checked into the airport (26″ long, 16″ wide, and 11″ deep), and two rolling suitcases that barely fit at the top (24″ long x 15″ wide) x 10 depth), and one smaller board fits easily (23″L x 15″W x 10″D). I’m also including my wife’s deluxe overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21″L x 12″W x 12″D).

Um, sure looks the same to me! In case it’s not clear, the silver car is the TX and the blue car is the Grand Highlander (from now on TGH because I’m tired of writing Grand Highlander).

To reiterate my findings from TGH, this is an impressive result for a three-row car. Those are two large trunks at the bottom, which suggests that’s more space than every three-row crossover I’ve tested. And I can’t be 100% sure, but it seems that even the Tahoe and Expedition can’t do it. However, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer does. The XC90s and Cadillac XT6s of the world? Ha!

Obviously this isn’t all my bags, let’s see if everything can fit like it surprisingly did at TGH.

Yes! All the luggage fits behind the raised third row, which means the TX actually smokes the luxury field and improves on the non-luxury field, albeit by a smaller margin.

but …

…the bags don’t fit like Good. You can see how far they’re angled out, and you can kind of see how close they are to the glass. However, the tailgate remained closed, and the bags were not crushed.

I think what we’re seeing here is a 0.4 cubic foot difference between TGH and TX.

I should also note that the stacks adequately prevented from flying forward and still allowed adequate rearward visibility. The TX, like the TGH I tested, has a digital rearview mirror which makes visibility concerns moot anyway.

So here you go. The Lexus Texan has the most cargo space behind the third row of any three-row luxury crossover I’ve tested. It was also better than the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe, and thus the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is still better, as are the extended-length versions of the full-size ones, so the TX can’t claim the status of “best three-row luxury SUV, period.” Well, it’s still impressive.

So, while the TX may not be the most authentic Lexus ever, the space advantages it has due to its shared DNA are undeniable. The third row is relatively large for three-row luxury crossovers, too, in case you were wondering.

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