Apr 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: The Lexus RX 350L

The Lexus RX 350L comes with third-row seating. Photo: Lexus

This week I'm driving the Lexus RX 350L, a stretch version of the luxury carmaker's best-selling RX crossover utility.

Why it matters: Lexus needed to add a third row to the RX to keep up with competitors, but it's probably best to park little kids back there, not grandma or teenagers.

What's new: The 2020 RXL gets rid of Lexus' annoying mouse-like Remote Touch controller on the center console and replaces it with a slightly less awkward touchpad. At least the infotainment system now has touchscreen capability. None of the interfaces are ideal, which is true in most cars today.

  • The RXL starts at $47,300. My loaded version was $63,540, including delivery and handling charges.

Many assisted driving features are standard in the RXL, including more sensitive camera and radar systems that can detect daytime bicyclists as well as pedestrians even in low light.

  • I liked that road signs are clearly displayed in the instrument panel, too.

I had a little more trouble with Lexus' "lane tracing assist" technology, which is designed to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane while using dynamic cruise control.

  • If road markings are not detected, the system is also capable, in certain conditions, of following the car ahead of it.
  • During my drive, it was cloudy, the roads were wet and there were snow flurries. I saw no reason why the system shouldn't work.
  • Still, the car annoyingly slowed down and sped up with each rise or dip in the road, and it frequently latched on to cars in other lanes when the road curved ever so slightly.

My thought bubble: This is why drivers turn off driver-assistance technology that doesn't inspire confidence, defeating its potentially life-saving benefits.

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.