The Lexus RX has been around for 20 years and without doubt it is one of the world’s greatest cars, a 4x4 of sheer brilliance.

It was a shrewd move by Toyota to build cars for the mass market and then start up Lexus for those motorists who wanted a bit of luxury.

The Americans loved it even though it was a bit of a risk to build a crossover which was based on a car more than a truck.

But such is the demand for a seven seat vehicle these days Lexus have had to follow my leader and the RX450hL hit the market earlier this year.

The Lexus RX is now in its fourth generation and the interior space has been designed to be easily adaptable, maximising the potential offered by its extended length.

This excellent functionality is matched by that typical Lexus luxury and the option of a third row of seats hasn’t compromised the vehicle’s sleek styling and easy manoeuvrability.

The RX has been extended by 110mm and fitting a bigger rear to ensure adequate headroom for rearmost seat occupants.

Those seats raise at the press of a button. There are two controls, handily located on the second row of seats and in the load area. The same process stows all the seats flat increasing the length of the loadspace to more than a metre. There is a tonneau cover to keep items hidden from view and when not needed, it can be stowed neatly into a dedicated space beneath the load floor.

The folding second row seats have no exposed parts, so there’s no risk of snagging or tripping when getting in and out. Access to the third row is simple, with one-touch knobs to tilt and slide the second row seats forward and a footstep on the floor to guide passengers in.

A tri-zone air conditioning system lets passengers in the back row adjust heating and ventilation independently, using controls located to the side of the third row seats. They can also be operated by the driver through the central multimedia screen.

A multifunction armrest console in the third row also provides two cup holders, and two USB ports – ideal for kids to connect gaming devices when making long journeys.

On top of all that is the hi spec kit which comes with Lexus which include a 12.3-inch multimedia and navigation screen, a bespoke 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system, power-operated tailgate with no touch open and closing, heated and ventilated front seats with power adjustment and full LED lighting.

The extra seating comprises a 60/40 split-folding bench, designed to offer just as much comfort and luxury as the middle row seats. Access is made easy thanks to a pull lever that slides the second row seats forward, and the design gives the RX L a longer flat cargo floor area than its competitors. The second row seats are set slightly higher than those behind, creating more foot room for the rearmost passengers.

And if you want to talk safety in a car which is probably the safest vehicle next to Volvo the RX L is fitted with full length curtain airbags that provide protection for outer seat occupants in all three rows of seats.

Other safety features include a Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition and Automatic High Beam (on SE and Luxury grades, Adaptive High Beam System on Premier grade), the driver is better equipped than ever to be aware of and protected from accident risks.

Prices start at £50,995 and with all the extras you might like the price soon jumps to £64,000.

But what a ride it is. Having a hybrid on board means you can almost do 50 miles to the gallon.

Despite that you can 0-62mph in just eight seconds because you have a main engine of 3.5 litres and a top speed of 112mph.

There is the three year guarantee which goes with all Toyota and Lexus vehicles and the hybrid components are guaranteed for five years.