Lexus TX Luggage Test: How much fits behind the third row?

The name Lexus TX looks like an address you forgot to place a comma in. People have also been calling it a Lexus Texas, which sounds like the name of an adult film actress. But I also think the Lexus Texas 550h+ is a lot more memorable, which is good, since the TX is one of the least distinctive Lexus ever made. It really is just a Toyota Grand Highlander with pretty paint, fancier interior trappings, extra features and some unique powertrain options. Only previous-generation Lexus LX models (fancy Land Cruiser) have undergone a less substantial transformation from Toyota to Lexus. 

What does this have to do with cargo capacity and luggage testing? Well, the Toyota Grand Highlander is our current three-row crossover luggage test champion. It has 20.6 cubic-feet of space behind its third-row, and not surprisingly, the TX is almost exactly the same at 20.2. And, by the way, that goes for every version, including this TX 550h+ plug-in hybrid. If the Grand Highlander is the best non-luxury three-row crossover I’ve tested, the TX should absolutely smoke the luxury field since they by and large have considerably less cargo space behind their third rows. Admittedly, I haven’t tested many of those, but the best result I’ve seen thus far is the Volvo XC90 (15.8 cubic-feet), and the segment’s previous on-paper best was the Lincoln Aviator at 18.3. 

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

Here’s the cargo area. I took the Grand Highlander pics at a different angle because of lighting conditions, but trust me, it looks the same.

Like the Grand Highlander, the TX does NOT have underfloor storage that can contribute to its luggage-carrying capabilities. That’s the main reason why the Grand Highlander’s result was so impressive. I also like the cargo cover can fit underneath here.

Oh, and the TX has a handy hook on a string that can prop up the floor. Unless I totally missed it, the Grand Highlander does not have that. So, to update: pretty paint, fancier interior trappings, extra features, some unique powertrain options and hook on a string.

Let’s get to the bags. As with every Luggage Test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

Um, sure looks the same to me! In case it’s not obvious, the silver car is the TX and the blue one is the Grand Highlander (henceforth TGH ’cause I’m tired of typing Grand Highlander).

To reiterate my finding from the TGH, this is an incredible result for a three-row vehicle. Those are my two biggest bags on the bottom, indicating this space is bigger than every three-row crossover I’ve tested. And I can’t be 100% sure, but it does seem that even the Tahoe and Expedition can’t do this. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer does, however. The XC90s and Cadillac XT6s of the world? Ha!

Obviously, that’s not all my bags, let’s see if everything can fit as it so surprisingly did in the TGH.

Yes! All the bags fit behind the raised third-row, which means that the TX does indeed smoke the luxury field and better the non-luxury field, albeit by a smaller margin. 


… the bags don’t fit as well. You can see how much they lean out, and can sort of see how close they are to the glass. The liftgate still closed, though, and the bags were not squished. 

I guess what we’re seeing here is that 0.4 cubic-foot difference between the TGH and the TX. 

Also, I must point out that the stacked bags are sufficiently prevented from flying forward and still allow for sufficient rear visibility. The TX, like the TGH I tested, has a digital rearview mirror which renders the visibility concern moot anyway.

So there you go. The Lexus Texas has by far the most cargo space behind its third row than any luxury three-row crossover I’ve tested. It also did better than the Ford Expedition and Chevy Tahoe, so therefore the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is still better, as are the extended-length versions of those full-sizers, so the TX can’t quite claim “best luxury three-row SUV, period” status. Oh well, still impressive. 

So while the TX may not be the most original Lexus of all time, there is no denying the space advantages it enjoys because of its shared DNA. The third-row is comparatively large for luxury three-row crossovers, too, in case you were wondering.

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