There are plenty of people who love the luxury feel of a Lexus SUV, but they don’t want a big honking gas guzzler. The compact SUV market is quickly picking up steam, so Lexus is reportedly working on a smaller version of its popular urban utility vehicle to capitalize on this emerging opportunity. In the past, Lexus flat out denied any interest in creating a compact SUV, but their tune now appears to be changing.
As expected, the unnamed vehicle would sit below the pre-existing Lexus RX 350 SUV, taking on a smaller footprint and getting powered by an engine that isn’t quite as large. In this way, the luxury people-mover would compete directly against the likes of the BMW X3, Infiniti EX35, Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and Mercedes GLK.
Toyota Motor Sales USA president Jim Lentz recognizes that a small luxury SUV would appeal to people who are “sick of the suburbs, but who don’t want to give up the utility of their SUV.” The expected price point is in the $30,000 range with the platform being based largely on the Toyota RAV4.