Lexus to Build Compact SUV Hybrid

This is not entirely shocking but interesting nonetheless.

Lexus is reportedly planning on making a smaller version of the RX SUV (pictured above) to compete with the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q3. But just like the CT 200h, which is meant to take on the BMW 1-series and Audi A3, it will be hybrid only. It’s an interesting move considering the offerings from both BMW and Audi in both segments are largely more performance oriented. This would seem to suggest that Lexus wishes to compete in the same segment, yet with something completely unique.

The new baby Lexus ‘ute, to be called the CX 300h, will be based on the Toyota RAV4 and is likely to use the same hybrid set up that the Toyota Camry Hybrid uses which is a 2.4 four litre with output rated at 187 horses.

Details beyond that are a bit scarce at the moment but expect the CX 300h to take a more luxurious route rather than a more sporting route like the offerings from BMW and Audi.

I came away quite impressed with my recent test of the X1 and would wager that it could be hard to beat, even value-wise, but we’ll see what Lexus can come up with.

One issue I can forsee being a problem is there being canabalization of CT 200h sales. The CT 200h and the CX 300h are expected to be around the same size, both with fuel efficiency in mind. The “300” nomencalture of the CX would suggest it will be more powerful, but that raised ride height would likely mean better handling from the CT 200h.

This begs the question: which would you choose? A CT 200h or a small SUV version?

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