Lexus Developing Compact SUV to Compete with BMW X3 & Audi Q5

Lexus RAV4

Auto Express is reporting that Lexus plans to release a compact SUV below the RX:

The Toyota luxury brand has enjoyed huge success with the RX range, particularly in the US, but Andy Pfeiffenberger, vice president of Lexus Europe, wants to focus on the class below.

“We have been very slow to come to the market with a downsized SUV,” he told us. “This is an area of our range that you will see develop over the next few years.”

The class is dominated by the Q5, Evoque and BMW X3 – and although there are no official details, the new sub-RX SUV will be a hybrid, and cost from around £30,000.

A “baby” RX has been rumored for a long time, but in my memory, this is the first instance that a Lexus official has essentially guaranteed its arrival.

(This news almost had me thinking the RX might grow in size so that these two models don’t sit too close to one another in the lineup, but I seriously doubt that Lexus will do anything to mess with the RX’s success. Also, the above image is a rendering from Autobild, and not an actual image of the Lexus compact SUV.)

[Source: Auto Express]


  1. I thought the RX is small ... now it's confusing with GX .
  2. FINALLY!!!! 
  3. Needs more spindle.
  4. 1.  Lexus should make a smaller RX, and a LARGER RX (remember the old HPX Concept?)  The GX is their weakest model, and The People would line up for a car-based full-size Lexus SUV! 2.  The Rav4 is coming out later this year, and any Lexus "compact" CUV would use that as it's base. It's not a coincidence.  I would expect a Lexus version Fall 2013. 3.  The 200Hp Camry Hybrid engine smells like a natural for it.  Would probably lose a few MPG, but 35 MPG combined would move the crowd.  The Germans aren't putting much more into their small CUVs at $35k, much less at 35+ MPG This was only a matter of time, the way the RX has crept upmarket.  I don't see why Lexus can't sell 50k a year..... BD
    • it´s so true what you say...makes a LOT of sence...
    • I like the size of the GX but the car is so ugly.  Way to boxy and the the little thing that bothers me most is the trunk.  Can't it open like the RX/LX and every other SUV.   On the X3 how much trunk space is there. (Can you fit a weeks worth of groceries?)  It looks small.  
  5. It cannot look like this though or anything close to it imho. I mean the X3 is a bastard child that looks hella ugly. Gaudi's. Well, I hate them with extreme prejudice. I just hope whichever way the design team goes. That is doesn't look wimpy or remotely resembles the RAV4. That would be a disappointment if it does.
  6. RAL

    Just happened to be following a first generation RX in our 2010 today.  The difference in size was striking.  I would go for an even larger RX if fuel economy isn't sacrificed too much.  And on a side note . . . in response to recent contrary comments . . . our RX rides so good and is so quiet . . . we've had friends make comments about it . . . friends who would normally not notice such things . . .  The RX sells itself!
  7. More in the pipeline.
    • Interesting info there!  Especially about a future 2.0L Turbo 4-cyl... Toyota/Lexus engines have been NA for so long.  That engine would work well with the small CUV (CX?) and even as an option on the new IS and perhaps a non-hybrid CT?
  8. I really hope they will make a 3 doors sporty verson of it! I should be sleek as a ferrari FF! :-P
  9. MT

    Finally a good development for s Europeans from Lexus. Although I still don't get it. Now they develop a small SUV for the European market. Yet they don't want to build an IS wagon. Small wagons sell several times the numbers of small SUVs. 
    • PG

       I guess they think that the wagon market dominated by the traditional Audi/BMW/MB crowd is more difficult to penetrate than the (relatively) new small CUV market.
    • Wagons would only work on some countries of Europe while SUV work on almost any market. They already had a wagon before (IS Sportcross) but didn't do well on sales figures and that's why they didn't offer the wagon version for the 2005 Lexus IS restyling. A smaller SUV or CUV is a top priority for Lexus now.
  10. LOL... another re-badged Toyota that looks more like mini van... who is the designer for Lexus?  LAME.
  11. This'll sell like the proverbial hot cakes around here (Norway) !  :-D
  12. They are tooooooo slow for the small SUV.
  13. This mysteriously resembles a nanosecond still from Lexus teasers at NAIAS in January, when a mysterious CUV showed up. Only the lack of a spindle grille may be the difference.
    • I believe you mean this teaser?
    • Here's another shot.
    •  Oh, yes. I am so sorry for the late response. You are very right about that. It's this one! Am I wrong it being a new vehicle? It looks close to the CT200h, but I think it isn't.
    • Too tall for being a hatchack, besides why would they feature a CT if it's no longer a "new" model? It will only make sense if it's the CT F Sport, but we have already seen it so it must be the new CUV.
    •  You're 100% right. Lexus usually approves their designs 2 years before production starts at the factory. That is it. Where did you find those images? I found them in January at Club Lexus. Anyway, I am wondering how this image here was rendered from what looks to be the actual veiled vehicle. Most people didn't really see those stills, yet some managed to quickly render it. I suspect insider info, in addition to what you uploaded.
    •  What I am mean about the designs is that those silhouette teaser videos were made between November and December last year, so by then any 2014-2015 models would have been frozen and signed off on. Meaning this one is very much finished if a 2013 model.
    • These images were taken from a Club Lexus member. It I'm not wrong, these images belong to a video of upcoming Lexus models at the LF-LC debut (NAIAS)
    •  Yep, that's where I got them from too. There's also what could be a certainly different IS. Whether it is a pointless facelift or evolutionary redesign is the question.
    • I own a CT and I'm anxious for the Lexus CUV (CX 300h possibly). However, I hate to say it,  the images look like the CT and who knows, it might be a CT 300h (with the Toyota 2.5L Hybrid engine) to address performance complaints by the media. The side rear window looks camouflaged but looking carefully, you see the unique wraparound hatch glass and upward swoop of the side rear-window shape. Rear light wraps around in the rear fender as well exactly as with the CT. Rear spolier is slightly larger than standard, much like the F-Sport. Front bumper looks like a more aggressive version of the CT which would make sense to compliment the higher-powered hybrid engine.  Car looks "taller" because the picture is compressed along the horizontal. Oh well, I will keep my fingers crossed as I anxiously await the upcoming CX.
    •  You know, Lexus has been considering this since 2008. The vehicle definitely most have a frozen design and in it's second half of development.
  14. Very nice rendering. I like it :)
  15. lexus really needs to stop borrowing engines from toyota and make there own engine ct300h 235hp hell yeah!
    • MT

      They definitely need to offer more engine variants. That goes for all of Lexus lineup.The Q5 and X3, direct competitors of the upcoming miniRX, have 7 (Audi) and 6 (BMW) different engine variants.  Lexus will come up with only one engine variant. They want the car to sell good in Europe and it ends up selling big time in the rest of the world except Europe. Just like the CT. I really wnat Lexus to be successful in Europe, they make great cars. But if they don't change a couple of things they will eventually have to pull out of the market like Daihatsu had to.
    • In Europe, the only way for Lexus to be successful is to offer more hybrid engines since they can't and won't compete with the German brands in diesel engines. As I said so many times before, engines with lots of hps aren't useful for fuel saving, so if Lexus want people to really start thinking on hybrid models as an alternative to diesel ones, they should offer lower hp engines with high MPG. IS300h, ES300h, GS300h make sense.
    • F1

      Europe is becoming irrelevant... USA, China etc are much more important..
    • i understand your point but dont you think that all of the rest of the world is a little more important than just Europe.
    •  I agree. Europe is in the middle of a crisis
    • F1

      Toyota makes good engines.. Good V6's and I-4's.. Their 2GR-FE engine found in Camry V6, ES350, Avalon, RX350 etc produces about 280HP and has a flat curve from 2000-5000rpm then max power at 6000rpm.. Beautiful engine, smooth as silk, quiet, velvety smooth & unruffled.. It's arguably the best V6 engine available.. Forced induction cars experience turbo lag etc and are just way too problematic etc.. Not to mention European engines (apart from the now extinct BMW STRAIGHT 6's) are all noisy, slow and unreliable.. They claim that they're the best, but their clearly not..
    •  It's actually 268hp and it's not found in the RX(which is good thing). i know Toyota engines are great but don't you think the engine of a luxury brand should be diffrent than the one of a reguler brand. the ES's biggest complaint is that it is a over priced canry even though it sells well if lexus didnt rely on the camry;s playform and such things it would well better.