No Lexus Compact Crossover Until 2017?

Lexus RX

According to Lexus Australia CEO Tony Cramb, a sub-RX compact crossover could be five years away — from The Motor Report:

But although internal studies are underway to evaluate a potential small SUV design, Cramb says the lead times involved could put the market debut for such a model as far away as 2017.

“If we got the greenlight today, then it’s potentially a five-year delay,” he said.

A 2017 launch seems like a overly generous timeline, and might just be a case of managing expectations — rumors of a compact crossover have been building, and this might be a signal that a production model is not in Lexus’ immediate plans.

While it’s hard to believe development could take so long, this second quote from Cramb might offer some explanation:

Cramb did, however, confirm that any possible Lexus compact SUV would be more than just a re-skinned RAV4:

“The discussion is definitely around building a Lexus-specific vehicle. If it was going to be built, it would be entirely Lexus.”

[Source: The Motor Report] (Please note, the image above is the 2013 RX.)


  1. That would be my one serious complaint with Lexus:being ridiculously slow to respond to market trends. On the junior cross-over;the head of Lexus Norway has confirmed it for 2014,so somebody seems to be ill-informed.
    • See that's a good thing. Germans just care about selling, they don't care about the quality of the product. They're flooding the market in order to deacrease prices and increase marketshare with lower margins. Lexus is substance
    • Quality of product? im sorry but despite the "Germans" filling every possible niche you have to agree they know how to make a good quality product. And substance? considering the immense wealth of Toyota i think its a poor excuse to still have some Lexus models use the basic architecture of Toyota models. Even Volkswagen at least let Audi completely re-body the platforms and make sure you dont link the two together. One would think they would have lower margins at Lexus than at Audi? while i myself am a fan of Lexus, claiming that they have more "substance" than the Germans is a bit steep. mostly because its something that can be easily argued (only now have they matched the germans on interior quality). Are they incredibly well built and reliable? Yes ill agree with that they have more substance? theres alot to argue on that one. 
    • See that's the problem with Germans. Filling up the market with niche instead of focusing on the core products. Yeah Lexus do share some parts with Toyota, but like what part? The most I can think now is wiper/turn signal/lights switch. Them integrated light/turn signal switches are much better than what Germans use with the 1950's style television tub knob. You say now Lexus has matched the Germans with interior? I think that's incorrect. I beg of you to take a look at the interior of the very first Lexus LS400 and compare it to the the best from GERMANY S-Class, 7 series, Audi etc. The LS400 made the S-class seem as if it was from the Stone Age. You'll quickly realise that it's just recently that the Germans have remotely caught up with Lexus regarding interior quality. Build quality and overall quality Lexus is by far the leader in the world. It's quickly obvious when you compare the shoddy build quality of the Germans to the fine, precise & impeccable build quality of Lexus. I'm no financial analysts but it's commonly known that the Germans offer big discounts on their cars. So with in mind it's not hard to say that Lexus has higher margins.
    •  "Build quality and overall quality Lexus is by far the leader in the world. It's quickly obvious when you compare the shoddy build quality of the Germans to the fine, precise & impeccable build quality of Lexus." Spoken like true propaganda. I've owned many German luxury cars in the past and currently have an LS460 and a Mercedes E350 convertible. The word "shoddy build quality" does not come to mind when I think about the past German luxury cars I've owned. We all like Lexus here, but please, be realistic and stop living in a fantasy world. Also, interior quality is highly subjective. I find it truly idiotic how some people will go to great lengths to claim that one car interior is better than others. In the class of the LS, S class, A8, 7er, XJ etc. ALL INTERIORS ARE GOOD. Great materials and build quality on all of them. No interior is better than the other.
    • Are you really trying to argue that Lexus and Toyota share very few parts? Lexus ES and Toyota Camry/Avalon?  Toyota Land Cruiser vs Lexus LX?  Both mechanically identical, and in the case of the latter, a badge, grill, and taillight away from having identical exteriors. Common switches -- nearly every mundane Lexus part -- HVAC vents, HVAC controls, door handles and locks, window controls, ignition button, shifter, shifter gate, grab handles...I could keep on going. Look, we all like Lexus here, but your comments border on blind fanboyism.
  2. Lexus has dropped the ball above the RX.  The Mercedes GL has been a huge success, and Lexus failed to strike with the HPS Concept 10 years ago, when the time was right. I thought Lexus would've learned it's lesson, and not made the same mistake twice below the RX. Maybe I gave them too much credit for how to handle the product portfolio. But just because Austalia isn't getting anything doesn't mean Lexus' #1 market won't get the new crossover now.... BD
    • BD we all see that there will be two total different shapes from the 2014 RAV-4 , one of them is a Luxurious to go with Q5 , X3 , EX so may be TOYOTA want this car to enter the near Luxury and make LEXUS step a further step above with a much high ends car for my think LEXUS will be to TOYOTA somehow as Porsche to VW not as AUDI , and i think this will be the last ES generation as the CT will be the first and last , don't know what to happen to LX & GX but for sure if this is the plan and there are a lot of article about the next TUNDRA that it will no more use SEQUOIA name for the SUV but the LC , and rumored that LC will be much more luxurious which mean no more LX , the GX is the same as it will not anymore found as the 4-Runner and Prado will be one shape with 2 names as the 2013 ford fusion and mondeo , they will be merged so the GX also checked out this is clear by this aggressive plan of 4 coupe's and and rumored next generation LFA ,  don't know who will do Audi to VW role then , but this is what i see in the horizon 
  3. WHAT THE........................!!!!!!    Come on Lexus!  I've been waiting for so long for this compact CUV to trade my Gen 2 RXh and stay within the family.  How can you alienate us loyal and patient customers? I will not wait 5 years nor will I buy a Gen 3 RX in the interim if that's your strategy. I have no choice now but to go to the multitude of competitors with a compact CUV (X3, Q5, GLK, XC60, RDX, EX35, and so on). Sad day this is.
  4. JB

    Krew or anyone else, any glimmer of hope the North American market will get the compact CUV as a 2014 model?  What about the spy shots that show it's not a RAV4 (mirrors on door, shorter rear, etc) and earlier announcements of new hybrids being released by end of 2012...
    • I EXPECT a Lexus small SUV next fall.  The Rav4 will come out next Spring, and the Lexus will come out in the Fall. They can sell 40k a year EASILY! Lexus is dropping the ball if anything else happens.... BD
    • JB

      Fingers crossed. I still have hope it will be released in the next 12 months as a 2014. Too many indications lead to a Lexus "CX" debut in N. America.
  5. BTW, Lexus is ALMOST as interested in sales volume as the Germans (They don't throw $4k on the hood of their cars like the Germans), and Lexus knows a new crossover would just add to their bottom line.  Makes way too much sense for them to enter this market.  The RX has been a legendary success, and adding a small SUV will only bring in more floor traffic. They are going to sell close to a quarter million vehicles WITHOUT a small SUV, which Mercedes and BMW are already TRYING to sell. Lexus can threaten 300k annual sales, without heavy incentives, or flooding the market with compact cars to meet CAFE or inflate volume..... BD
  6. 2017 would be a terrible mistake.  The compact luxury CUV market is HUGE right now and a properly Lexusified RAV4 would suit the bill pretty damn well. I've been putting off buying a utility car to go with my IS-F for a while now, waiting to see what Lexus does with this segment.  A 2014 Lexus CX-h AWD with a 4-cyl hybrid would suit me perfectly.  If nothing confirmed by 2014 I'm shopping elsewhere. :(
  7. This is a white elephant-Lexus has been developing a compact SUV for some time now and I'm sure want to profit on the boom in this segment! However, lexus also has a history of slow response to changing market conditions which the German's somehow are able to respond much quicker to, maybe Lexus needs to look at its flexibility in production and product planning department ?
  8. 2017? Maybe for Australia but the CX300h is a reality and we'll see it sooner than you think. I can't pronounce my self more than that but just wait and see. Lexus isn't that stupid.
    • Sebastien.  Is there something that you know that should sway me to wait for the CX???  In which market? I will wait twelve more months for a 2014 model....
    • The sub RX is definitely coming in 2014. This has been widely acknowledged at dealer meetings for at least two years, and was confirmed to dealers as recently as 5 weeks ago. I'm not sure why Lexus Australia would be playing games with the media. Maybe Tony Cramb is referring to a CT based SUV that would compete with Q3/X1 not the Q5/X3 competitor due 2014. Also with the exception of the new ES (which is being reintroduced to Australia in October 2013 Lexus have been launching in Australia within weeks of NA launches.
  9. The RX is doing excellent.. Why rush to run the risk of cannibalizing sales?.. The German's just care about volume.. I bet any money the average transaction price of Lexus is higher than any of the German trio.. In U.S.
    • It's better to cannibalize your model with your product than to let other makers cannibalize your product. I am truly hoping the RX gets a bit bigger with 3rd row seats to replace the GX and the just below RX sized SUV comes out at the same time. The writing is on the wall with regards to the GX as it's the only model not getting the new generation Nav/infotainment system for 2013. Plus there are no plans to change to the new corporate "spindle" grille.
    • Could not agree more.  I own a Gen 2 RX and am looking for a compact luxury CUV at 5-10K lower cost than an RX.  No way am I in the market to buy a Gen 3 RX and nor will I just because Lexus chooses not to make a compact CUV. Sadly, as loyal as I am to Lexus, this forces me to the competition.
    • From a financial point of view there really is little reason for a smaller Lexus SUV. For the U.S. market First smaller means less profits. Secondly Lexus knows that it will cannibalise sales of their top selling and hugely successful model. If the RX sales were falling then yes, more SUVs, smaller, cheaper SUV would be needed. But as of right now the Lexus RX sales are going very strong. And thirdly the Germans have so much small and other niche SUVs already and they simply cannot best the RX SO.... Yeh
  10. I'm not sure Lexus is missing too much in the smaller class anyway.  Nobody sells more than 30k a year in that class!  Vehicles like the RX and MDX more than double sales in the smaller class.    So either the market isn't interested in this size, or the current offerings are missing the mark..... BD
    • Exactly my point. Some of these people don't understand here! Look at how much SUVs the Germans have now. Yet none of them even combined could match the RX. Hence why I said that Lexus need not to rush. Besides smaller, cheaper vehicles have less profits or margin per unit. The SUV game really is just a two man domainxe between the Lexus RX & Acura MDX
    • You must be Jewish with all your German-hating. Seriously.
    • You could make the exact same argument for the Lexus CT and Lexus GX. Also, what's your source for sales of the X1 and Q3?
  11. The names NX300h and NX200t have been recently trademarked on October 15, 2012. Such a vehicle would be expected for debut in 2014 and is indeed the compact crossover. Toyota trademarks vehicles 4-30 months prior to production(NOT introduction), case in point the 1999 IS in November 1997 and the earliest one(by priority), the 2008 GS460 on November 17, 2004. 2017 is a ridiculous assumption and the Tony Cramb is clearly being kept out of the loop. For the CUV trademarks to slip out so quickly after that statement should be embarrassing.