According to Automotive News, Toyota might be looking to develop a compact SUV to compete with the Acura RDX, BMW X3, the recently introduced Infiniti EX35 and the soon-to-be unveiled Audi Q5. The market for luxury cute 'utes is growing as people either downsize their larger SUVs and, in some cases, abandon the suburbs for more urban environs where a traditional SUV is too big to cope.
However, two problems face Lexus. First, the possibility of overlap with some of Toyota's offerings could cannibalize sales on both fronts (Lexus would likely utilize the AWD RAV4's platform), and the current RX350 isn't what we'd call a porker. Secondly, in order to hit the $30,000 price point, some of the luxury amenities buyers expect couldn't be offered. While a vehicle in the $30,000+ realm lines up nicely with some of the offerings from Acura (around $33k for the RDX) and Infiniti ($35k for the EX35), the BMW X3 is still around $38,000 and the Audi Q5 should be priced about the same.
[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]