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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.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      reply to (LEAF.)
      • 7 Years Ago
      They must be getting desperate to resort to cheapening the brand by using a "lesser" platform.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I do not see the space for another small SUV in the Lexus line up. Like everyone else I see it as overlaping. I thought the Lexus GX was more equal to the X5. Why more SUV's when there is no end in sight to gas prices?
      We have an RX350 AWD and did have an RX330 AWD. Both have been excellent vehicles only returning to the dealership for service. An of course the customer service is outstanding.
      • 7 Years Ago
      ES, not EX. I should be correct myself when correcting others, huh?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Doesn't the RX compete with the X3/EX35/Q5 already? I would think the GX/LX compete with the X5/FX35/Q7.

      The RAV4 offers a 4x4 option already so it's just a matter of tunning and looks/amenities.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And somehow, they'll still get it out faster than the Saab 9-4x.

      btw, stefan, the EX is FWD, like its sibling, the Camry.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should just bring over the Toyota Century and be done with it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      shouldnt all lexus news be put under the YAWN category?

      • 7 Years Ago
      stefan - the RX350 is based on the FWD Camry so I doubt Lexus would have any problems using the RAV4 as a base platform. Sporting performance has never been very high on the Lexus agenda.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Um, actually almost all Lexus' are underpinned by Toyota platforms. The RX and ES are based on the Camry, the LX uses the Land Cruiser platform, etc...

      So using a Toyota platform is really nothing new for Lexus.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's split, not "almost all."
        * The ES, RX, GX and LX are shared with Toyota cousins.
        * The IS, GS and LS are native Lexus platforms (for a given value of native, considering the Japanese market).

        The LX is the only real badge job of the lot. The rest are platform mates (yes, even the much-derided ES is fairly distinct from the Camry).
      • 7 Years Ago
      The luxury cute 'ute field is getting very crowded and I don't think the Acura RDX and BMW X3 are doing that well. Further, I find it hard to believe the No. 1 request from current RX owners is for a third row of seats. It might be better for Lexus to suck it up and accept less profit per unit on the base and intermediate RX.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So in other news some manufacturer has to drop RWD cars to meet "CAFE" regulations, but they're still making more and more offroad 4x4 vehicles, with what must have even heavier drivetrain and larger drivetrain losses, in addition to large frontal area etc, which are presumably even worse on fuel. I don't really get it.
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