2011 Lexus RX 450h – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you're looking to buy a luxury SUV or crossover, Lexus offers no shortage of choices. The GX and LX models may be the more capable when the road turns to dirt, but the most successful is the RX (pictured above), accounting for nearly half of all models the company sells here in the United States. Building on that success, rumor has it that the Toyota luxury division is planning on launching a smaller version of the RX 450h hybrid based on the RAV4.

Tentatively dubbed 'CX', the model would slot in below the RX and arrive as something of a high-riding counterpart to the CT hatchback. As such, it is rumored to be offered, at least initially, exclusively as a hybrid, wearing a new CX 300h nameplate. In size and price, it is expected to compete with the likes of the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Infiniti EX.

If the reports come to fruition, the launch of the gas/electric crossover could pave the way for a more affordable RAV4 hybrid, as well.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      bruddahmanmatt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Somehow I doubt Mazda will be ok with Lexus using the "CX" nomenclature on one of their cars. In fact IIRC, Infiniti initially planned to badge the "EX" as the "CX" but changed it to avoid any confusion or issues with Mazda's crossovers.
        Kiiks
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bruddahmanmatt
        Yeah that's what I was thinking. Mazda's entire CUV line is dubbed "CX " Too many alphanumerics, I think. They already coincide with trim levels of various different makes. What would Lexus call it? DX? IX? BX?
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even as individual vehicles are getting bigger with each redesign, I am glad to see the general down-sizing of vehicles as automakers move away from big heavy frame-based SUVs to smaller and lighter crossovers. While I am not fan of Lexus vehicles in general, they definitely are a trend-setter, having developed the original luxury crossover with the 1st-gen RX. If they are moving toward a smaller crossover, then chances are the rest of the industry will eventually follow.
        Zoom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        I hope the next RAV4 actually comes down a notch in size. Or, it'd be nice if they offered the shorter Euro-model, with a stick of course. Toyota sucked all the uniqueness out of the RAV4 with the last redesign.
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      Finally! I chopped this RAV4-based hybrid RX250/h five years ago, February 2006. I didn't even realize I began manipulating car photos that long ago until I just found this on my HD. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-USNfovHJul0/ThNo7vKlkAI/AAAAAAAAEkI/t8p90sJF19c/s1600/lexus250h.jpg
        BigDre
        • 3 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        Looks like a normal sized rx to me.....lowered on some different wheels.
      mikea1981
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is the RX really that much bigger than the RAV4 to say that this new so-called "CX" will slot in below the RAV? In fact, given that the RAV has a third row of seats, it seems even bigger, or at least comparable, in size to the RX.
      desinerd1
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't mind buying it if reasonably priced
      Mr. Sunshine
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lexus takes competitor's nomenclature into consideration so I doubt the CX will be called the CX. People might confuse it with the Mazda CX-7 or CX-9. It probably will be called the EX, HX or IX.
      icharlie
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Lexus forgot about their customers that actually like gas cars. Maybe the hybrid system on the CT is what has sales so low.... A gas option would really give some spice to an otherwise vanilla car....
      adam512
      • 3 Years Ago
      This cars rear end lets the entire car down. From the front and side in my opinion it is much better looking than most SUVs .. (Audis not counted because they all look the same basically) .
      You guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Rebadging... isn't this what killed Detroit?
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @You guy
        There is rebadging and then there is platform-sharing. Toyota does a phenomenal job of platform sharing where there can be over 1/2 dozen vehicles built off the same basic platform, and yet they might not share any noticeable body panels or interior bits. The Camry, Sienna, Highlander, Venza, Lexus ES and Lexus RX all ride on the same general platform and yet each vehicle is quite different in looks and marketing focus. Toyota might make some boring cars, but they never fell into the rebadging-hell that was one of the main causes of GM failing. What Toyota does is nothing like the ridiculous antics of building the same exact body 3 or even 4 times and simply popping different badges for each like GM was famous for back in the 70s all the way up until the 90s.
        rsxvue
        • 3 Years Ago
        @You guy
        I would say Toyota is somewhat better and more discreet about their rebadged cars. (ES to Camry, HS to Prius). Not defending rebadged cars, but they're not super obvious as say a Lincoln is to Ford or how some pontiacs and gmc cars used to be straight grill and badge changes from their chevy counterparts.
      ShutoSteve
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let's just hope it looks a bit better than it's big brother....
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another nail in the coffin of the Q3.
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like my Rav4 and I see this as welcome news.
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