Hybrid SUV fans will be excited to learn that Lexus will soon add a new crossover hybrid to their lineup. Automotive News (Europe) broke this story (subscription is required, but try this) and noted that Lexus plans to sell this smaller hybrid CUV in North America and Europe.
Early rumors indicate that a pre-production version of the vehicle will debut at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show, held in late October 2013. Then we can expect to see the “ready for sale” final version at the 2014 Geneva Motor show which is held in March. So, while it may be more than a year before buyers can get in line to take a test drive, we at least will have a peek at the new hybrid in only a few months.
Lexus (the luxury division of Toyota Motor Company) currently boasts the top selling hybrid SUV (for 2012) in their RX 450h (pictured above), which starts at roughly $46,000 for the 2013 front wheel drive (fwd) model. The 450h offers combined fuel economy of 30 mph, which also makes it the most fuel efficient SUV according to fueleconomy.gov.
For SUV buyers who need more passenger seating (the RX 450h seats only 5), Toyota offers the best mileage mid-size sport utility in their 2013 Highlander hybrid. It averages 28 mpg combined and starts at about $40,000.
Toyota also sells the RAV4, a five passenger SUV that starts at $23,300 (just half the price of the Lexus 450h) and gets 26 MPG combined. So, Toyota Motor Company already sells SUVs for those on a budget, those who need to haul a big family, and those who want luxury and best of class mileage. What will this new hybrid offer that customers can’t already buy?
According to the AutoNews.com article, this new vehicle will be Lexus’ first offering in the fast growing “premium SUV” segment. It will be based on the Toyota RAV4 and will “slot below” the RX 450h. While no official announcement has been made regarding the name, some believe that a recent Lexus trademark for NX 300h is a good possibility.
As soon as more details emerge, we will update this post. Stay tuned and be sure to add your comment below.Lexus Compact Luxury Hybrid CUV