If you thought the UX was too small, Lexus has a surprise for you.
The UX crossover is already a smaller vehicle than we ever thought we'd from Lexus. Available in gas and hybrid trim levels, the UX is essentially based on the same TNGA GA-C platform used by the Toyota C-HR, so not exactly the most inspiring roots for a luxury car. While the UX is small, Lexus has somehow made it feel distinct and luxurious compared to its Toyota counterpart.
In fact, in a recent interview with Autocar at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus said it wants to build a model even smaller than the UX. Lexus executive vice-president, Koji Saro, explained that small SUVs are more profitable than hatchbacks of the same size because buyers perceive them to be larger.
"Smaller doesn't always mean cheaper now, so trends are changing," said Sato. "I can't say clearly that it is something we will do, but we are looking at all vehicle opportunities." The UX is the smallest model in the current Lexus lineup and only the CT hatchback (which was essentially a gussied up Prius) has ever been smaller. Lexus prices the base UX 200 with 169 horsepower at $32,300 while the hybrid UX 200h with 181 hp acts as both the fuel-efficient and performance option.
Both the hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the UX are also offered with the F-Sport package and Saro stressed the importance of the F-Sport models in the Lexus lineup. "We must cater to people who enjoy their driving," he said. "What customers want is individuality."
It is tough to imagine Lexus introducing a smaller model into its lineup, at least in the US market, but anything is possible. Toyota doesn't have a smaller SUV than the C-HR in the US, so it would be difficult to predict what a smaller Lexus SUV could even be based on.