Based on the Toyota Yaris Cross, it should bring a premium badge within reach of more customers.
Right now, the most affordable way to get into a Lexus SUV is with the UX, which starts at $32,300. But this could be set to change following a report from the Chinese website Autohome, which announced that an even smaller Lexus crossover called the BX could be in the cards. It'll likely push the boundaries of how far entry-level a Lexus can go - and without stealing sales from similarly sized Toyota products.
Speaking of Toyota, the BX is said to be based on the recently announced 2021 Toyota Yaris Cross. The bigger UX competes with the likes of the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA - these crossovers are as compact as it gets for these luxury brands, so the new Lexus BX would uniquely offer a desirable badge at a more wallet-friendly price.
The report states that the BX could see a potential release in 2023. Expectations are that it will feature styling cues from the bigger UX, but it won't be as tall as the Toyota Yaris Cross for improved driving dynamics. It will also make use of Toyota's GA-B platform. The BX could, therefore, be powered by the Yaris Cross' hybrid powertrain, which sees a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor to produce 116 horsepower.
Although the Yaris Cross' raised ride height, chunky styling with square wheel arches, and all-wheel-drive system just about qualify it as an SUV, it's probably better thought of as a taller hatchback, as we don't expect to see it chasing a Range Rover down a treacherous path anytime soon. With Lexus having more of a luxury focus, the BX will likely further blur the lines between SUV and hatchback.
Will a tiny Lexus crossover ever make it to North America? The chances are unlikely, as these compact models are much more popular in Asian and European markets. We're also not certain that high-powered CEOs sitting pretty in a $100,000 Lexus LS would appreciate pulling up next to a dinky crossover with the same badge. Still, if it came down to a choice between a Toyota Yaris Cross and a Lexus BX at a similar price, badge snobs will undoubtedly hanker after the Lexus. As we find out more about the value-conscious offering, we'll let you know.