News: Lexus Reduces Hybrid SUV Prices

Lexus Also Announces the New RX 450hL Sticker

Lexus has decided to make its hybrid SUVs more affordable. Prices for the popular NX and RX hybrid versions are now much closer to the prices of the non-hybrid models.

Lexus RX 450hL

The Lexus RX 450hL arrives in a couple months–at less of a premium 

 

How much closer? The NX hybrid is now only $950 more than the gas-only model; it carried a $3,035 premium last year. The gap between the larger RX hybrid and non-hybrid has been slashed from $5,280 last year to only $1,025 for 2018.

How did they do it? Hybrid models used to come not only with the additional electric motor and battery pack, but also contained more standard equipment than the gas-only models. For example, the 2017 RX 450h featured navigation, a 12-speaker audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and leather-trimmed seats. Now, the distinguishing factor is just the hybrid platform itself.

This change benefits customers and the company. Lower prices make it easier for people to get into a hybrid, which should increase sales numbers. This, in turn, adds to the hybrid mix in the product, which helps Toyota meet more stringent CAFE fuel efficiency requirements. In addition, higher volumes should help Toyota reduce the cost of hybrid components and batteries.

New 2019 RX 450hL Hybrid is Coming this Spring

The new RX 450hL three-row hybrid, which arrives in April, will start at $51,615, including delivery, Lexus announced. The all-wheel-drive crossover puts out 308 combined horsepower from its 3.5-liter V6 combined with two electric motors. The price is only $3,000 more than the gasoline-only RX 350L, which is front-wheel drive.

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About Author: Steve Schaefer

Steve Schaefer has written a weekly automotive column for 26 years, testing more than 1,250 cars. Now, he’s focusing on EVs and hybrids. Steve remembers the joy of riding in his father’s Austin-Healey. After discovering the August, 1963 issue of Motor Trend, he became entranced with the annual model change, and began stalking dealers’ back lots to catch the new models as they rolled off the transporter. Coming from a family that owned three Corvairs, Steve was one of the first Saturn buyers, earning him a prominent spot in their 1994 product catalogue. To continue the GM tradition, Steve now has a Chevrolet Bolt EV. Steve is a founding member of the Western Automotive Journalists. Read his EV/hybrid blog at stevegoesgreen.com.

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