Lexus sport utility vehicles are designed, engineered, produced and sold under the oversight of Toyota Motor Corporation. The Japanese brand is one of the top selling in the world, and although Lexus, which is Toyota’s luxury division, is fairly new, the Lexus SUV lineup has made strides in helping increase the company’s global presence. The Lexus brand was introduced in 1989 specifically geared toward the United States and North American markets, and the brand quickly expanded. Lexus passenger cars, including the Lexus sport utility vehicle lineup, are now sold in more than 70 countries around the world, although availability of specific models and configurations varies by market. The Lexus brand is based in Nagoya, Japan, but it also conducts global operations from Torrance, California, in the United States, and Brussels, Belgium. Lexus gradually expanded to the point where the brand designs and engineers its own vehicles, without much corporate oversight from Toyota, although the brands do share resources. Lexus vehicles are primarily produced at several Toyota Motor Company assembly facilities throughout Japan, although Lexus opened a production facility in Toronto, Ontario, in 2003. The Lexus RX sport utility vehicle thus earned the distinction of being the first Lexus produced outside of the automaker’s home country.
The first Lexus vehicle to be revealed was a sedan, the Lexus LS, which was in development from 1983 until the brand’s launch in 1989. Lexus followed up the LS with more sedans, as well as coupes, convertibles, and eventually, Lexus SUVs and crossovers. The first Lexus hybrid vehicle was a hybrid version of the Lexus RX crossover sport utility vehicle. Other Lexus SUV models have been crucial to the brand’s growth and success. While the crossover RX enjoys great popularity, the mid size Lexus GX SUV lineup and the full size Lexus LX SUV lineup are also important for the brand’s strategy, and helped increase the brand’s presence, especially in North America, where luxury sport utility vehicles have solid market share.
The Lexus LX lineup of sport utility vehicles went into production in November of 1995 and went on sale in January of 1996. This Lexus SUV was initially based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, and the vehicle is currently in its third generation. Recent redesigns of the LX series of Lexus SUVs have featured V8 engines and seating for eight occupants. It is the largest and most expensive Lexus SUV. The GX, a mid size Lexus SUV offering, occupies the position between the full size LX and the crossover RX.