No Under-$30,000 Lexus in the Works


  • 2014 Lexus CT 200h Picture

    2014 Lexus CT 200h Picture

    Lexus will not offer a direct competitor to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 or 2015 Audi A3, sticking with the 2014 Lexus CT 200h as the lowest-priced offering in the lineup. | January 17, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • Lexus told Edmunds that it has no plans to roll out an inexpensive vehicle to compete with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 or 2015 Audi A3.
  • "You won't see anything come from Lexus that goes below $30,000," said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager.
  • The 2014 Lexus CT 200h is the most affordable car in the Lexus lineup with a price tag of $32,960.

DETROIT — Budget shoppers hoping that one day Lexus will offer a model priced below $30,000 may be disappointed.

Lexus has no plans to compete with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 sedan, the 2015 Audi A3 or any other luxury model at that price point, even if the competitors are hot sellers.

"You won't see anything come from Lexus that goes below $30,000," said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "The least expensive vehicle that we have is the (2014 Lexus CT 200h), which has an MSRP of about $32,000. From our point of view, vehicles that are priced under $30,000, for us, that is Toyota, Scion."

Bracken was interviewed at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

The new compact CLA250 sedan has been a hot seller.

Sales began in September and, during that four-month period, Mercedes-Benz has sold a little over 14,000 vehicles.

By contrast, Lexus' lowest-priced model, the hybrid-powered CT 200h, recorded sales of about 15,000 units for the entire calendar year. Lexus does not offer a non-hybrid version of that car.

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 has a slight price advantage over the Lexus model. The base CLA250 stickers for $30,825, including a $925 destination charge. The model, which is not a hybrid, is equipped with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and a turbocharged, direct injection 208-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

The base 2014 Lexus CT 200h, a five-door hatchback, stickers for $32,960 including a $910 destination charge. The CT 200h is equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that is connected to an electric motor/generator that produces a combined 134 hp. The car has been refreshed for the 2014 model year with a revised exterior and updated features, while carrying the same base price as the outgoing model. Sales begin this month.

Bracken said the role of the CT 200h is to "bring folks into the Lexus family."

However, there are no plans to expand the CT line.

"You have a finite amount of resources and for us, where we feel we need more product representation, would be in our halo cars," he said.

A "halo" car is usually a top product that garners a lot of attention from car shoppers and the media. The Lexus LFA is an example of a "halo" car.

Edmunds says: The Lexus CT 200h is as low as it goes for Toyota's upscale brand, something that car shoppers should keep in mind, especially if they are looking at offerings from Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

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