Nissan isn’t the only Japanese carmaker which can get confusing when it comes to badging decisions in its home market. Take Toyota, for example: despite launching the Lexus brand in Japan in 2005 and gradually phasing out all Toyota-rebadged Lexus vehicles, Toyota has decided to bring back the Harrier nameplate based on the Lexus RX.
Compared to the current Lexus RX, the Toyota Harrier features different front and rear ends with unique headlights and taillights, a new grille with the harrier logo, redesigned bumpers and a different interior.
There will be two available powerplants, including a hybrid unit pairing a 2.5-liter engine to an electric motor with a combined output of 197PS (194hp). Average fuel economy is 21.8 km/l (4.6 l/100 km/51.3 mpg US) under Japan’s JC08 test cycle, while CO2 emissions are rated at 106 g/km.
Toyota will also offer a gasoline-only engine model featuring a 2.0-liter Valvematic engine with continuously variable transmission that produces 151PS (149hp). The engine can be combined with either 2WD or 4WD, while the hybrid is only offered as a 4WD model. Two-wheel drive models feature a stop & start system and deliver an average fuel economy of 16.0 km/l (6.25 l/100 km/37.6 mpg US), with CO2 emissions rated at 145 g/km.
Prices start from 2,720,000 yen ($27,330) for the base 2WD model with the 2.0-liter engine. Sales of the new Toyota Harrier begin in Japan on December 2, with the hybrid model to follow on January 15, 2014.
By Dan Mihalascu