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Lexus to launch Complete Lease subscription service with UX crossover

Lexus will introduce its subscription service only in certain cities.

2019 Lexus UX 200
The UX will be first, but Lexus may expand the program to other models later.

Lexus is the latest premium automaker to experiment with a subscription-style program for leasing cars. Called Lexus Complete Lease, the program is set to debut in the first quarter of 2019 and will initially cover the new 2019 UX crossover.

The program will offer two-year leases with a 20,000-mile limit for one non-negotiable price tag that includes the lease payment, car insurance and maintenance coverage. It's similar to the Care By Volvo subscription offered for the XC40. Lexus isn't ready to spill the beans on the exact monthly price tag yet, or to say which insurer will be providing coverage. Officials also couldn't say yet whether customers would order and configure their Complete Lease vehicle online or at a dealership.

The reasoning for launching Lexus Complete Lease is similar to what we've heard from other automakers: younger shoppers find car dealerships a hassle, and bundling insurance with car payments makes the entire package more enticing. Cynthia Tenhouse, Lexus general manager of product and consumer marketing, describes it as, "a barrier-free way for [shoppers] to step up to luxury" for the first time from mainstream brands. She anticipates that lots of UX customers will be "conquest or move-ups," meaning they'll be new to the Lexus brand.

The Complete Lease program will launch in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami, though Lexus will consider expanding it to other cities at a later date. Tenhouse says those locations were chosen, in part, because the UX is aimed at city-dwelling shoppers and because those cities' higher insurance costs could make the bundled subscription payment more appealing. Similarly, Lexus might expand the program to other models beyond the UX down the road.

Stay tuned for specific monthly prices for Lexus Complete Lease closer to the program's launch early next year.