Skip to main content

The Lexus brand was established in 1983 and has provided motorists with some of the most reliable luxury cars on the road. The Japanese automaker is the luxury line for the ever-popular Toyota brand, and it’s become a household name during its long existence. Everyone knows the brand name, but what does it stand for?

The Lexus name combines Latin and French

A Lexus logo, which is the maker of the most reliable Lexus.
Lexus logo | Getty Images

While brands like Toyota and Honda can be easily identified as the last names of their founders, the Lexus name is instead a product of two words. According to this Lexus of Parramatta, “the brand Lexus combines the Latin “luxus” and the French “luxe” as symbols of elegance and sumptuousness, together with the Greek lexicon meaning “lexicon” meaning language.”

Interestingly enough, many people have thought that Lexus stood for “Luxury Export to the United States.” It’s a catching and fitting definition since the first Lexus vehicle hit the market in 1989, but it’s not true.

What do the names of the Lexus vehicles stand for?

2023 Lexus LC 500 rear
2023 Lexus LC 500 | Lexus

Now that you’re aware of what the brand name, Lexus, stands for, you may be wondering what the names of each model mean. After all, the various nameplates may look like alphabet soup, but there’s always a method to Lexus’ madness when it comes to creativity and engineering. As such, here are the meanings of each Lexus model:

  • Lexus CT: “Creative Touring” – The Lexus CT was discontinued in 2017. It was the brand’s small hybrid car that shared drivetrains with its corporate cousin, the Toyota Prius.
  • Lexus UX: “Urban Explorer” – The Lexus UX is a compact crossover that’s basically a hatchback mixed with a small SUV.
  • Lexus IS: “Intelligent Sport” – The Lexus IS is the brand’s smallest sedan, which is comfortable and sporty.
  • Lexus ES: “Elegant Sedan” – The ES is the brand’s midsize sedan that’s been around since 1989.
  • Lexus RC: “Racing Coupe” – This two-door coupe combines sportiness and luxury seamlessly.
  • Lexus NX: “Nimble Crossover” – The Lexus NX is a midsize crossover that’s nimble and provides aggressive performance.
  • Lexus RX: “Radiant Crossover” – The RX was the brand’s first SUV and has evolved into a very luxurious and sporty crossover.
  • Lexus LX: “Luxury Crossover” – The LX is the brand’s largest SUV. It has three rows and is capable of going off-road with ease.
  • Lexus LS: “Luxury Saloon” – The LS is the brand’s flagship sedan that was originally launched in 1989. It still remains today as one of the leading rivals in the luxury sedan segment.
  • Lexus LC: “Luxury Coupe” – The LC is the brand’s flagship luxury coupe that was released in 2019. It blends raw performance with a surprising amount of comfort. It’s also one of our favorite cars.

Lexus is more than just a luxury brand

2023 Lexus LS 500 F Sport silver
2023 Lexus LS 500 F Sport | Lexus

There’s a lot of design, engineering, and management that went into making the Lexus brand. Although it’s been around for a while, the Japanese automaker continues to evolve its vehicles well into the future. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this luxury brand, considering it looks like it’s a lot more than just a name.