By on May 26, 2017

2016-Toyota-Avalon

Lyft, the ride-hailing company with nowhere near the amount of bad press as Uber, has launched a luxury black car service in five American cities as a challenge to its rival.

Luxury models in “excellent” condition from model years 2011 and newer are qualified to shuttle around Lyft Lux passengers, assuming the seats are either leather or “leather-like.” However, while Lincoln Town Cars owners will be dismayed to hear their vehicles don’t make the cut, newer flagships from other brands remain suspiciously absent from the accepted vehicle roster.

Lyft intends its new black car service to satisfy the travel whims of the well-heeled (or those looking to impress) in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Chicago and New York City. While last year’s introduction of Lyft Premier paired app users in a longer list of cities with higher-end vehicles, Lyft Lux is all about cars and SUVs of the white glove variety. Besides the need for black paint, there’s plenty of overlap between the two.

Pricing depends on the market, but the cost of a Lyft Lux ride should be about double that of a Premier ride (which is about double a regular fare).

Perusing the accepted vehicle list, it seems a few candidates have been denied entry due to their pedestrian badging. Notably, Lyft Lux will only accept Genesis models from 2017 onwards — meaning a G80 is fine, but your one-year-older Hyundai Genesis is not. Same car, different badging. The defunct Equus is the only Hyundai-badged vehicle on the list. It seems the slightly less premium Premier service does accept 2010 and newer Genesis models.

While Hyundai gets short thrift from Lyft’s tony ride-hailing app, Toyota fares even worse. The Avalon, a large, roomy and capable sedan, is nowhere to be seen on the Lyft Lux list. What’s more, it’s also absent from the list of Lyft Premier vehicles.

Who no love for the Avalon, Lyft? The Sequoia and Land Cruiser remain the only two Toyota vehicles on both lists, though such vehicles as the GMC Acadia Limited make it onto the Lux roster. Toyota even targeted the livery market with its current-generation Avalon, so the thought of its non-Lexus flagship mingling with the black tie crowd isn’t a ridiculous notion.

If you’re wondering, the Toyota Camry-based Lexus ES is well represented on the list, which shies away from anything approaching the compact class. That means your Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac ATS and Acura TLX can stay put in the garage.

H/T to Joe!

[Image: Toyota Motor Corporation]

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12 Comments on “Lyft Lux Debuts, Gets Mighty Specific About What You Can’t Drive...”


  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Well thank God my Bentley Continental Flying Spur made the list, I’ve been looking for a side gig to make it cost effective.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    According to Wiki, the 6th generation (13 -) ES is more Avalon based than Camry. I still don’t like it though.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaMaximaCulpa

      If I moved to the US the first order of business would be buying an Avalon. Excellent bang for buck, comfortable, well equipped, built in the US and slightly antiquated, in other words the perfect American cruiser.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Agreed, Avalon is just a solid wholesome rig, hard to find fault with it aside from being fairly anodyne, but with our roads I’d much rather have a more durable and cheaper/easier to service Avalon that something like and Audi/BMW. I love the Charger but the quality and long term prospects just aren’t so good.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaMaximaCulpa

          Well the headlights are pretty weak sauce, the fuel economy isn’t great and the interior/hifi feels a bit like one of those stereo systems with a lot of stickers you could buy in the mid-late 90’s (touch controls are stupid). Other than that GIVE ME!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      They’re all related to the same platform.

  • avatar
    analoggrotto

    Avalon and ES have the same wheel base, so more relation there. Maybe some identical floor stampings.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “Who no love for the Avalon, Lyft?…If you’re wondering, the Toyota Camry-based Lexus ES is well represented on the list, which shies away from anything approaching the compact class.”

    I would really really like it if actual car blogs grasped actual car knowledge–such as the fact that in 2013, Toyota brought out the “all new” Avalon, including a hybrid model, and simultaneously brought out the “all-new” Lexus ES with the very same hybrid model availability.

    What they did was make the ES be the Lexus version of the Avalon. That was a switch; prior to 2013, there wasn’t an Avalon analog in the Lexus lineup.

    That was over 4 years ago, and yet I continue to see here comments about how “the ES is just the Camry”.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      The Camry, Avalon, and ES all ride on the Toyota K platform, so it is technically correct to state that the ES is a Lexus version of the Camry. Toyota has tried to put more distance between the Avalon/ES and Camry with the most recent generation of the K platform, but most of those distance enhancers are superficial while what is under the skin is still largely the same.

  • avatar
    TTACarrs

    This article misses the point. The number one reason I use Uber Black. The driver maintains their own commercial insurance. That is why you pay a premium for Uber Black.

    Yes, the vehicle is more expensive but that cost is heavily over shadowed by the insurance cost the driver incurs.

    So, I want a driver that has a livery license, their own commercial insurance, and a car appropriate for livery service.

    It seems like Lyft is missing the mark if they think the consumer only cares if it is a Hyundai or a Benz.


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