Lyft Lux Debuts, Gets Mighty Specific About What You Can't Drive

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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lyft lux debuts gets mighty specific about what you can t drive

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on May 26, 2017

    "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".

    • Stingray65 Stingray65 on May 27, 2017

      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.

  • TTACarrs TTACarrs on May 26, 2017

    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.

    • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 28, 2017

      They're just getting started in that segment - they'll figure it out soon enough.

  • Marty S Corey, thanks for your comment. Mercedes has many different models, and will survive. Jaguar is planning on only offering electric models and will be in trouble. They should continue their ICE models as long as possible, but have discontinued the F-Type already and will probably be discontinuing everything else. We purchased the current XF this year, which is a nice car, but would have been splendid if they had just continued the supercharged V-6 in it.By the way, I have really enjoyed your Continental and Eldorado series. Was just showing it to my barber, who owned several 1954-56 Eldorado convertibles.
  • Marques My father had one of these. A black 1984 Pulsar NX with a 5-speed stick and a grey interior. Dad always kept it in pristine shape-that black paint was shiny even in the middle of the night. I swear I could still smell the Rain Dance carnauba wax! The only issue that car ever had was that it was never driven enough-it would sit for 10 days at a time! The Hitachi carburetor on it(and other Nissans of the time) were known to be troublesome. It went to the boneyard at 72K miles when a hole got punched in the block. By that time the Pulsar had long ceased production.
  • VoGhost This is the only new vehicle I have the slightest interest in.
  • VoGhost I love it. Can't wait to get one. Finally, trucks are becoming actually capable, and it's great for America.
  • Peter Just waiting for Dr. Who to show up with his Tardis, and send these things back to the hellish dark dimension from which they came.