Review – Lexus LBX (2024) – Compact hybrid SUV from Lexus
Lexus LBX is a hybrid
We cover all facets of the LBX Hybrid in this Lexus LBX review. A hybrid? No battery-electric car? If you’re wondering why Lexus isn’t coming out with an all-electric B-SUV right away: it’s because Lexus doesn’t think the time is right now. In very many European countries, the charging infrastructure is not yet mature enough for battery-electric cars. For the next five to six years, a hybrid is the better solution, according to Lexus. Moreover, it is a fact that about 80 percent of buyers in the B-segment choose a model with a gasoline engine.
Competitors Lexus LBX
Okay, so LBX stands for “Lexus Gasoline Crossover”? Then again, no. The name stands for Lexus Breakthrough Crossover. The term “breakthrough” then refers primarily to the composition of the model, with Lexus applying higher-end luxuries in its smallest model. The Lexus LBX is Lexus’ answer to compact crossovers such as the Audi Q2, DS3 Crossback or the electric Volvo EX30. A compact crossover, then, with a premium look and feel.
The all-new hybrid-electric LBX is the smallest Lexus yet, even smaller than the CT. Some 8,000 of that CT are still driving around the Netherlands at the time of writing. Lexus expects that for those people, this LBX is also a nice “upgrade. Lexus Netherlands has great expectations for the LBX anyway. In fact, the brand expects to double the numbers. Time will tell.
LEXUS LBX Review (2024) – Minuses & Pluses – AutoRAI TV
Is the Lexus LBX identical to the Toyota Yaris Cross?
Under the skin, the LBX shares much technology with the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid, such as the platform and powertrain. But you may not argue that the LBX is a Yaris Cross with Lexus bodywork. No, the LBX’s platform differs from the Toyota in several ways. Thus, the wheelbase is somewhat larger, as is the front track width. Development of the LBX platform took five to six years, even though it is a derivative of GA-B platform on which Toyota builds its Yaris and Yaris Cross.
Lexus supplies the LBX exclusively as a hybrid. The 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine – familiar from the Yaris Cross, among others – works together with an electric motor. System power comes out to 100 kW (136 hp) with a maximum torque of 185 Nm. That’s 6 hp more than the Yaris Cross Hybrid 130. So a little more power for the LBX. That’s due to different software, a stronger nickel metal hybrid (NiMH) bipolar battery and a balance shaft in the powertrain for quieter running.
Four-wheel drive: E-Four
Optionally, the Lexus LBX is also available with all-wheel drive. This E-Four powertrain has an electric motor on the rear axle, but system power remains the same at 136 hp. In situations where extra grip is needed, the system automatically sends electric drive power to the rear wheels. The front-wheel-drive car has McPherson front suspension and a torsion axle at the rear. The Lexus LBX with all-wheel drive has a double-wishbone suspension in the rear.
The LBX’s design looks especially clean. Lexus’ signature “spindle grille” – in typical hourglass shape – is applied in a different way to the LBX. This “grille” is now integrated into the bumper. Remarkably, the A-pillar is placed far back. As a result, the hood is relatively long and the passenger compartment appears compact. Together with the short overhangs, 18-inch alloy wheels and strongly arched wheel arches, this leads to a powerful-looking overall package.
To keep the LBX’s weight down, Lexus also applies lightweight materials. The hood, for example, is made of aluminum. The wheel arches and lower door panels are fabricated from cast resin. Strong but lightweight materials were used for the center posts and bumper reinforcement.
How big is the Lexus LBX? It’s nice and compact. The new Lexus LBX is 4,190 mm long, 1,825 mm wide and 1,545 mm high. Its wheelbase is 2,580 mm. Because of the shape of the model, the rear entryway-just like the Yaris Cross-is on the cramped side. Legroom in the rear also does not hold up. Sitting in the back is possible, but preferably if you are a little smaller. Children sit there without any problems. The luggage space of 402 liters is not class leading, but it is large enough for shopping bags, trolleys or weekend bags.
Interior Lexus LBX
Moving on to the interior. Remarkably, for a crossover, you can sit nice and low in the LBX. The minimum seat height is 28.5 centimeters. As a result, your buttocks give you a good sense of what the car is doing. Anyway, the seating position is excellent. The steering column is well adjustable. Of course, sitting higher is also possible. The interior is superbly finished for a model in the B-segment. Lexus applies fine materials, such as a soft top layer on the front doors and for the top layer of the dashboard. Remarkably, the wipers have integrated nozzles so that the wiper fluid is distributed nicely evenly across the windshield. Premium hear!
Ambient lighting with more than 50 different colors has also been considered. The Lexus LBX is available with semi-aniline leather and a vegan-friendly interior. The main controls are nicely placed in the driver’s field of vision. Everything is at your fingertips. As a driver, you look out on a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. The driver can adjust the display to his or her liking. An optional head-up display is available. A large touchscreen is integrated into the center console. The interior also has cup holders and USB ports in the console.
Through the standard 9.8-inch touchscreen, all functions of the latest version of the Lexus Link Connect system can be controlled. This includes cloud-based navigation and route planning with real-time traffic information. Voice control can be activated by saying “Hey Lexus. Smartphones (Apple and Android) can act as digital keys (opening doors and starting the car). Updates take place over-the-air. An optional Mark Levinson Premium Sound System with thirteen speakers is available. With the Mark Levinson sound system, a subwoofer is integrated into the tailgate so that no luggage space is lost.
This could really be better
Is everything then excellent? No, some things could be improved, as evidenced during our Lexus LBX review. The selection buttons on the steering wheel are cumbersome to operate. They are touch-sensitive. So you first place your finger on the button, and then the function appears on the display or head-up display. That’s too cumbersome because you have to take your eyes off the road to see exactly what you’re doing. We would rather see this change. In addition, the LBX has the necessary safety systems. Some work fine; other systems you prefer to turn off, such as the speed alert. Tip: disable the systems before you leave, it saves annoyance on the road. Disadvantage: you do have to do this every time you start the car. Can’t help Lexus, by the way, because a speed warning and a sensor that monitors the driver’s attention are required by law by 2024.
Safety systems Lexus LBX
How safe is a Lexus LBX? As already mentioned: this crossover has the necessary safety systems on board, all bundled under the name Lexus Safety System+. The car’s features include Pre-Collision System with Turn Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing/Lane Keep Assist and Road Sign Assist (road sign recognition). Safe Exit Assist is also included. Here, the E-latch door opening system is coupled with the Blind Spot Monitor (blind spot assistant). The extended safety package adds Front Cross Traffic Alert and a Panoramic View Monitor to the car.
How does the Lexus LBX drive?
Of course, we also like to tell you in this Lexus LBX review how this car drives. Well: on that front, the LBX positively surprised us. In particular, the suspension and steering feel make this Lexus particularly enjoyable to drive. In fact, we dare say that the car can handle even more power. In any case, the chassis is ready. There is a fine balance between comfort and dynamics. Unlike several competitors, the LBX provides plenty of feedback through the steering. Although the car will be driven quietly by buyers, you can also “corner” a LBX without losing the sense of control.
Lots of brake feel
Brake feel is also good. The braking system features automatic brake force distribution (Vehicle Braking Posture Control). This provides linear braking. The system also limits roll tendency in curves and it eliminates unwanted vibration. By the way, do not expect the sound insulation of a more expensive Lexus in which engine noise is barely audible. The three-cylinder in the LBX makes itself heard, but not on an annoying level. As a “petrolhead,” you may even appreciate the rumbling sound of the three-pitter. Shifting is done with a CVT. So that means a “spooling” engine when you hit the throttle hard. When driving slowly, the rpm remains nicely limited.
Key specifications Lexus LBX
- Length: 4,190 mm
- Width: 1,825 mm
- Height: 1,545 mm
- Wheelbase: 2,580 mm
- Weight empty FWD: 1,280 to 1,330 kg (FWD)
- Weight empty AWD: 1,365 to 1,415 kg (AWD)
- Luggage space: 402 liters to top of rear seat
- Towing weight (unbraked): 750 kg
- Engine: 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine
- Transmission: electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT)
- System power: 100 kW (136 hp)
- Acceleration 0 – 100 km/h: 9.2 sec.
- Turning radius: 10.4 m
Lexus LBX prices, including private lease
Sounds all well and good, but the down-to-earth Dutch public would also like to know what all this should cost. Prices for the LBX start at 35,995 euros or 499 euros per month in private lease based on Lexus Private (Flex) Lease, a term of 72 months and 5,000 kilometers per year. The multi- kilometer price varies between €0.04 and €0.15 per kilometer.
By the way, don’t be shocked when we tell you that prices can reach more than 50,000 euros. The LBX is available in a variety of atmospheres. The Emotion and Cool atmospheres focus on sportiness and dynamism. The Elegant and Relax atmospheres represent refined luxury. These atmospheres are more next to each other than below when it comes to price. You simply decide which decorations best suit your taste.
The LBX also comes in base trim, which already features the Lexus Safety System+. The Lexus Link Connect multimedia system with 9.8-inch large color display, LED lighting, Climate Control and 17-inch alloy wheels are standard. Like the LBX Emotion and Elegant, this model is available with a vegan-friendly, leather-free interior.
Three option packages
All four atmospheres of the Lexus LBX can be further dressed up with three option packages. The first package is the Tech Pack, which in addition to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the Tazuna cockpit, also adds Smart Entry, a power tailgate, nanoe-X air purification, a wireless phone charger and additional front and rear USB ports. This package costs 1,495 euros.
The Premium Pack includes everything from the Tech Pack and adds a Digital Key, full LED headlights with automatic high beam, automatic headlight height adjustment and automatic cornering lights, along with LED fog lights. The Premium Pack costs 2,495 euros.
Those who want to get the most out of the LBX choose the Advanced Pack. With everything from the Tech and Premium Pack, supplemented by a Panoramic View Monitor, a Head-up Display, steering wheel controls with touch buttons, Intelligent Park Assist, Front Cross Traffic Alert and Active Noise Control. Also, with the Advanced Pack, the LBX gets the highly advanced Mark Levinson audio system with thirteen speakers. You do pay a hefty 5,295 euros for the Advanced Pack.
Conclusion Lexus LBX review
Should you seriously consider the Lexus LBX if you are interested in a compact, luxury SUV in the B-segment? Absolutely, because in terms of ride and comfort, it is by far one of the better cars. It’s just not very cheap and the space in the back is a bit disappointing. Lexus does have another strong trump card to perhaps win you over after all: Lexus offers up to 10 years or 200,000 kilometers of warranty when serviced by a Lexus dealer or authorized repairer in the Netherlands. Competitors have no answer to that (yet). The Lexus LBX will enter the Dutch market in early 2024. So much for this Lexus LBX review.
Will there be an electric Lexus LBX?
Waiting for an all-electric Lexus LBX makes no sense. That one is not on the schedule. That’s because hybrid propulsion will remain very big in the coming years, according to Lexus. With the arrival of the LBX, the Lexus UX will not disappear from the range. The UX will remain on the market for years to come and does come with a 100% electric powertrain.