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The Lexus LBX is the smallest model offered by the Japanese manufacturer and is aimed at a younger audience. It is packed with tech, fun to drive, practical and very economical to run. Even the asking price will surprise many.

Lexus LBX side
Lexus LBX rearLexus LBX interior

The good

Stylish good looks and top quality interior with plenty of kit

The bad

CVT gearbox will divide opinion

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
0-62 from
9.2 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

Lexus LBX – First Drive (2024)

Lexus has an all-new compact crossover model that has been specifically designed for the European market. It’s called the LBX, which stands for Lexus Breakthrough Crossover, and it’s aimed at a younger audience.

The LBX is the smallest Lexus to date and is powered by a highly efficient three-cylinder, 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid electric powertrain.

With a starting price of £29,995, customers can select from four core model grades called Urban, Premium, Premium Plus and Takumi with additional Premium Plus Design and Takumi Design models that add extra eye candy to the mix. In addition, there is an Original Edition version at launch which is limited to just 250 models,

We opted for the LBX Premium Plus, costing £34,495 and it’s a car with a strong road presence thanks to its dynamic styling, including a front end appearance that moves away from traditional Lexus looks.

The trademark spindle grille that has been a design hallmark for the last decade has been replaced by a single trapezoidal-shaped grille positioned beneath a single narrow aperture that runs just below the bonnet and this links the slim headlights.

Staying at the nose, the L-shaped lights face outwards rather than inwards on the LBX and elsewhere there are 18-inch high-gloss alloys and rear privacy glass.

One factor that is Lexus through and through though is the quality of the interior with high-end upholstery and soft-touch surfaces. The test car featured synthetic leather seats that looked upmarket and offer plenty of support on longer journeys. These can also be heated against the winter chill.

The main focal point is a 9.8-inch infotainment touchscreen navigation system featuring a voice assistant, wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, a DAB radio, reversing camera plus a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system on top trims.

In addition, there is a head-up display, along with a 12.3-inch digital driver screen to view all the vital driving data, and the separate panel for the climate control functions is always appreciated.

The 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid system delivers 134bhp and that results in a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.2 seconds and maximum speed of 106mph. That may not sound that dynamic, but it’s worth remembering Lexus prides itself on refinement rather than blistering pace.

It is impressive when it comes to day-to-day running costs though with a WLTP-tested combined fuel efficiency figure of 61.4mpg and carbon emissions of 103g/km.

So, onto the performance where the LBX drives really nicely and has ample power and acceleration provided you are not too aggressive with the CVT automatic transmission. Driven with a little TLC, it is beautifully balanced and grounded through twisting country lanes and cruises effortlessly at 70mph on motorways with barely a sound filtering through into the cabin.

In busier city centres, the vehicle is agile and easy to manoeuvre with good all-round driver visibility being another plus factor. An ECO mode will help to maximise fuel economy and an EV mode can be activated provided there is enough battery charge. In addition, a B mode will increase the level of regenerative braking

Our test car was front wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available on the higher trim grades if required.

Comfort levels within the LBX are impressive and there is ample space up front for a couple of six footers. The legroom in the back is a little tight especially if the front seats are pushed back but it would be okay for two or three youngsters with Isofix anchors to fit child seats in the outer rear positions.

The exceptionally deep boot is accessed via a powered tailgate and this can hold 402 litres of luggage, a limit that increases to 994 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped down. Anyone opting for the all-wheel drive models will find the boot capacity is slightly less at 317 litres.

Throughout the cabin there are plenty of storage compartments, including a sliding armrest that opens to reveal a small cubby and a cup holder. There is a glovebox, another front cup holder, a single seat back pocket, door bins, trays and a wireless charging pad.

Although the LBX has not yet been assessed for its Euro NCAP safety rating, the car is packed with a comprehensive list of systems and driver assistance aids to help protect occupants and other road users alike.

All in all, the LBX is cracking new arrival for Lexus that will likely prove a popular choice. But we will have to see whether it is snapped up by younger drivers as Lexus has predicted. We’d suggest it will be older buyers as tends to be the Lexus way.

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