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2024 Lexus LBX

The all-new LBX, Lexus's smallest vehicle to date, has been unveiled. It will only be available with a hybrid drivetrain. This new subcompact crossover, which is essentially Lexus' response to the Toyota Yaris Cross, is planned to go on sale in early 2024 across Europe, including the UK, as well as in a few other worldwide regions.

The model's significance for the European market, where it was created, is highlighted by the LBX appellation, which is formed from the phrase "Lexus Breakthrough Crossover." While Stellantis' DS 3 crossover and Lexus' LBX are both classified as small SUVs by Stellantis, the LBX's footprint plainly positions it in the subcompact market (B-SUV).

The LBX is specifically 4,190 mm (165 inches) long, 1,825 mm (71.9 inches) wide, and 1,545 mm (60.8 inches) tall, with a 2,580 mm (101.6 inches) wheelbase. Despite being 305 mm (12 inches) shorter than the Lexus UX, it is now somewhat bigger than the Toyota Yaris Cross.

The LBX deviates from the typical styling language used in the majority of Lexus cars. Notably, the conventional spindle grille at the front has evolved into a central intake with a honeycomb design that melds into the bodywork without being obvious. The short bonnet's forceful LED headlamps are joined by a stylish trim piece, which improves the vehicle's appearance. The addition of lower bumper intakes further contributes to the athletic appearance.

The profile uses subtle plastic cladding and plain surfaces around the wheel arches, and the shiny black trim piece on the C-pillar resembles a greenhouse expansion. Moving to the back, the full LED taillights with sunglasses-inspired designs that highlight the prominent rear shoulders are the outstanding feature. A rear spoiler, chrome highlights surrounding the fake bumper outlets, and an absence of an exhaust pipe are also noticeable.

With the entry-level model, the elegant/relax variant with monotone exterior and glossy 18-inch wheels, or the sportier Emotion/Cool option with a bi-tone exterior and machined 18-inch wheels, Lexus offers buyers a wide range of personalisation options for the LBX. Every variation provides a unique blend of inside upholstery. In selected regions, a new Lexus Bespoke Build service will be offered for those looking for something even more distinctive.

Compared to its Toyota rival, the Lexus has a more premium and technologically advanced cabin. It includes high-end upholstery options, including semi-aniline leather, Ultrasuede, and vegan-friendly materials, as well as an inclined centre console and ambient lighting. A head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 9.8-inch touchscreen for the Lexux Link Connect infotainment system are all included in the cockpit. This system supports wired Android Auto connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay, and over-the-air upgrades.

Thanks to the included Lexus Safety System + ADAS suite, the segment's level of safety equipment is rather substantial. A Mark Levinson audio system with 13 speakers and a subwoofer is available as an upgrade. By adding insulation, Lexus claims to have prioritised low NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) levels to provide a peaceful and comfortable ride. The FWD variant's 332 litres (11.7 cubic feet) of luggage space is superior to the AWD variant's somewhat smaller amount because of the added hardware on the rear axle.

The compact crossover is constructed using GA-B technology that has been "fundamentally adjusted to meet Lexus requirements" and is only available with a self-charging hybrid drivetrain. The 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder gasoline engine is coupled with a NiMH battery pack, two (for FWD) or three (for E-Four AWD) electric motors, and an electronic CVT.

The Toyota Yaris Cross is outperformed by 20 horsepower (15 kW / 20 PS) and 65 Nm (48 lb-ft) of torque with a total output of 134 horsepower (100 kW / 136 PS) and 185 Nm (136.5 lb-ft). The LBX accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 9.2 seconds. The rear axle on FWD variations is a torsion beam, but the double-wishbone suspension on AWD vehicles is more sophisticated.

Initial deliveries of the Lexus LBX are anticipated to begin in early 2024, with the production of the vehicle set to begin in late 2023 with a focus largely on European markets. Orders for the right-hand-drive LBX will start to come in from the UK in July, and the first shipment is scheduled to arrive in March 2024. Although Australia is a prospective market for the LBX, Lexus stated that no final decisions had been m.ade, and those will be made at a later time.

TopGear Magazine July 2024