2024 Lexus LBX Hybrid Review – Is This The Best New Premium SUV?

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Lexus LBX Hybrid Review

Right now Lexus is bigger than ever and what better time for the brand to introduce Its smallest ever model.

It’s an all new nameplate, but also a challenge for the brand as it’ll need to convince buyers that it can fit its full luxury promise into such a compact package.

Pricing Lexus LBX Hybrid

The LBX arrives in Australia in three hybrid only variants and it kicks off from a new and more accessible price point.

For Lexus, there’s the base model luxury two wheel drive grade, the mid spec sports luxury two wheel drive and the top spec sports luxury all wheel drive.

With a price just under that 50K mark, the LBX manages to undercut its key rivals like the outgoing Audi Q2 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA, although it’s even smaller than those two and by quite a margin as well.

Lexus LBX Hybrid Features

In terms of standard equipment, there’s things like 18 inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 9.8 inch multimedia touchscreen, and a 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster on both trim levels with wireless apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as heated front seats with power adjust.

The sport luxury sets itself apart from the base car with the addition of items like synthetic suede trim in the interior rather than just synthetic leather.

A 13 speaker Mark Levinson audio system with active noise cancellation and a head up display.


Would you believe that the LBX actually shares its underpinnings with that little car? And yet Lexus has managed to design a car which looks completely different.

It really sells the promise of the brand with its tough wheels and wide stance and cool curvy styling.

There are no option packs, which is refreshingly simple in this luxury space. But there are a handful of things missing like larger wheels, sunroof or ventilated seats, which we usually see in this segment.

Lexus LBX Hybrid Interior

It’s certainly curvier wider and sportier looking than its Toyota relation. Inside This truly does feel like Lexus product and lines up really nicely with the rest of the range.

So if you’re expecting a Yaris cross just dressed up a little bit, that’s not what you’re gonna get here.

It is truly comfortable, it’s plush, it does feel a little closed in a little claustrophobic, but other than that it’s a really lovely space to sit in for quite long periods of time too.

Like all Lexuses, you get a new set of software on this center screen. It works nicely for Apple CarPlay though, and you do get a fully digital dash in there, which is lovely to use.

Seats are lovely, The space in here is lovely. There’s a cool kind of EV style pass through for this cabin.

There’s a single cup holder and kind of a nifty, trick where you can slide this center console armrest back to reveal another cup holder.

But there’s also a center console armrest box thing in there too, so that’s cool. a electronic shifter instead of the sort of manual one that’s in the Yaris Cross. So yeah, really nice little space.

Second Row

Talking About back seat. so the back seat of the LBX, it’s less impressive than the front seat.

Yes, you still get all lovely plush trims and there’s hardly a hard plastic to be seen.

And yes, the seat is pretty comfortable but If you are 182 centimeters tall or above your knees are almost hard up against that front seat, so maybe not the most comfortable space to be for a tall adult.

In terms of amenities, you also get a small bottle holder in the door, but none in a dropdown armrest. There’s no adjustable air vents for the backseat either.

And you do get two USBC ports in the back.

Boot Space In Lexus LBX Hybrid

Now let’stalk about boot real quick because it’s an interesting story.

In the two wheel drive you get a really impressive 402 liters, but here in the all wheel drive version you only get 315, which is a massive cut and that’s to facilitate that motor and battery under the floor here under the floor of both cars, there’s only a repair kit.


You get a very modern sounding drivetrain no matter which LBX grade you pick. There is a three cylinder engine with a nice and easy and completely plug less hybrid drive system.

Max power figures sound low for the luxury segment, but they are more powerful than the mechanically related Yaris cross.

But with hybrid assist, it brings the total maximum to a more decent sounding a hundred kilowatts.

The all wheel drive version meanwhile adds a second weaker electric motor on the rear axle.

Interestingly, there’s no mechanical connection between the engine and those rear wheels.


While it’s hardly a high performance turbo drive train like you might see in rivals, the point of all this hybrid clockwork isn’t ultralow fuel consumption number whilst not needing to plug in to extract the full benefits as a result.

Now as with all hybrids though, they’re best suited to around town. Importantly, CO2 emissions are also low enough that they won’t fall afoul of the government’s proposed incoming new vehicle efficiency standards.

Lexus LBX Hybrid On Road Experience

So LBX, what’s it like to drive? Well, I think you might be surprised even though this is the smallest Lexus, I think the brands imbued this little car with a lot of what makes a Lexus feel like a Lexus.

And that’s to do with this nicely damp steering tune. A lot to do with the cabin ambience, which is really quite nice.

And the suspension tune’s quite lovely as well. The brand’s done a lot of work to make the electric motor work a little bit harder and to quieten down this little three cylinder engine, which is notably a little noisy in the Yaris Cross, but in the LBX it’s still not perfect.

It still does break into the cabin, especially when you’re traveling a bit faster, that kind of 70/80 kilometer an hour kind of bracket and it does kind of eat into the lovely cabin ambience just a little bit.

And it’s interesting too because it does make the LBX a much nicer drive at lower speeds, a much nicer drive around town where it’s sort of intended that this car will spend a lot of its time.

Interestingly though, I think that’s contrasted by the way this car behaves When you get it on a few corners, it’s light, it’s springy, the steering is beautifully tuned.

It lets you turn this car into corners with such poise and accuracy and these are some characteristics that you can’t associate with every Lexus, for example.

I think the UX doesn’t quite have this car’s fun and easygoing attitude. It’s a little bit softer and more plush, whereas this car’s fun and exciting.

Definitely I think Akio Toyota has left his fingerprint on this car because apparently it’s his personal daily drive and he says it fits him like a sneaker, whatever that means.

But I do think it means that he’s really had his say on how fun this car should be and I’m glad that that shines through.

It also feels wider and more controlled and more sturdy on the ground than it’s Yaris cross relations.

So there’s been some mega engineering that’s gone into making this car feel significantly different and that’s also really pleasing to see.

But while it is a lot of fun to steer, it’s not particularly powerful. This hybrid electric drivetrain offers just a hundred kilowatts and that’s combined and it just doesn’t really hold a candle to a lot of its turbocharged premium rivals.

It doesn’t have that kind of snappy robust performance that you might expect from a car that costs this much.

So just keep that in mind. Yes, it’s fun to drive, but no, it’s not fast.

Now in terms of the difference between the two grades on offer, you’ve got the two wheel drive entry powertrain and you’ve got the all-wheel drive, which is only available on the top spec sports luxury version.

And I’ve gotta say I didn’t expect this, but I preferred the two wheel drive. Actually I preferred the two wheel drive quite a lot.

It was lighter, it was springier, it was more engaging to drive the, the all wheel drive adds a significant amount of perceived weight to the vehicle.

it also didn’t improve the ride a whole lot, even though the rear suspension is is different, it was still quite firm over the rear.

it wasn’t quite as exciting and I thought that was interesting. So the one to pick really is the two will drive base luxury.

Safety Feature In Lexus LBX Hybrid

I think one of the better parts about the safety kit in this car is they haven’t been too invasive.

Now the active safety systems haven’t been too annoying.

The LBX also gets an impressive array of eight airbags consisting of the usual dual front side and curtain as well as a driver’s knee and center airbag. The LBX was yet to be rated by NCAP.


The basics of the ownership, five years of warranty, five years of roadside assist, and a five year cap price service program.

Part of the Lexus ownership experience is the Brand’s Encore program, which even the LBX gets a complimentary three years of subscription to this program includes a loan car when it comes to service time, as well as invitations to events, drive experiences, track days, golf events, the list goes on.

Now you might note that that five years of cap price servicing isn’t quite as cheap as it is for this car Toyota relation, but it’s still pretty good for a premium car.

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