New Lexus LBX now available to order

Smallest Lexus is a premium hybrid crossover based on the Toyota Yaris Cross; prices start from £29,995

  • Lexus’ most affordable SUV is on its way
  • Hybrid powertrain with 60-plus MPG
  • Prices start from just under £30k with full specs in October

Lexus has opened advanced orders for its latest all-new model, the LBX. The brand’s entry-level compact crossover will start from £29,995, with pre-sales now available for a refundable £500 deposit. Full pricing will be revealed in October, with first deliveries due in March 2024.

Lexus says six main versions of the LBX are available, comprising Urban, Premium, Premium Plus, Takumi, Premium Plus Design and Takumi Design. There’s also a special introductory Original Edition version, of which just 250 examples will be produced.

The best small hybrid cars 2023Top 10 best small hybrid cars 2024

Based on the same foundations as the Toyota Yaris Cross, the LBX is designed to appeal to European buyers, ushering in a shift in design for Lexus. Its polarising ‘Spindle grille’ has been simplified and reduced in size so it now only has a lower trapezoid shape – a move that’s likely to stick for new Lexus models. The LBX has slimmer headlights and a lower bonnet than the Yaris Cross, along with a contrasting black roof and door pillars on higher trims. 

From behind, there’s an intricate full-width lightbar with ‘L-shaped’ rear graphics set above a ‘Lexus’ script badge across the boot. Chrome detailing flanks the rear bumper – mimicking the front fog light housings – and the LBX is fitted with 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels.

2023 Lexus LBX interior and trim levels

Inside, the LBX is said to have a simple layout with “the feel and atmosphere of a higher segment model” thanks to the liberal use of soft-touch and premium materials. 

Entry-level Urban models (from £29,995) will get a 9.8-inch touchscreen with Lexus’ Link Connect infotainment system including wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto compatibility. There’s dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, too. The LBX will also get the brand’s e-Latch system as standard, which replaces the conventional interior door handles with an electronic switch.

Premium Plus builds on Premium with a powered tailgate, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, head-up display, and ‘smart entry’ – a system that allows your smartphone to act as a key to unlock and start the car. The car’s standard 17-inch alloys are also upgraded for 18-inch ones. Premium Plus Design gets perforated vegan leather upholstery with red stitching, bi-tone paintwork and a different alloy wheel design.

Takumi brings a premium 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat with a memory function, additional colours for the interior ambient lighting setup, autonomous parking tech, added safety kit, plus LED lights with high-beam assist. Takumi Design adds the aforementioned bi-tone paintwork and different alloys, plus Ultrasuede and leather upholstery.

The special Original Edition available from launch will get a unique Sonic Copper bi-tone paint colour with matt black 18-inch wheels, exclusive bumper inserts, plus decals and badging to highlight its exclusivity. Just 250 examples will be produced.

Lexus LBX performance and specs

Like the Toyota, the Lexus LBX will only be available with a full-hybrid powertrain based around a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a CVT automatic gearbox. It’s not a carbon copy of the Yaris, however, because changes to the battery and electric motor mean the LBX offers more combined power (134bhp to be precise), for a 0-62mph dash in 9.2 seconds. 

Lexus claims to have taken steps to make the LBX feel quieter and smoother on the move, in keeping with its premium image. The brand also says improvements to the powertrain mean it can “run more than 50% of the time in electric mode in city driving”; the Yaris Cross will do 62mpg, though Lexus hasn’t yet released fuel economy figures. Details on the four-wheel drive E-Four version with a second electric motor will be disclosed later.

Practicality isn’t likely to be an LBX strong point, however. Measuring 4,190mm long and 1,545mm tall, the front-wheel drive version offers 332 litres of boot space behind the rear seats, which is roughly 60 litres down on the Toyota Yaris Cross, and some way behind the 405 litres of the Audi Q2. The all-wheel-drive E-Four version of the LBX is expected to be even tighter on luggage space, with a 255-litre volume.

Read our in-depth review of the current Toyota Yaris Cross, or take a look at our round-up of the best hybrids currently available

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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