Lexus Lbx 1.5 Premium 5dr E-CVT

  • Automatic
  • Petrol/Electric Hybrid
  • 62.7 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 102 g/km CO2
  • 102 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 62.7 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 9.2 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 136 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Lexus always needed a breakthrough model to attract new generation of younger customers. Here it is, the LBX. Surprisingly, it's not an EV. That's because it's based on Toyota's Yaris Cross, which uses a full-Hybrid drivetrain. But Lexus has re-imagined that design in a far more premium manner.


So. The Lexus LBX. Is it merely a Toyota Yaris Cross with a premium badge? Or the properly Lexus-engineered small entry-level model the company has always needed? Perhaps it doesn't matter. This car, a self-charging full-Hybrid designed in Europe for Europe, is the model that will really push its brand forward. In the past, we've always rather respected Lexus for not simply re-badging a small Toyota and creating a big-selling entry model that would rack up sales but diminish its brand. The closest the company came to that was with the Prius-based CT200h hatch, sold between 2011 and 2020, but that was still very much its own car, fundamentally re-engineered for 'Lexus-ness'. Which is pretty much what we have here with the LBX. Yes, all the basic engineering is borrowed from the Yaris Cross, but much has also been re-engineered so that this car feels like a Lexus. And those letters? Some at the brand say they stand for 'Lexus Breakthrough Crossover'; others that the 'L' is for Lexus, the 'B' for the B-SUV segment that this car competes in and the 'X' again references crossover status. Call it what you like though: it's the most important car the company has launched for a decade.

Driving Experience

The LBX isn't quite the re-badged Toyota Yaris Cross we'd feared we might get here. Yes, this car shares that model's compact GA-B platform (the first Lexus to use it) and the same basic 1.5-litre Hybrid engine, but quite a bit's been done to give this model what the brand calls the 'Lexus Driving Signature'. There's a much wider track for sharper handling, the light steering gets its own bespoke tune, the front suspension has a more rigid and lightweight MacPherson strut-type design, the CVT auto gearbox has been re-worked to deliver a more linear feel and a 'Vehicle Posture Control' system has been added that automatically uses the brakes to reduce pitching through turns. Pleasingly for a Lexus, lots of effort has also been put into refinement and the overall result is a level of journeying quietness that's probably class-leading, another thing that might encourage you to attempt longer journeys in an LBX than you ordinarily might in this class of car. We mentioned the engine. It's as frugal as you'd expect a Toyota Hybrid to be but this VVT-iE unit isn't quite the same as the one you'll find in the comparable Yaris Cross, gaining a new Hybrid Control System. This harnesses 134bhp (4bhp more than the fastest version of the equivalent Yaris Cross) courtesy of a more powerful motor driven by a new high-output nickel-metal hydride bi-polar battery shared with the larger Lexus RX and sited beneath the rear bench. The brand claims that this set-up gives sparkier performance than the equivalent Toyota, though the stats don't really show that, 62mph being dispatched here in 9.2s en route to the car's modest 106mph maximum. That's for the front-driven model we're trying here. With top spec, Lexus is also offering a minority-interest E-Four AWD version which gets an extra motor on the rear axle and needs 9.6s for the benchmark sprint.

Design and Build

As with the engine, the fundamental design here is not quite the carry-over concept it first seems. Yes, the TNGA-B platform is borrowed from the Yaris Cross, but it's wheelbase has been stretched by 20mm over that car. Which means that, though this is indeed the smallest Lexus ever, it's still a little bigger than its Toyota cousin, 4,190mm long, 1,825mm wide and 1,545mm high. If you know the Lexus brand though, what you'll probably notice first about the LBX is that it dispenses with the company's most familiar visual trademark, the front 'spindle'-style grille. A lower section of mesh replaces it, with a narrow strip above including a trim piece linking the LED headlights. The designers say the result is 'instantly recognisable as a Lexus': we're not so sure. At the rear, there's a full-width LED light bar. Wheel sizes are either 17 or 18-inches. The cabin is satisfyingly Lexus-like, with plenty of super-soft plastics and stitched leather in evidence, though lower quality materials still feature lower down. The technology's of the premium kind too, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, an optional head-up display and a 9.8-inch 'Lexus Link Connect' centre screen. Storage space is okay, with one cup holder in front of the NX-style gear selector and another behind, under an armrest that slides out and tilts to reveal another stowage area. Getting into the rear isn't as easy as it could be and space in the back is certainly at a premium: adults won't want to be stuck here for long and you don't get either seat pockets or cup holders. Boot space is just about acceptable at 402-litres in the front-driven model, but bear in mind that this drops to 317-litres in the E-Four AWD variant, thanks to its extra motor beneath the floor.

Market and Model

Think in terms of an asking price starting from around £30,000 for this LBX, the objective being to compete with class rivals like the Volvo XC40 and the Audi Q3. That base figure gets you entry-level 'Urban' trim. Beyond that, there's are 'Premium', 'Premium Plus', 'Premium Plus Design', 'Takumi', 'Takumi Design' and 'Original Edition' grades with prices up to £40,000. The brand thinks it will sell around 25,000 LBXs a year. Lexus is offering the car with a choice of four what it calls 'atmospheres' - basically trim packs that change the look and feel of the car. 'Elegant' gives you a leather-free cabin and 18-inch alloy wheels. 'Relax' focuses on what the company calls "luxurious elements and premium style". 'Emotion' would be your variant of choice if you wanted your LBX to have a sporty look, giving you a bi-tone roof. And finally, 'Cool' builds on the 'Emotion' model's urban sporty vibe with a little extra luxury. Lexus is also using the LBX to introduce a 'Bespoke Build' programme which enables customers to personalise their cars through customising things like stitching colours, different material colours and textures - even different-coloured seat belts. As usual with a Lexus, top models get an upgraded Mark Levinson stereo. Other features fitted further up the range include Lexus's digital keyless entry system, air purification technology and a head-up display. Fortunately, safety isn't in any way optional, all LBX models getting Lexus' very complete 'Safety System+' package. This gives you 'Collision warning with autonomous braking', 'Blind spot monitoring', 'Cross traffic alert', 'Adaptive cruise control', 'Lane assist' and Lexus' 'e-latch' door release and safe exit-release technology that prevents passengers from opening their doors into the path of an approaching vehicle or cyclist.

Cost of Ownership

Expect similar efficiency figures to those of a Yaris Cross, which means that with a front-driven LBX, you'd be looking at up to 62.7mpg on the combined cycle and up to 102g/km of CO2. Expect those figures to take a bit of a hit if you go for the slightly heavier E-Four AWD version (to 58.8mpg and 110g/km). As with the Toyota, Lexus expects this car to run for up to 80% of its time in electric mode during city driving. The full-Hybrid engine's intrinsic efficiency should help a lot with future residual values. There'll be a ready stream of customers wanting that on the used market when the time comes to sell, most of these people well aware that Lexus Hybrids have an enviable record for reliability. On to after-sales cover. It's worth pointing out that Lexus gives you a much better warranty than the limited three year one you'll get with most premium rivals. From the showroom, the car comes with a three year warranty, but providing you continue to regularly maintain it at a one of the brand's franchised dealerships, 12 months of extra warranty cover will be included with every scheduled service, up to 100,000 miles or ten years, whichever comes first. Fixed price servicing plans are available if you want to spread the cost of maintenance, allowing you to spread the cost over two years or more. However you go about paying for maintenance, on an LBX it shouldn't cost you too much. The Hybrid set-up has a good record for minimising tyre wear and its battery will last the life of the car. Plus the regenerative braking set-up helps extend the life of the brake pads: over 60,000 miles of driving, the front pads should only need replacing once, while the rear pads and all discs will probably last the full distance.


Lexus says it wasn't trying to make a cheaper car here: just a smaller one. However you define this LBX model's role, it could hardly be more important to its maker, opening up an entirely new segment for the brand and likely to account for nearly a third of the company's sales going forward. Even more importantly, over half of those sales are expected to be conquested from other brands. It all makes you wonder why Lexus didn't bring us a car like this sooner. Of course it tried to with the CT200h, but that model was too quirky and a little too expensive to sell in the kind of numbers the Japanese maker wanted. This LBX will do much better; an admirable second car if you already own a Lexus. But also one that deserves to be considered on its own merits.

  • Push button start
  • 1 USB (Type-C) charging ports in bottom of the instrument panel
  • 1 USB (Type-C) multimedia communication ports in bottom of the instrument panel
  • 6 speaker audio system
  • AM/FM and DAB radio
  • Lexus Link Connect with 9.8" Touchscreen
  • Rear side monitor
  • Black wheel arches
  • Full body colour bumpers
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12V accessory connector in front console box
  • Aluminium scuff plates
  • Armrest with sliding cup holder
  • Centre armrest with storage
  • Cup holder in centre console
  • Driver and passenger door pocket
  • Glovebox
  • Storage tray under audio panel and lower tray
  • Synthetic leather gear lever
  • Synthetic leather steering wheel
  • Tsuyasumi interior ornamentaion
  • Under deck storage
  • 2 x Isofix child rear seat restraints
  • 3 point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) front seat belt with pretensioners
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Adjustable seatbelt anchor points
  • Driver and front passenger side airbags
  • Driver and front passenger single stage airbags
  • Driver knee airbag
  • E-Latch electric door release
  • Front and rear curtain shield airbags
  • Front centre airbag
  • Manual rear child locks
  • Passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Alarm/anti-theft (with siren and 2 sensors)
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Thatcham approved locking wheel nuts
  • Two motion door lock with double lock
  • VIN etching
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 1
  • Battery Type: Nickel-Metal Hydride
  • Noise Level dB(A): 66
  • NOx: 0.0086
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 102
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 108
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 102
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1490
  • Compression Ratio: 14.0:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 80.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 97.6
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: INJECTION
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 4.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 62.7
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.5
  • Badge Power: 136
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: Premium
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 23E
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 9.2
  • Engine Power - BHP: 136
  • Engine Power - KW: 100
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 136
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 18.9
  • Engine Torque - NM: 185
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 3600
  • Top Speed: 106
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/60 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/60 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Height: 1550
  • Length: 4190
  • Wheelbase: 2580
  • Width: 1825
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 36
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1755
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 994
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 402
  • Max. Loading Weight: 475
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 750
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 650
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1280
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.4