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Lexus LBX Review (2023) | Autocar

The LBX is a premium-focused B-segment car, and for a new arrival in late 2023 it’s fairly novel: there’s no electric version planned, and by expanding into a smaller market, Lexus has bucked the ongoing trend of cars growing to the point that they barely fit on British roads any more. (We will conveniently forget the new supersized LM MPV for now…)

That puts the LBX into an intriguing spot in the market: its nearest direct rivals are probably the Audi Q2, which will be retired next year, and the DS 3, which hardly sells. It’s bigger than the Mini hatchback, smaller than the Mini Countryman. You could compare it to the new Volvo EX30, except that’s battery-powered and the Lexus is exclusively a hybrid.

Less charitably, you could also consider the LBX a blinged-up Toyota Yaris Cross. Underneath that stylish Lexus design and interior, both cars are based on the TNGA-B platform and feature the same 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid powertrain. 

The big difference is that you can get a Yaris Cross for £24,855. The LBX range starts at £29,995, with top-spec front-wheel-drive models reaching £39,545. Our Premium test car is priced at £32,495, or £435 if you’re paying monthly.

LBX chief engineer Kunihiko Endo insists that, while using the same basic platform, the two cars were developed entirely separately, with extensive work done to make sure his machine was a ‘true’ Lexus. Compared with the Yaris Cross, the wheelbase has been stretched by 20mm to 2580mm, and the body is 10mm longer, at 4190mm. The LBX is also slightly lower and 60mm wider, the latter allowing for a wider track that Endo says was key to optimising the ride and handling.

Styling-wise, you wouldn’t mistake the LBX for the Yaris Cross: the Lexus design team has, to these eyes, done a great job of fusing the firm’s traditional design notes into a compact package. The front grille has gone frameless (less formal, apparently) and the smooth, curved bodywork features a number of interesting lines – and helps the airflow to improve efficiency.

At the rear, the number plates is mounted low down on the car to give more prominence to the Lexus lettering on the boot, and there’s also a new-style rear light bar. You’ll also spot a small spoiler mounted on the rear edge of the roof.


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