New Lexus LBX: our test drive in Valencia

Presented worldwide in Milan last June, the New Lexus LBX is an interesting innovation for the Japanese brand because, for the first time, it enters the B-SUV segment with a proposal tailored for Europe, and with an interesting price in Denmark and Sweden.

Read also: Lexus LM, at the opposite!

New Lexus LBX: Our Tops and Flops

The Lexus LBX is a car that impressed me a lot, and I admit that I didn’t expect it. It has almost everything you can find in an RX in terms of quality, safety features, and technology, in much smaller dimensions suited for city driving, with a not very powerful but pleasant and fuel-efficient engine. It’s a car that I see suitable for young men and women who can afford a fairly high standard of living and want to express it through a well-designed and built car. The only downsides are the somewhat annoying ADAS notifications and the somewhat sacrificed rear space, especially when there are even more compact cars that manage to provide a bit more room. Although, in these cases, the choice always comes down to trunk space or rear occupants.

What we like:

  • Superior build quality compared to competitors;
  • Flagship-level equipment;
  • Excellent fuel efficiency in this first encounter.

What we don’t like:

  • ADAS notifications can become annoying;
  • Rear seating space is somewhat limited;
  • Some plastics clash with the rest of the interiors.

About New Lexus LBX and why is a breakthrough car

The New Lexus LBX is a breakthrough car in many ways. It says it itself: LBX stands for Lexus Breakthrough Crossover, a turning point that takes Toyota’s premium brand into new territory, targeting a car category expected to be very successful in Europe, especially with the arrival of the Alfa Romeo Milano (former Brennero) and with the presence of other premium B-SUV, like Mercedes GLA, which is more expensive actually.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

LBX is also the only current Lexus with a three-letter name, and the only one, along with the beloved Lexus LFA, to mark the importance of this model. It speaks to a new audience, especially the female and young demographic looking for an upgrade without a size increase, evident in the vibrant color options like bright red and yellow, unusual for a Lexus.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

And, the design is also new, recognizable as Lexus but different from others. The car is based on the GA-B platform like the Yaris Cross but significantly modifies it: it’s 1 cm longer and 6 cm wider, with a reinforced chassis and an evolved 1.5 Hybrid engine, the only option, boosted to 136 HP (the updated Yaris Cross has 130 HP) with a new nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-Mh) bipolar battery, more efficient and the same used in the RX. Just to emphasize that it aims to be a smaller RX.

Space is not lacking

A smaller RX, also in terms of how the interiors are crafted, which are of very high quality. The upholstery, either eco-leather for vegan-friendly choices or suede depending on preferences, is, as mentioned, standard on all trim levels, covering seats, central tunnel, dashboard, and door panels, providing a highly refined perception of quality.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

Moreover, the white leather in our test adds to the vehicle’s sense of sophistication, complemented by wooden elements on the tunnel and around the smartphone storage compartments.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

Additionally, on the Lexus LBX, it is possible to customize the interiors to one’s liking, a choice usually reserved for more luxurious models.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

Only on the Cool trim, as an option, is the Mark Levinson audio system available, typical of the brand, with 12 speakers. On the technological side, there is a 12.3” cockpit on all trims (7” on the Class for fleets), and a well-defined 9.8” central touch screen on all trims with the latest Lexus infotainment system that we are already familiar with. It includes wireless compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and three USB-C ports at the front (two for data exchange), plus two on the rear seats.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

As in the NX and RX, there is the electronic E-Latch door opening, both for external and internal handles, a very convenient solution. The front seating is comfortable with ample headspace, while the rear seating reminds us that we are in a car that is 4.1 meters long. Those sitting behind a tall driver, over 1.90m like the undersigned, might feel a bit tight. The trunk is not bad, with a minimum capacity of 402 liters on the 2WD, decreasing to 317 on the all-wheel-drive model.

Not only for the city

The Lexus LBX surprised me positively. While it is designed for the urban environment and those who live and thrive in the city, easy to park due to its size and excellent in fuel efficiency as it often travels in electric mode, its behavior in rural areas makes it suitable for trips, something Millennials and Gen-Z enjoy, especially by car and especially if it’s sustainable.

New Lexus LBX
Another Lexus LBX, in red Image: NordiskBil

LBX confirms that two cars on the same platform are not necessarily twins, and driving at high speeds (in my case, over 3 hours around Valencia), you can feel the intervention on the architecture because, while remaining agile, it stays firmly planted on the ground.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

Above all, it doesn’t bounce, pitch, or give the feeling of swaying like a boat, thanks to the suspension system: always MacPherson at the front, while at the rear, it’s a torsion beam for the front-wheel-drive or a double wishbone for the all-wheel-drive, both finely tuned.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

Alongside them is a braking system, in my opinion, ingenious, the Vehicle Braking Posture Control, which intervenes in rear braking, making the operation smooth and preventing the car from bouncing.

The powertrain is the aforementioned 1.5 Hybrid with 136 HP and 185 N/m of torque. It’s not a sports car, with its 0-100 in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 170 km/h, but it has the right zest for city driving. The CVT transmission, while still present, is less noisy here compared to new Toyota C-HR but also Lexus LM, and the car is very quiet and well-insulated, among the best in its category.

New Lexus LBX
Image: NordiskBil

Fuel efficiency is also good: I don’t have enough data, but I stayed below 5 liters per 100 km on average during my 3 hours of total travel, with a strong prevalence of rural roads. However, in the city, it travels over 80% in electric mode, confirming the excellent hybrid system, to the point that Lexus is considering a variable-rate lease where the rate varies based on how much you travel in electric mode.

Finally, all models come standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot sensor, and the E-Latch door system that prevents opening if a cyclist or pedestrian is unnoticed. There’s also, as in RX and NX, the immersive head-up display connected to the steering wheel, allowing setting cruise control, distance, or changing songs without ever taking your eyes off the road.

New Lexus LBX: Prices in Scandinavia


  • LBX: from 349.500 DKK;
  • Elegant: from 395.500 DKK;
  • Emotion: from 416.500 DKK;
  • Relax: from 430.500 DKK;
  • Cool: from 450.500 DKK


  • LBX: from 346.600 SEK;
  • LBX FWD: from 357.900 SEK;
  • LBX AWD: from 349.500 SEK;

Lexus LBX is not available in Norway, where Lexus sells only electric vehicles (Lexus UX 300e and Lexus RZ).

One Comment

  1. Pingback:Toyota Yaris Hybrid 130: test drive and prices in Scandinavia - NordiskBil

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *