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Lexus LBX 2024 review: Luxury 2WD


Daily driver score

3.9/5

Urban score

3.9/5

The LBX is the smallest model from Lexus and it's also the most affordable. Lexus is positioning the LBX to appeal to fresh buyers who haven't owned a Lexus before, as well as buyers on a relatively small budget (at least for the luxury market) but still want a piece of the action.

What makes the LBX stand out even more is the, well, lack of competitors! The closest is the Audi Q2 but that's already being pulled from production after only one generation. Otherwise, compact luxury SUVs like the Volvo XC40, BMW X2 and Mercedes-Benz GLA are the nearest rivals.

I'm driving the base LBX Luxury 2WD this week with my family of three to see how it handles urban life and whether it answers the question for those wanting something small and economical to run but don’t want to compromise on luxury. 

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 9/10

The LBX is being offered in three variants and I'm testing the entry-level model, the Luxury 2WD. Lexus has priced the base model from $47,550 before on road costs and with the Audi Q2 leaving, this price tag makes it the only luxury SUV rival sitting under $50K! Impressive for the luxury market.

The closest rival is the Volvo XC40 Plus B4 MHEV at $54,990 MSRP and then swings in the Mercedes-Benz GLA200 at $68,900 MSRP.

Technology looks great with a 9.8-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (Image: Glen Sullivan) Technology looks great with a 9.8-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The Luxury 2WD comes with a solid standard features list and luxury items include an eight-way powered drivers seat with three position memory function, heating functions on both front seats, and black synthetic leather upholstery throughout.

Technology looks great with a 9.8-inch touchscreen multimedia system and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster headlining the dashboard.

The Luxury 2WD comes with a solid standard features list including black synthetic leather upholstery throughout. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The Luxury 2WD comes with a solid standard features list including black synthetic leather upholstery throughout. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

The tech is rounded out with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, five fast USB-C ports, wireless charging pad, a six-speaker Panasonic audio system and a Lexus Connected Services app with complimentary over-the-air updates for three years.

Practical features include a powered boot lid, dual-zone climate control, tyre repair kit, keyless entry, push-button start and rain auto-sensing windscreen wipers.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10

Sitting smaller than any of its rivals at 4190mm long, 1825mm wide and 1560mm high, the LBX truly earns its compact tag and it shares some underpinnings with its cousin, the Toyota Yaris Cross. So, if you like that, you’ll love the LBX but Lexus has tuned the exterior to look more refined with softer edges and stylised LED lights.

The options for paintwork are all two-toned and that gives the LBX some cool-kid vibes. Add on the 18-inch alloy wheels and large Lexus badging at the rear and you won’t forget you’re getting into something nice.

  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design
  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design
  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design
  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Design

As you’d expect, the cabin is far more refined than its Toyota cousin and there are a swathe of soft touchpoints and synthetic leather trims throughout the car that boost the luxury look. Doors close with a soft thump and all the joinery is flush and solid-looking.

The dashboard is accentuated by a 9.8-inch touchscreen multimedia system and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster – both of which look great. There are some nice focal points too with the adjustable ambient lighting and contrasting red stitching upholstery.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 6/10

The size of the cabin well and truly establishes this as an urban dweller that's best suited to one or two occupants. While I have plenty of head and legroom for my 168cm height, I jostle for elbow room with my husband whenever we travel together.

Individual storage up front is what you would expect for the class with a shallow middle console, two cupholders, phone cradle and small storage bins in each door. The glovebox is filled by the manual (I'd toss it in the boot for more room) but one of the cupholders slides backwards and forwards for easier middle console access and you get a handy little shelf under the centre console.

The size of the cabin well and truly establishes this as an urban dweller that's best suited to one or two occupants. (Image: Glen Sulivan) The size of the cabin well and truly establishes this as an urban dweller that's best suited to one or two occupants. (Image: Glen Sulivan)

The LBX takes a hit with the cabin's rear-seat practicality and its here that the word 'compact' takes on new meaning. I literally can’t sit behind my driving position without my knees pressing firmly into the back of the seat and I'm only 168cm (5ft6').

Amenities and storage in this row are bare by anyone's standards with a single map pocket and two USB-C ports on offer. That’s it. Not the best for a luxury entry, no matter if it is a base model.

For any families considering this car, my big harnessed booster seat barely fits through the small door aperture and once installed, it blocks part of the view out of the back window. To accommodate my seven-year-olds comfort (and legs), the front passenger seat has to shift forward a lot. It's 100 per cent doable to have a kid in the back but it's not what I'd call a family- or adult-friendly rear seat.

  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Practicality 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Practicality
  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Practicality 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Practicality
  • 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Practicality 2024 Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD I Practicality

Technology is pretty well-rounded with a multimedia system that is easy to use and responsive to touch. The wireless connectivity for smart phones is great and the built-in satellite navigation proved itself simple to operate.

Charging options are great up front with three USB-C ports, a wireless charging pad and a 12-volt socket to choose from.

Head to the rear and the boot offers decent capacity at 402L. The deep well makes it easy to stack groceries or luggage and underneath the floor is a tyre puncture repair kit. A powered boot lit also comes standard on the base model.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 7/10

The Luxury 2WD is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder hybrid-petrol setup with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and it produces a combined power output of 100kW but Lexus hasn’t declared it’s torque figure. Based solely on the petrol engine, the torque figure is sitting at 185Nm.

To give you an idea of its power, the Luxury 2WD can do a 0-100km/h sprint in 9.2 seconds. (Image: Glen Sullivan) To give you an idea of its power, the Luxury 2WD can do a 0-100km/h sprint in 9.2 seconds. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

To give you an idea of its power, the Luxury 2WD can do a 0-100km/h sprint in 9.2 seconds. So, it’s not a speedster but it's perfectly adequate for city journeys – just think of it as a little baby Lexus.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 8/10

The official combined fuel-cycle consumption figure is 3.8L/100km and my real-world usage is 5.2L/100km after doing a stack of open-roading and some city driving. My consumption sat closer to the 4.5L mark in the city but I think that’s excellent consumption.

Based on the official combined fuel cycle and the small 36L fuel tank, you should see a theoretical driving range of 947km but realistically expect between 550km and 600km.

Driving – What's it like to drive? 8/10

While the LBX isn't what you'd call a powerhouse on the open road, there is more than enough power to easily keep up with traffic and overtake when necessary. At times the engine can whine at you when you hit hills and sometimes it sounds like its stuck in the wrong gear for too long, which is attributed to that CVT.

It's in the urban environment where the hybrid powertrain shines and manages to make the performance feel almost spritely. Despite heavy torrential rain for most of my week with the LBX, it remained stable and solid on the road.

The clear 360-degree camera system is top-notch and the front and rear parking sensors are sensitive. (Image: Glen Sullivan) The clear 360-degree camera system is top-notch and the front and rear parking sensors are sensitive. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Steering is responsive and there are some go-kart vibes when you're in a small carpark. That's where those vibes end as the ride is rather refined, despite the occasional engine complaint, and suspension feels well-cushioned. The cabin is also ridiculously quiet for such a short wheelbase.

With my child seat installed, visibility out the back window is compromised but otherwise, the surrounding view is pretty good and you are confident being assertive in tight traffic.

The LBX's compact size really makes it a breeze to park. The clear 360-degree camera system is top-notch and the front and rear parking sensors are sensitive.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 8/10

The Lexus LBX hasn’t been rated with ANCAP yet but its close cousin, the Toyota Yaris Cross, has a five-star rating from 2021 and they share similar features and underpinnings.

The LBX comes with a huge host of safety systems as standard, like AEB, blind spot monitoring, rear occupant alert, forward collision warning, LED DRLs, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, 360-degree view camera system, as well as, front and rear parking sensors.

The LBX also has a driver attention monitor but it's annoyingly sensitive and can rudely interrupt an otherwise pleasant driving journey.

The LBX comes with eight airbags, which is great for this class, and that includes a drivers' knee airbag and a front centre airbag as standard.

The rear row features ISOFIX child seat mounts on the outboard seats and three top-tethers but front and rear passenger comfort is compromised when any seat is installed. Only two seats will fit but don't bother installing behind a driver who is very tall.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 8/10

The Lexus LBX comes with a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and you get five years of capped-price servicing where services cost $595, which is great for the class.

You get three years of roadside assistance as a part of your servicing plan and servicing intervals are reasonable at every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first.

The Lexus LBX Luxury 2WD is the sort of car you get if you’re kids have flown nest or you’re wanting to get into a luxury brand for a relatively affordable price tag.

It earns its compact SUV size tenfold, so don’t expect to be ferrying your crew in this; a cat or small dog maybe but it’s not adult sized in the back seat. However, this grade sees some solid features, it looks great and it’s well suited for city dwelling.

$47,550

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.9/5

Urban score

3.9/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.