Lexus LBX Takumi

Design

Lexus LBX, 2024, front
Lexus LBX, 2024, side
Lexus LBX, 2024, rear
Lexus LBX, 2024, interior
Lexus LBX, 2024, instrument panel
Lexus LBX, 2024, display screen
Lexus LBX, 2024, engine
Lexus LBX, 2024, boot

LEXUS has returned to the compact executive market with its LBX petrol hybrid, and it's anticipated to be a big player for them in the UK.

The prestige brand's first foray into the smaller executive sector was just before the new millennium when it introduced the IS200 series.

That was based on a highly successful Toyota Altezza and this time around the LBX is derived from the Toyota Yaris Cross, but with some neat Lexus features you'd rightly expect to raise its game against rivals.

There is a very wide 11 model LBX range from Urban at almost £30,000, through Premium, Takumi and special editions, with two or all wheel drive, up to £40,545, but watch road tax implications for five years for prices with options over the £40,000 mark.

As a self-charging hybrid it utilises a 69kW electric motor to supplement the 1.5-litre petrol engine and together push out over 100kW. The software seamlessly works to give good acceleration from standstill, on the move and even integrates with the LBX navigation system to optimise recharging based on the driving style of the user and the road ahead.

The result gave us an overall fuel consumption of 62mpg but at times we saw it edge over 74mpg, which is remarkable for a 1.5-litre triple-pot engine which some might consider too small for a family car and would have to be worked hard to sustain a respectable cross-country performance.

Noise levels were surprisingly low from the engine and the eCVT gearbox was silent as it effortlessly transferred engine power to the wheels. There were some wheel and suspension noises over bad surfaces nevertheless but otherwise the LBX was a very relaxing environment.

The steering with its height and reach adjustable column was pin sharp and had a good turning circle too, ideal in urban situations, and it combined with a very clever self-parking system using a range of sensors around the car and camera imaging.

Road holding was surefooted with no vices to catch out an unwary driver and the handling was responsive at all times.

The LBX is not a sports car and its speed performance is what you might expect from a modern family crossover, but it felt more upmarket than its size might suggest and the way it covered ground was relaxed and refined.

Ride quality was also up a few notches despite the noisy suspension and 18-inch wheels & tyres. It felt like a car with a longer wheelbase and wider track.

The excellent wrap around seats did a lot to cushion occupants and they had a wide range of adjustment infront and were fairly comfortable in the back too with its offset split backrest. Taller users may find the legroom a bit tight in the rear but there was plenty of room infront.

Boot access was good, with a fair capacity if used five-up and it quickly doubled when the seats were dropped. Inside the cabin, the oddments room was modest with a multitude of bins, trays and cubby places, but all were on the small side and of questionable value as a result.

For the driver everything came immediately to hand and foot, worked well and quietly. A multitude of column stalks included paddles to increase or decrease retardation, there was a button to choose best operating mode for a journey and the instruments' display was big, clear and could be altered to show various values.

A 12.3-inches infotainment display in the centre of the facia held most functions and quickly adjusted with excellent clarity. Heating and ventilation was very effective, backed up by four powered windows.

I liked the powerful, effective and silent wash/ wipe system and the very long range, wide beam intelligent headlights, but over the shoulder rear vision was restricted.

There is no doubt the new LBX range is competitively priced, a real rival to more established players in the sector and offers truly remarkable economy potential in a highly refined package.

FAST FACTS

Lexus LBX Takumi Design

Price: £39,015

Mechanical:134bhp 3cyl 1,490cc petrol-electric engine driving front wheels via automatic CVT transmission

Max Speed:106mph

0-62mph:9.2 secs

Combined MPG:62

Insurance Group:25

C02 emissions:104gkm

Bik rating:25%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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