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Lexus LBX Drive Review : Little Big X-over

Samantha Chiew
Samantha Chiew • 3 min read
Lexus LBX Drive Review : Little Big X-over
Lexus LBX / PHOTOS BY Lexus
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The LBX may be the littlest Lexus crossover yet, but it isn’t small in features.

Singapore - The new LBX is one of the more compact Lexus crossovers around and with a new powertrain – a self-charging 1.5-litre hybrid electric system – falls neatly within the Cat A COE segment. 

If you’re wondering, LBX stands for “Lexus Breakthrough X(cross)-over”. 

From the outside, it somewhat resembles a Toyota Yaris Cross – in concept at least – but wears a much smarter outfit in execution, which endows it with an effortless poshness synonymous with the Lexus brand.

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With the LBX, Lexus has established a “premium casual” design philosophy.

The mission was to develop a compact crossover appealing to customers who appreciate the finer things in life, by seamlessly integrating a luxurious experience into their everyday drive.

The exterior showcases dynamic proportions and a confident stance, complemented by Lexus' latest “Unified Spindle” front facia design – an evolution of the "Spindle Grille" from the 2012 GS, and then the "Spindle Body" with the RZ in 2022.

See also: Mission: Electric with Mercedes-Benz Singapore

For the interior, attention was placed on a premium design and stitching to convey the brand's ubiquitous poshness of being, with a modern, minimalist air to the cabin's contemporary ambience, which is designed around the "Tazuna Concept" – Lexus' human-centred philosophy.

However, though the exterior may give the impression of the LBX being spacious inside, it's unfortunately was not the case, because it can feel tight with a full complement of adult passengers.

Perhaps this is the trade-off for Lexus releasing its smallest model and a compact crossover. 

True to Lexus form, the drive proved to be refined and uneventful, which is perfect for one to be blissfully bobbing along in.

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I reckon the LBX is great for younger executive owners (or young couples with small kids in tow) who are looking for a sophisticated and reliable car to zip around Singapore, but more importantly, has the right badge on its bonnet. 

Under the hood resides a 1.5-litre three-cylinder self-charging hybrid setup, which sees the system output develop 136hp.

Thanks to the LBX’s hybrid setup, your wallet will thank you for the resultant fuel efficiency.

However, it’s no pushover, and has enough verve to tackle the savage cut-thrust of daily peak traffic turmoil without skipping a beat.

One thing I did appreciate about the car was the Head-Up Display, an in-built transparent screen that projects vital information on the windscreen within the driver’s eye-level.

I found this especially helpful on Singapore roads given our strict speed limits. 

The auto-hold function was particularly accomplished, although you have to turn it on every time you start the car. The auto-hold was very smooth and intuitive – coming out of the auto-hold was smooth too without any jerkiness. 

The LBX also boasts a tonne of safety features, as it is equipped with the latest generation of Lexus Safety System+.

The car is equipped with multiple systems to detect accident risks, alert the driver and automatically provides steering, braking and drive force control if required to help avoid or lessen the consequences of a collision.

In spite of its edgy styling, it doesn’t rock the segment, but the LBX does serve-up a competent and well-cosseted drive that should prove palatable to run as well.

Don’t scoff, because this suits the brand’s character to a T, since Lexus prides itself on offering a quietly sophisticated motoring experience.

Lexus LBX
Engine 1490cc, inline3, turbo
Power 91hp at 5500rpm
Torque 120Nm at3600 - 4800rpm
Electric Motor 69kW
System Power 136hp
System Torque 185Nm
Transmission e-CVT
0-100km/h 9.2secs
Top Speed 170km/h

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