Team MenStyleFashion has reviewed Lexus cars for some time now. What we do love about the brand when driving around the United Kingdom is that it’s a car brand that most spectators are not familiar with.
As a performance car, fully combustion-engined enthusiast, I hadn’t really considered Lexus as an alternative or even a Hybrid vehicle. I therefore fall into the Lexus’ category of, until recently not knowing Lexus, only having a vague idea of the brand, I didn’t think it was for me, for a number of reasons, until attending the launch that is. However, in the current environmental climate and the world’s strategy for converting to EVs by 2030, this got me thinking. My personal preference is that I wouldn’t really want to own an EV as I don’t believe the logistical support aspect for recharging, is, or will be in place in the UK by 2030. The alternative, however, is, or would be the best of both worlds and help in transitioning to the 2030 goal.
A hybrid for me would possibly be the way forward and as previously iterated, as an outward-bound enthusiast, and not requiring a large SUV for the activities I partake in, the LBX may well be ideal for my needs.
Where better to launch a lifestyle SUV than, the Superstudio Maxi in the Moncucco district of Milan? On the 1st of June 2023, LEXUS’ showcased the World Premiere of their new LBX SUV Crossover.
This Lifstyle Crossover is without compromise luxury not constrined by size.
Being ex-military and having served 23 years in logistics, stationed in numerous countries around the world this trip was right up my alley. I love to dress up and I am very much into luxury cars. When I drive any car for me it’s all about the public image I portray, this is Milan after all.
You can’t visit the capital of fashion and design for the big Lexus LBX SUV reveal without taking along a few well-designed business casuals for the event, jackets, trousers, and shirts, and with the temperature in Milan being 26 degrees Celsius, it was a good choice.
With my Ermenegildo Zegna, Italian premium quality wool, silk, and linen garments I strolled into the showroom. As a fifty-something gentleman, it was enlightening to see other like-minded individuals using the occasion to show off and bring out their best wardrobes, and what a place to do it “MILANO”.
The first impression from a lifestyle point of view is that the Lexus LBX SUV is compact, agile, and stylish looking, with a hint of attitude. I won’t be able to substantiate the agility of the LBX until I have driven one, it is, however, compact, it looks agile and with the definitive front grill, low bonnet line, and sharp lines, it definitely reeks of attitude.
I personally own a performance convertible myself but, this compact SUV would also be an ideal choice as a second car to deal with the mountainous, winding roads of Snowdonia National Park or the numerous beach fronts and towns dotted around the North Wales coastline. It’s just as well the Lexus LBX is also available with the optional Lexus E-four all-wheel drive system with an extra additional motor on the rear axle to deal with minor off-roading conditions, something for the outdoor enthusiast, which I am.
It would be interesting to see how versatile it would be from a European winter perspective, in light snow conditions, and whether accessories will become available to carry skis on the roof for a quick ski weekend in France, Austria, or Andorra. Alternatively, it would be an ideal town or city run around, when you don’t want to take the convertible or muscle car, just jump into the LBX to nip into town for emergency groceries or a bottle of something that you had forgotten to purchase for that evening’s dinner party. We wouldn’t want to let our guests down now, would we?
Design and Aesthetics
The LBX is the first Lexus based on the GA-B platform which is a reviewed version of that used in the Yaris Cross. The designers stipulated the best possible driving position is essential, this is why it has been lowered in the LBX.
The headlights blend into the grill, giving it a new Lexus face identity. Rear combination lights blend in seamlessly with the back doors.
When seated in the front visibility is very good, and the field of view allows the driver to concentrate on the road. The higher centre console together with the doors and dashboard give you a wraparound feeling.
The LBX has been designed with the Lexus Driving Signature, the 3 C’s, COMFORT, CONFIDENCE, and CONTROL.
Both the front and rear suspension have been designed under the principles of high rigidity and lightweight with the purpose of providing agility with stable cornering and a comfortable smooth ride. The VBPC (Vehicle Braking Posture Control) automatically adjusts front and rear brake force to suppress pitching and rolling when cornering.
Lifestyle is all about personal taste and the LBX European will be available in four different atmospheres in addition to the base grade. Four different exterior and interior design executions to choose from based on individual preferences. European Atmospheres include:
- For the fashion-conscious and those into sophisticated design, there’s the LBX ELEGANT – Leather free interior with a monotone exterior colour and high gloss 18” wheels.
- If your preference is for more luxurious materials and you gravitate towards more classic styles, the LBX RELAX may be made for you.
- Like me although with my age, I don’t fit into Lexus’ owner demographic, I believe my choice would be a more sporty, urban style matching my driving for fun character there’s the LBX EMOTION with 18” machined wheels, bi-tone exterior, black interior with red stitching.
- Combining both a sporty and dynamic look you may prefer an even more luxurious touch, if so then the LBX COOL may be your choice.
- Taking it a step further Lexus will also offer to the European market the LBX BESPOKE BUILD – An LBX made for “YOU”. You have overall control in selecting your preferred combination of colours, materials, stitching, and even seatbelts. This personalized approach is normally only available with larger model Lexus’ indicating this car deserves the L in LBX.
Performance and Powertrain
The LBX has a brand-new Lexus self-charging Hybrid powertrain featuring 1.5 litre, 3-cylinder engine and a bipolar nickel-metal high power battery, delivering the 136hp and an acceleration capability of 0 to 100 in 9.2 seconds, which in my book makes it a bit of a pocket rocket. CO2 emissions have been quoted as 120 grams/km.
The Planetary ECVT gear system provides seamless and almost infinite gear ratios offering more fuel savings through its efficiency.
The manoeuvrability is also said to be pretty good with a 10.4-metre turning circle. The boot space is ideal for getaway breaks/holidays, being able to accommodate 2 large suitcases. There’s also enough room in the 332-litre boot space for the trips to the beach with all the inflatable toys SUPs and the like. It would also easily cater for outdoor activity luggage like hill walking backpacks. Being self-charging the electric and combustion work in synergy. It’s been stated that the battery will outlive the lifespan of the vehicle
Safety and Technological Aspects
The shell is strengthened with structural adhesives, strategically placed braces, and reinforcements without compromising the vehicle’s weight. All Lexus optional safety equipment available with other models is also available with the LBX.
The designers have also borrowed a couple of nice features from some of their flagship models, namely the wet arm wiper system which delivers washer fluid from the wiper rather than spraying up from the bonnet onto the windscreen, temporarily obscuring your vision. There’s also the e-latch door handle mechanism allowing you to open the door from inside the SUV by pushing the latch into the door, in the direction the door opens rather than the conventional latch that you pull towards you. From the outside, there is an electronic button on the inside of the door handle that activates under pressure, rather than pulling the whole door handle from the door panel to gain access. These were just a couple of attention-to-detail and quirky additions I was not really expecting.
The 9.8 touch screen compatible with both Play and Android is conveniently placed for ease of operation. There is also a heads-up display available.
The demographic for the LBX is Females aged between 30 and 40 and Males aged between 35 and 45. However, upon first impressions, I believe it will appeal to a wider audience. Pricing points and performance statistics are yet to be revealed. With the Lexus LBX, small doesn’t mean less or a lower spec, 100% Lexus with no compromise. The main market is Europe, I believe it’s 16 countries. For the UK, specs may differ slightly with regard to the LBX’s interior atmosphere choices and we won’t actually see the LBX SUV Crossover until Q1 2024.
I wait in anticipation to drive it through my home town, Wales.
An Online car configurator will go live on all Lexus’ European websites today 5th of June 2023, when the car is officially revealed. Contracts are expected towards October 2023 and European deliveries are planned from March 2024.
The Lexus LBX marketplace competitor is said to be the Audi Q2, with this model being discontinued, the LBX may well take over this segment.
What Car Reliability Survey named Lexus the most dependable car brand in the UK, with this and the brand’s pedigree, I look forward in earnest to test-driving the LBX.