Rumors of a fancier Yaris Cross have been swirling around for years and now the Lexus LBX is officially here. Positioned below the UX and serving as the new entry-level model, the tiny crossover is an indirect replacement for the defunct CT hatchback. It rides on the same GA-B platform as its Toyota sibling but with different styling to better fit Lexus’ design language both inside and out.
The LBX is 4190 millimeters (165 inches) long, 1825 mm (71.8 in) wide, and 1545 mm (60.8 in) tall, while having a wheelbase of 2580 mm (101.5 in). Riding on 18-inch wheels as standard equipment, the petite Lexus is actually slightly bigger than the Yaris Cross and tips the scales at 1,280 kilograms (2,821 pounds). It will be offered with a choice between front- and all-wheel drive, with all configurations coming exclusively with a continuously variable transmission.
At the heart of the LBX is a hybrid powertrain based around a three-cylinder, 1.5-liter gasoline engine. It produces a combined output of 134 horsepower (100 kilowatts) and a maximum torque of 185 Newton-meters (136 pound-feet). It’s enough electrified punch for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in 9.2 seconds and a maximum towing capacity of 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds).
All versions of the latest Lexus get a MacPherson strut front suspension while the rear uses a torsion beam for the FWD models and a double wishbone if you opt for AWD. Technical specifications for the latter have yet to be disclosed but we do know it will add an electric motor at the rear. Interestingly, the small crossover has an aluminum hood as well as molded resin wheel arches, rockers, and lower door sections to keep weight down.
Stepping inside, the LBX boasts a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster with an optional head-up display joined by a 9.8-inch touchscreen. The infotainment supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but only the former has wireless connectivity. Lexus has once again teamed up with Mark Levinson, which supplies the 13-speaker sound system that comes along with a subwoofer.
Stick to the front-wheel-drive model and you get a cargo capacity of 332 liters (11.7 cubic feet) with the rear seats in place. The AWD-equipped LBX is likely to be less practical due to the extra hardware installed at the back. Lexus mentions it hasn’t made any compromises in terms of quality and attention even though this is the new entry-level model. The LBX is the company’s first model for which development primarily took place in Europe.
It’s scheduled to enter production by the end of this year and go on sale in Europe along with additional markets in early 2024.
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