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New Lexus LBX hybrid now available to pre-order

Lexus LBX small crossover can now be reserved online, with six trims to choose from

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Lexus has unveiled its new LBX crossover that is now available to pre-order in the UK – a hybrid that aims to offer the “quality and attention to detail” of the brand’s larger SUVs in a more compact package.

Based on the same foundations as the Toyota Yaris Cross, the LBX has been designed specifically for the European market, and is the smallest model in the Lexus range.

As the new lead-in model in the brand’s SUV range, Lexus is hoping that the LBX will find an audience with younger generations that may not have considered opting for a Lexus before.

The car is now competing against similarly-sized crossover rivals like the Kia Niro and best-selling Ford Puma, and Lexus is convinced that its new small SUV will be “a game-changer” – offering driving luxury and refinement usually reserved for larger upmarket SUVs.

Lexus has installed sound-deadening materials in the doors and roof to reduce noise and vibration when on the move, and the car’s suspension system has been designed to make the crossover agile, stable and comfortable in the corners.

A new ‘vehicle braking posture control’ feature is also included, which automatically balances front and rear brake force to stop the car pitching forward in heavy braking scenarios.

Inside, the LBX takes several interior design cues from the larger NX SUV that was unveiled last year. The dashboard and centre console layout has been simplified, and top-spec models will come with a 12-inch infotainment touchscreen (10-inch system as standard) and a head-up display that projects driving information onto the windscreen.

The seating position will be much lower than in most crossovers, which Lexus says aids driver visibility and engagement on the road. Lexus claims that “every inch of the car’s bonnet can be seen from the steering wheel.” To ensure that passengers in the back also have a good view out the windscreen, the rear seats are set slightly higher than those at the front.

Ambient lighting is available, with 50 colour options to choose from. Upholstery options will include leather, synthetic leather, and an optional “vegan-friendly” interior with no natural leather products.

The crossover is available with one powertrain option at launch – a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine and single electric motor pairing that can muster 136hp. A four-wheel drive model that uses a dual-motor setup is also on the way, but its arrival date is yet to be confirmed.

Lexus claims that it has refined the design of this hybrid system’s motor and battery to make the LBX more efficient and responsive than prior models.

Lexus has revealed that pricing will start at £30k for the entry-level LBX ‘Urban’, one of six trims that will be on offer from launch. British buyers can now place a ‘advance order’ for the new LBX, with all six trims available to reserve for a refundable £500.

That just about sums up what we know about the new LBX – models are expected to arrive in dealerships in October, and the first customer deliveries are scheduled to arrive in March next year. Full UK pricing is sure to follow in the coming months.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.