Bangkok 2024: Lexus LBX – 1.5L hybrid baby SUV is smaller than UX, Merc GLA, BMW X1; from RM290k

Bangkok 2024: Lexus LBX – 1.5L hybrid baby SUV is smaller than UX, Merc GLA, BMW X1; from RM290k

This tiny thing can’t be a Lexus, can it? It even looks a bit like the Perodua Ativa! The Lexus LBX is the premium brand’s smallest car yet, and it is very, very compact. The LBX has just been launched at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show for the Thai market at 2.229 million baht (RM290,222) for the Luxury and 2.39 million baht (RM311,184) for the Premium.

The baby Lexus is built on the GA-B version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which is also used by the Toyota Aqua, Aygo X as well as the European-market Yaris and Yaris Cross. The LBX uses MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear.

The LBX is 4,190 mm long, 1,825 mm wide and 1,550 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,580 mm. For context, the Lexus UX – which before this was the brand’s smallest SUV – is 305 mm longer and 15 mm wider than the LBX, and its wheelbase is 60 mm longer. Both the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1 have longer WBs than the UX. Boot volume is 402 litres, expandable to 994 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear bench down.

Bangkok 2024: Lexus LBX – 1.5L hybrid baby SUV is smaller than UX, Merc GLA, BMW X1; from RM290k

I tried it out for size, and with the driver’s seat set to my position, even the Ativa is more spacious at the back. Also, the rear door cards are shaped from hard plastics, which is not very Lexus. You can relegate the rear section to occasional/emergency seats then, but the LBX should work well as a fuel-efficient personal car.

The hybrid powertrain combines a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine with 91 PS/120 Nm, an electric motor rated at 94 PS/185 Nm, and a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. Total system output is 131 PS. With power from the CVT going to the front wheels, 0-100 km/h takes 9.6 seconds and top speed is 170 km/h. There’s an EV mode button to force the system to (briefly) run ICE-free.

The Luxury is the starter trim for the LBX, and standard kit includes an acoustic windscreen, LED headlamps with auto high beam and DRLs, 17-inch alloys, a powered tailgate and auto wipers.

Bangkok 2024: Lexus LBX – 1.5L hybrid baby SUV is smaller than UX, Merc GLA, BMW X1; from RM290k

The Luxury also gets synthetic leather (in Mauve or Solis White), adaptive cruise control, a 9.8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charger, six speakers, a 7.0-inch digital meter panel, ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, eight-way powered driver’s seat with memory, e-latch door handles with safe exit assist, anti-glare rear view/side mirrors, reverse camera and tyre pressure monitor.

The Premium adds on acoustic front windows, adaptive high beam (AHS), front fog lamps, cornering lamps and 18-inch alloys. Inside, the range topper gains Lexus’ signature semi-aniline leather (in Saddle Tan or Black), a full 12.3-inch multi-info display, paddle shifters and steering touch controls. That’s quite a fair bit of extra kit for around RM21k more.

So, what do you think of the Lexus LBX – is there a market for a premium-branded car as small as this? Perhaps not when it comes to Malaysia’s CBU pricing, especially when placed next to tax-free EVs like the Volvo EX30 that’s coming soon, but surely there are people looking for a premium compact hatchback without using the rear seats? Deluxe Ativa – I’m not seeing things right?

GALLERY: Lexus LBX at BIMS 2024

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Learn more: 2024 Bangkok Motor Show



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