I had been  invited to the European launch of their latest luxury vehicle by Lexus Motors, in the beautiful region of  Valencia in Spain where we would be introduced to the Lexus LBX.

The Lexus LBX Compact SUV

The Lexus LBX Compact SUV

We were flown from Manchester to Alicante, followed by a 2 hour car journey to the stunning city of Valencia where we would test drive the all new Lexus LXB, billed as a small car that packs a punch.

I arrived late afternoon in Valencia where our hotel, ‘The Only You’ was situated in the centre of the Sant Francesc, the hotel I might add was very luxurious with amazing views from the restaurant on the top floor.

After booking in and being shown to my room I was informed that we would all meet up later to attend a presentation by the Lexus team who would take the audience through development and the finer details of the all new Lexus LBX. This would be followed by a question and answer session before going for going for dinner.

 As I had some free time, I decided to have a little wander around and take in the beautiful scenery before our presentation and evening meal. 

Outside the evening was starting to draw in, all around the Christmas decorations started to come alive and look spectacular, but it wasn’t until I got onto the main square where the Town hall was situated you saw how amazing everywhere looked.  They had an ice rink and lots of little pop-up market stalls, it was so nice.  As I walked it started to get darker and within half an hour it was fully dark but how lovely everywhere looked, as the square was filling with families enjoying the evening and the street decorations, it was breath taking. 

I then headed back for our meeting with the Lexus design team to familiarise ourselves with the Lexus LBX,  chat to the designers about what they had in mind when producing the latest in the Lexus luxury car range before tomorrow’s driving experience.

The Lexus LBX is a small luxury cross-over. I should point out my co-driver was 6’4 and he had plenty of room, so when I say small, I don’t mean anything was missed out of the interior to make it feel so much bigger.  

The stars of the show Lexus LBX for everyone to see on the Placa De L’Ajuntament
The stars of the show Lexus LBX for everyone to see on the Placa De L’Ajuntament

On the day of the drive of course the cars had to be on display for everyone to see on the Placa De L’Ajuntament just by the Town hall which is strictly for pedestrians, so they all looked really amazing. 

Then it was out onto the roads of Spain’s cities to get up close to experience driving this innovative luxurious car.

The Sat nav guided us off the public-only sidewalk where we had been parked and onto the main road and into the hustle and bustle of city peak time traffic, cars coming from every direction. The sat nav flicks from directions to warning so you can see danger from each side and directly in front, which is really helpful and the car brakes itself if it thinks you have got too close.

The Lexus safety in action
The Lexus safety in action

We then took the LBX on a drive through the city of Valencia during rush hour. The car drove beautifully, both within the city and on the motorways and after 3 &12; hours of nonstop driving, and taking in some great scenery along the way like Cullera, to our final destination - Ciutat de las Arts i les Ciencies. Being a driver and passenger, the seats are so comfortable with all the correct support, meaning no aches or pains when we got out.

Lexus LBX models on show
Lexus LBX models on show
The Lexus LBX out on the road in Valencia
The Lexus LBX out on the road in Valencia

About the Lexus LBX

Kerb Appeal

In brief  - the Lexus LBX is designed to appeal to a wide range of buyers, particularly the younger, city-smart Europeans with a taste for relaxed luxury, a premium car that you’d feel comfortable driving in jeans and trainers. The car certainly stands out with its smart angular design and stylish looks.

The Driving Experience

The Lexus LBX is the ultimate urban ultra-luxury small compact cross over, with compact dimensions and great all-round visibility from the driving position, it is perfectly at home on city streets. It is highly manoeuvrable and can also provide an automatic parking function to help you squeeze into those tight spaces.

But it’s far more than an around-town commuting vehicle. The Lexus Driving Signature gives you confidence, control and comfort at all times, the kind of driving quality that’s a hallmark of today’s Lexus models, no matter what roads you are driving on.

Space and practicality

In the cabin there is plenty of adjustment in both the driving seat and the steering wheel which is set closer to the driver and at a more upright angle so you are able to get an ideal driving position.

There is a good sized cubby-hole beneath the dashboard, a cupholder in front of the gear selector, with space to place your phone on the wireless charge pad in front of it, and USB-C charge slots. Also an additional cupholder is placed under the armrest and further storage space.

There is ample leg and knee room in the rear with the seats providing excellent under-thigh support to keep passengers relaxed on long journeys. Headroom is ample even with three passengers in the rear

Storage in the rear consists of two door bins, two USB-C slots between the front passengers, while fitting a child seat is made easy as the ISOFIX mounting points are easy to access.

The Lexus LBX has a load capacity of 332 litres, plus additional under-floor storage. The rear seats are easy to fold down, simply press the easy reach buttons beside the headrests.

The interior design and quality is where the Lexus LBX really stands out, with soft Alcantara upholstery which feels really luxurious, as does everything you see and touch - it oozes the same luxury and expense. Even the dashboard is covered with a tactile coating that feels so soft beneath your fingers.

The rear passengers get the same luxury seats making the Lexus LBX the most luxurious small car on the market.

Continuing the luxury theme, the infotainment system has a high-resolution touchscreen. It’s a 9.8-inch display and the graphics are sharp, with Apple CarPlay getting wireless support while Android Auto is wired-only.

The 12.3-inch digital instrument display looks great, although some models get a 7.0-inch screen.

Also on the Takumi models is the 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. Lexus have worked with this brand for years, with sound quality that is stunning.

Drive train and battery

The LBX has a new self-charging full hybrid electric powertrain that is both highly efficient and tuned for the kind of prompt, responsive acceleration that is characteristic of battery electric power. This key element gives the LBX a rewarding driving character securing the all-round rewards of the Lexus Driving Signature.

The total system output is 134bhp/136 DIN hp/100kW with peak torque of 185Nm, giving 0-62mph acceleration in 9.2 seconds for the front-wheel drive model, 9.6 with all-wheel drive. Official WLTP combined cycle figures indicate fuel economy of up to 62.8mpg and carbon dioxcide emissions from 102g/km. 

The 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine has world-class thermal efficiency, supported by high-speed combustion, achieved with technologies evolved from Formula 1 engineering achieving quicker engine warm-up and contributing to fuel economy and supporting efficient air conditioner performance. 

Electronic, intelligent variable valve-timing on the intake side – VVTi-E supports a good balance between fuel economy and power response, even at low engine speeds or with low oil temperatures.

Safety & Security

Lexus’s reputation for safety is second to none and the LBX follows in this tradition.

Safety kit levels - as standard you get front and rear parking sensors with a rear-view camera, while one grade up to Premium adds a pre-collision warning, driver monitor, blind spot monitor and more.

The Takumi models add an automatic parking system, 360-degree camera, lane change assistance and an automatic braking system that senses traffic passing in front of the car.

The Lexus LBX  innovations list

The LBX comes as standard with a cloud-based navigation system that’s constantly gathering live information about traffic conditions and potential hold-ups. Software updates for the LBX’s multimedia and safety systems are delivered over-the-air so there’s no need for the car to be taken to a service centre.

The LBX can be opened and started using a new smartphone app-based digital key. You don’t even have to take your phone out of your pocket or bag – just having it on your person gives you access. The app can be shared with up to five users and it’s compatible with both Apple and Android devices.

The e-Latch system is a great safety advance. It checks the area to the rear of the car and prevent a door being inadvertently opened into the path of a vehicle or cyclist approaching from behind – a common cause of accidents.

The hybrid electric system works with the car’s cloud-based navigation to predict the way you drive and traffic conditions. Predictive Efficient Drive operates automatically, so you can be sure it’s constantly working to save fuel and reduce emissions.

The LBX is the first car in its class to use a braking posture control system. This automatically balances the front and rear braking, counteracting the pitching effect when you slow down and reducing body roll when cornering.

In conclusion this latest innovative small cross over the Lexus LBX is the front runner in the market. It handles to perfection in the urban and city environment yet is a comfortable and roomy for longer distances. The safety aspect covers so many features it has got to be one of the safest vehicles on the road and its hybrid design makes it one of the top eco-friendly performers to date.

As we often say a vehicle rating should be based on how good it looks after its passengers and the Lexus LBX  tops the lot in that area.

The Lexus LBX comes in seven grades with prices starting from just under £30k check out the range HERE





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