First-Ever Lexus LBX Officially Arrives In New Zealand

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AutoTrader NZ
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Published 12 April 2024

The all-new Lexus LBX has landed in New Zealand and is now on the market. This model combines hybrid efficiency with compact agility and luxurious sophistication, making it an attractive entry point into the Lexus luxury experience, particularly in the compact crossover segment.

Critics and motoring award judges have praised the LBX for its aesthetic appeal and high-quality interior, but they have also highlighted its superior handling and impressive overall driving experience. “LBX is advancing the premium hybrid game to a new level,” one judge commented.

Taking a fresh approach, the LBX range isn’t defined by traditional grades or variants, which typically show significant differences in interior and exterior features. Instead, the focus is on styling treatments and design, offering three distinct ‘moods’—Active, Relax, and Cool—each reflecting a unique aesthetic and lifestyle orientation, signaling a shift in how this car is positioned for today’s Lexus customers.

Each version of the LBX features the robust Toyota M15A-FXE 1.5L three-cylinder engine, equipped with a direct drive hybrid system that delivers 100KW of power and a fuel economy of 3.6 L/100km using 91 octane fuel in the FWD model. This same 1.5L hybrid engine is also available in an AWD variant, maintaining the same fuel efficiency.

The compact three-cylinder engine integrates seamlessly with the Lexus series-parallel hybrid drive assembly connected to an e-CVT gearbox, ensuring efficient and smooth driving.

In terms of specifications, all models sport a three-cylinder 100kW/120Nm 1.5-litre petrol hybrid engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. This hybrid-only powertrain underscores Lexus’s commitment to electrification. The vehicle boasts an average fuel consumption of 3.6L/100km and a 0-100km time of 9.2 seconds. With a kerb weight of around 1300kg and a length of 4.19 meters, the LBX is both compact and efficient.

Andrew Davis, Lexus New Zealand VP, remarked on the global recognition LBX is receiving, noting its recent win of the What Car? 2024 Car of the Year award. The launch of the LBX in New Zealand follows a record-breaking year for Lexus, with 1309 new vehicles sold in 2023, most of which were electrified models.

Reflecting on the new approach, Mr. Davis said, “We are trying something a bit different with the LBX. Instead of traditional grades, we have three different ‘moods’—Active, Cool, and Relax. These are designed to cater to the individual tastes and lifestyles of our customers.”

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