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The Lexus LBX is a stylish hybrid crossover for P2.968 million

It is also the most affordable model in the luxury automaker’s lineup

The smallest and most affordable Lexus is finally here—and it's a hybrid, too. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Remember the Lexus CT? That small hybrid hatchback was ahead of its time back in 2011 with many firsts in the compact luxury segment, but it didn’t prove to be very popular. More than a decade later, Lexus Philippines is tapping that segment once again with the all-new LBX.

It’s priced at P2,968,000, making it the most affordable electrified luxury offering on sale today, targeting the younger, style-conscious generation.

Based on the TNGA-B platform shared with the XP210 Yaris Cross and the GR Yaris, this subcompact crossover comes in a petite size perfect for the city.

It's still a looker like the rest of the lineup. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The Lexus Breakthrough Crossover (that’s what its three-letter designation means) brings in the latest design language that is also very aerodynamic with a drag coefficient of 0.34.

It measures 4,190mm long, 1,825mm wide, and 1,560mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,580mm. It also has a turning radius of 5.2m.

You have the frameless spindle grille up front, the bi-beam LED headlamps with dual-function DRLs, the fog lights with cornering lamps, and the lightbar. It’s wrapped up with the Lexus name emblazoned on the tailgate.

A stylish rear end to stare at in traffic. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

It rides on 18-inch two-tone wheels, and is available in eight two-tone colors with a black roof: Sonic Quartz, Silver Metallic, Astro Gray Metallic, Red Spinel, Sonic Copper, Sonic Chrome, Passionate Yellow, and Deep Azure Mica Metallic.

What do you think of this new suede-like material? PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The dashboard layout is inspired by the Tazuna concept, which positions necessary controls and information around the driver.

It’s accented with the Tsuyusami charcoal-effect trim inlay, and a combination of gray leather and Ultrasuede with bronze contrast stitching.

It also features 50-color ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control with Nanoe X air purification, and the E-latch electronic door release system.

Don't let its diminutive size fool you; it's still very practical. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The driver’s seat gets 10-way power adjustment (passenger is manual), and the rear seats can be folded down in a 60:40 split to expand the 317L cargo bay that can be accessed via a power tailgate.

It’s also well-equipped in terms of tech features. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

There is a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a 9.8-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Charging is taken care of by two USB-C ports, a 12V socket, and a wireless charger. Sound is handled by a six-speaker sound system.

Lexus sticks to its tried-and-true hybrid electric guns. PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

The Lexus Hybrid system mates a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine (M15A-FXE) to an electric motor with an eCVT and a bipolar NiMH battery.

It has a combined power output of 134hp (with 185Nm), and that’s sent to the front wheels.

The Lexus Driving Signature ensures that it is fun to drive. The 100km/h sprint is done in 9.2 seconds, and it has a sedan-like driving position with Vehicle Braking Posture Control to keep the ride stable and reduce body roll.

Being a Lexus, there have been additional measures to keep noise and vibration down from the three-cylinder motor for a quiet, comfortable ride.

Is the Lexus LBX the perfect luxury city commuter? PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Lexus Safety Sense+ 3 is also present, complementing the eight airbags with features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, lane keeping and departure alert, and a blind-spot monitor.

There’s a backup camera with front and back parking sensors and vehicle and pedestrian detection.

With the EVIDA incentives, is the smallest Lexus crossover a tempting deal for you?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.