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Lexus LBX: hybrid small SUV teased, likely showcasing luxury Toyota Yaris Cross


All-new model to be revealed in Milan on June 5, likely based on the Toyota Yaris Cross and utilising the popular hybrid powertrain.

An all-new Lexus model called LBX is to be revealed on June 5, expected to be a city SUV sharing its platform and drivetrains with Toyota’s Yaris Cross small SUV.

The luxury brand revealed only two teaser images ahead of the launch; one being a front shot of a headlight, part of the bonnet and front grille.

The second shows a shadowy image of the small SUV’s rear with an LED red light strip running the length of the car.

Lexus LBX 2023 teaser
Lexus has teased the LBX on its Australian media website

While little can be gleaned from the photos, the fact it has a radiator grille shows it isn’t a fully electric vehicle like the new Lexus RZ SUV launched in Australia this week. 

The ‘X’ in the LBX denotes it’s an SUV, following the trend of other Lexus high riders. 

Should it come to Australia (highly likely), it would be the brand’s SUV entry level below its UX small SUV, NX midsize SUV, electric-only RZ SUV along with the RX and LX large SUVs

What do we know about the new LBX?

Lexus said it will share more information at its June 5 reveal, and has given away nothing else about its size, equipment, drivetrains, price, on-sale date or the markets it will go to.

Lexus UK released a ten-second YouTube video, while confirming a right-hand-drive model would be sold there.

Toyota Yaris Cross GXL Hybrid AWD 2022 front 3/4 driving thumbnail
The LBX is expected to be a luxury version of Toyota’s Yaris Cross

In the video, we’re in a European street and see a floaty-dressed lady with giant sunglasses getting wowed at the unseen car’s fancy LED rear light strip. In other words, nothing to see here.

So we’ll try to fill in the blanks instead.

Lexus lacks an SUV below its small UX, and something sharing much with parent company Toyota’s 4.2-metre long Yaris Cross makes plenty of sense.

We’d therefore expect the LBX to sit on the brand’s TNGA-B platform and utilise the Yaris Cross’s 85kW 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, CVT auto gearbox, hybrid battery and small electric motors.

Toyota Yaris Cross GXL Hybrid AWD 2022 badge 4
The LBX should also come with the Yaris Cross’s frugal hybrid powertrain

The Yaris Cross can be had with a non-hybrid 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol as well, but such is Lexus’s push to offer electrification across all its vehicles, and the sales popularity of its hybrids, offering the luxury LBX as hybrid only would make sense.

Like the Yaris Cross, we can expect front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants.

Will the Lexus LBX come to Australia and for how much?

It’s highly likely. 

Lexus Australia shared information about the LBX on its local media site, telling us to stay tuned.

With Lexus UK confirming the car, we already know it’s going to be built in right-hand drive.

Speaking to Chasing Cars at the Lexus RZ launch this month, Lexus Australia chief John Pappas said its LM hybrid people mover “is one of three fantastic new models that will land here (Australia) over the next 18 months or so.”

Lexus UX 300e 2022 Sports Luxury front end
The LBX is likely to slot under the Lexus UX in terms of price

We can assume the all-new LBX will be one of the three, meaning the latest we should see it in Australian showrooms is by the end of 2024.

Price? The most expensive front-wheel-drive Yaris Cross is $35,840 and all-wheel-drive $38,840, so a Lexus city SUV would no doubt eclipse these.

A starting figure just north of $40,000 before on-roads for an LBX looks likely, slotting below the cheapest Lexus UX small SUV. The front-wheel-drive UX200 Luxury kicks-off at $46,085.

We’ll report full details on the LBX when it’s revealed on June 5.