Lexus has revealed its smallest SUV yet, the Toyota Yaris Cross-based LBX – but it isn’t a lock for Australia.

    The brand says it “continues to assess models that may be suitable for the needs of local customers, with the LBX no exception. A decision on LBX will be made at a later stage”.

    Currently, the least expensive and smallest Lexus on offer in Australia is the UX SUV.

    At 4190mm long and 1825mm wide with a 2580mm wheelbase, the LBX is 305mm shorter, 15mm narrower, and rides on an 80mm shorter wheelbase than the UX.

    Under the bonnet, the LBX is powered by a hybrid system that pairs a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a nickel metal hydride battery pack – rather than the more modern, energy dense lithium-ion battery in the Toyota Yaris Cross.

    Both front- and all-wheel drive will be offered, but outputs haven’t been confirmed. In the Yaris Cross, the system makes 85kW of power.

    Inside, the LBX features a 9.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the middle of its dashboard, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle. Lexus is offering up to 50 ambient lighting colours, too.

    That central screen looks to be running a version of the software from the larger RX and NX, while the digital dashboard shares its design with the system in the latest Toyota products rather than bigger Lexus models.

    Interior photos reveal the LBX will be available with features like heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and semi-automatic parking assist.

    Along with its unique design and Lexus badge, the LBX differentiates itself from its more mainstream platform mates with extra sound and vibration deadening for a typically quiet, refined drive.

    The engine mounts, balancer shaft, and mufflers are on hand to make sure the hybrid powertrain doesn’t get too shouty.

    Lexus will offer a full suite of active driver assists, as you’d expect.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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