Lexus LBX long-term test: report 2

Back in January we named this small SUV as the best new car to buy in 2024 – and now we're backing up that verdict by living with one...

Friends sitting in the back of Lexus LBX

The car Lexus LBX 1.5 Hybrid Premium Plus | Run by Darren Moss, deputy digital editor

Why it’s here To see what our much-praised Car of the Year is like to live with on a daily basis, providing frugal transport while not sacrificing SUV practicality.

Needs to be Frugal, fun to drive, and able to function as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 840 List price £34,505 Target Price £34,171 Price as tested £35,605 Test economy 53.3mpg Official economy 61.4mpg Options None

17 May 2024 – The popular vote

In my experience, the final seal of approval on any new car comes not from its owner, nor from their partner, but from their friends. Whether they first hop in while you play taxi, or spot your new car on your driveway and enquire about it, their choice-affirming nod of approval, or the raised eyebrow of shame, can make a marked difference to how you feel about your new wheels. While my Lexus LBX has already won my approval, then, two run-ins with friends have put its popularity to the test.

The first set of friends, Guillaume and Heather, are regular travellers in my company cars since we’ve in the same Dungeons and Dragons group and I’m the designated driver, so are used to passing their verdicts on whatever I turn up in. Heather enjoyed the supportiveness of the LBX’s passenger seat for her bad back, while Guillaume noted that from his position on the rear bench, the LBX felt pleasantly airy, though the top of his head brushed the car’s roof lining. 

Darren's friends in Lexus LBX

Next up were Brett and Jon, who both enjoyed the satisfyingly solid thunk with which the LBX’s doors close. In the front seats, Jon liked the synthetic leather which covered the top of the dashboard, while Brett was impressed at the size of the LBX’s boot. Officially, there’s less space here than you’d find in the rival Audi Q2 or Volkswagen T-Roc, but Brett noted that his travel suitcase or garden centre shopping would easily fit.

There was one bone of contention among our panel – the colour. Brett, Guillaume and Heather agreed that it looked striking, and that my chances of losing it in a sprawling car park were reduced because of how much my car’s Passionate Yellow paintwork stands out. Jon, on the other hand, compared the colour with the excretions of someone who’d spent a couple of weeks in the desert. I happen to like the colour, though as the weather warms it is attracting a fair number of insects to descend on my car’s bodywork when I park up.

Colour aside, all four jury members delivered a unanimous thumb’s up for Lexus’ small SUV, and in the process reaffirmed my choice of company car. 

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Like the sound of the Lexus LBX?

If so, check out the latest Lexus LBX deals available through our free New Car Deals service.

Our network of What Car? approved dealers use our Target Price discounts (the most our mystery shoppers think you should pay) as the basis for their savings.

Also consider