Editor Alice Lines experiences the new Lexus LBX

In association with Lexus.

Do you have a favourite driving song? I’ve had Beyoncé’s new album at the top of my list lately, and couldn’t get her single Texas Hold ’Em out of my head en route to a recent adventure with Lexus — the luxury automotive company she name-drops on the track.
No surprises, then, that it was the first song to pump out on a personalised playlist delivered from the 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system when I jumped in the new Lexus LBX hybrid crossover, northbound for an overnight stay at Te Arai Links. As we departed Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, I was happy to take back-seat-driver instructions from long-time Lexus ambassador Karen Walker. Connected with the brand for nearly 20 years, the fashion designer certainly knows a thing or two about the human-centric capabilities of its vehicles.
On arrival, we proceeded to one of Te Arai Links’ elegant Ocean Cottages, where Karen interviewed Lexus New ZealandVice President Andrew Davis to find out what makes the LBX such an exciting new option for the style-conscious driver. “Traditionally, our models are offered in a range of grades with significant interior and exterior differences,” he said. “For LBX, it’s about the styling and design, with Active, Cool and Relax ‘moods’ tailored to reflect your lifestyle and aesthetic.”

TOP Lexus vehicles are known for their interiors, and my favourite option was featured in the LBX Relax mood, where Saddle Tan leather is accented with tatami stitching, an example of the Japanese concept of takumi (artisan) craftsmanship that Lexus has embraced. Of course, your choices aren’t limited to inside — the 1.5L hybrid electric LBX Relax, Active and Cool moods are available in eight exterior colours and variously offer front-wheel and all-wheel drive. ABOVE Like Lexus, Te Arai Links has embedded its values in every element of its design and embodies a sense of relaxed refinement.

This car is a head-turner from the street for sure, and once I learned about Lexus’ sustainability goals, including electrifying its complete fleet in Aotearoa and globally by 2035, the appeal beyond looks was obvious as well. Behind the wheel, this premium hybrid electric vehicle provides all the technology required for an effortless ride, with a heads-up display (available in the Cool and Relax moods), touch-screen control and steering-wheel switches making it easier to keep your eyes on the road, while you go your own way with the vibe.
More compact than a typical SUV, the Lexus LBX holds its own with an aerodynamic small-car aesthetic that ensures nimble navigation around town. And on the open road? Beyoncé, Karen and I were all about that cruise control.

Words & photography Alice Lines
Photography Andy Kruy


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