Lexus UX review
Based on our experience, the Lexus UX is a interesting alternative to the best compact SUVs you can buy. The styling is daring and different, the interior is finished to the usual Lexus high standards, and it’s loaded with an impressive array of safety equipment.
But, the UX doesn’t really stack up as an overall package; rear cabin space isn’t great and the infotainment set-up is in need of an overhaul, which might be a concern for family buyers. The hybrid models won’t win over many business users, either, as CO2 emissions aren’t as competitive as plug-in rivals. There is the fully electric 300 e model, but you’ll need more than £50,000 to secure a top-spec model.
Lexus practically invented the premium crossover when it launched the RX in 1998, but the luxury brand was a little late to the compact SUV party and slow to get an all-electric model to market. Even so, Lexus launched its NX back in 2014, the UX three years later and three years after that production of its first-ever all-electric car – the UX 300 e – finally started.
The UX goes head-to-head with the likes of the Mercedes GLA, BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40, but with a coupe-like profile and sporty driving characteristics, it’s closest rival is arguably the BMW X2.
It’s based on an adaptation of Toyota’s TNGA platform (called GA-C in Lexus speak), which means it shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Prius and Toyota C-HR. Thanks to the high-voltage electronics assisting the petrol engine, all UX models promise good fuel consumption, although tailpipe emissions aren’t able to compete with figures from plug-in hybrid rivals.
On a positive note, the UX will reward keen drivers with tight body control, plenty of grip, sharp steering and a composed ride. Even the standard-fit CVT transmission feels smooth and linear.
There are three drivetrains available in the UK. The first, which has been around the longest, is Lexus and Toyota’s venerable 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid system that sends power to the front wheels. These models are badged as “250h”. The second is also a petrol-electric hybrid but is four-wheel-drive and gets “E-Four” added to the end of its name. Last but not least is the fully-electric “300 e” which arrived towards the end of 2020.
In typical Lexus fashion, the level of standard specification is high, including a comprehensive array of active and passive safety devices. There are three grades (aka trim levels) to choose from: UX, F Sport and Takumi, plus a number of optional extra packs. Prices start from around £30,000, but rise to £53,000 for the flagship battery-powered model.
For an alternative review of the Lexus UX, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk…
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