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Lexus UX makes its unique entry in the luxury compact SUV market

Lexus UX makes its unique entry in the luxury compact SUV market
As Lexus’s first compact SUV, the UX joins its larger NX and RX stablemates to complete a powerful European SUV range that fully expresses the Lexus brand pillars of brave design, exhilarating performance, imaginative technology and takumi craftsmanship.

The UX is the first Lexus to be constructed using the new Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform. A lightweight yet super-rigid structure, extremely low centre of gravity and refined suspension tuning give it exemplary handling agility and ride comfort.

In the UK, the UX is offered exclusively with a fourth generation self-charging hybrid powertrain.

lexus

The UX will have broad appeal, particularly for customers with young families that want the flexibility of an SUV, but also a car that is as agile, nimble and manoeuvrable to drive around town as a hatchback. It will also be ideal for downsizing households where the children have grown up, and for couples whose travel often mixes business with leisure. On the road pricing starts at £29,900.

Exterior design and aerodynamics

Lexus designers created an overall design theme for the UX which combines strength with refinement and is stylish yet functional. The spindle grille is unique to the UX, featuring a new mesh pattern with individual elements that gradually change in shape as they radiate out from the central Lexus emblem. The daytime running lights are arranged in an arrowhead shape above the headlamp units, emphasising the Lexus ‘L’ lighting signature. The rear aero stabilising blade lights run from the top of the rear wings and span the entire width of the vehicle, guiding airflow around the rear, to help reduce turbulence and lift, and aiding vehicle stability while creating a distinctive night-time signature.

Lexus

In the UK the Lexus UX is available in 12 exterior colours, including three developed specifically for the model: Terrane Khaki, Celestial Blue and, exclusive to the F Sport, Blazing Carnelian, which combines a red base with a yellow mica interference layer.

Interior design: A new kind of Lexus luxury

Lexus designed the UX’s cabin to evoke the feel of a dynamic, luxury saloon, but with the higher seating position and versatility that are required of an SUV. The materials and finish are pure Lexus, combining Japanese traditions in craftsmanship and hospitality with innovative production techniques. The designers have created a feeling of seamless continuity inside the UX, inspired by engawa, a traditional Japanese architecture concept that blurs the boundary between the inside and outside of a home.

A solid structure to build on

The UX package makes urban exploring easier. A 2,640mm wheelbase contributes to a smooth, stable ride and cabin roominess. The 4,495mm length and best-in-segment 5.2m kerb-to-kerb turning radius help make it easy to manoeuvre and park. The UX has the lowest centre of gravity of any vehicle in its class (594mm) to deliver a secure, agile feeling normally associated with lower-set hatches.

Lexus

The latest version of Lexus’s Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which debuted on the flagship LC coupe, is optionally available for the UX F Sport in the Tech & Safety Pack. This system decreases body roll when cornering and enhances ride comfort over bumpy urban streets. The driver can set damping performance using the Drive Select controller, selecting either Eco, Normal or Sport S mode. The UX 250h is available with either front-wheel drive or E-Four electric all-wheel drive.

UX 250h: New generation Lexus hybrid drive

The car is very responsive to drive and, like all Lexus hybrids, it offers better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than other petrol or diesel vehicles in its class. The UX 250h is equipped with the fourth generation Lexus self-charging hybrid powertrain, featuring multiple new components. It also requires no plugging in for re-charging and has no issues where driving range is concerned. In real-world city driving it can use electric power for up to 55 per cent of every journey, depending on the driving conditions. The speed at which the hybrid system can shut off the petrol engine, such as when driving on long downward slopes, has been raised to 71 mph.

Lexus

With 181bhp/135kW (184 DIN hp) total system output, it combines high fuel efficiency with a very smooth, natural and responsive driving experience. It is more compact, lighter and has less internal friction than previous Lexus hybrid systems. The Power Control Unit (PCU) is more powerful yet is 20 per cent smaller and 10 per cent lighter.

The UX’s new 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder engine achieves class-leading 41 per cent thermal efficiency.

The UX 250h has no clutch and the starter motor and alternator are integral to the hybrid system, so need no servicing or replacement over the lifetime of the vehicle. The conventional timing belt has been replaced by a maintenance-free timing chain. With no need to service or replace these parts, owners can save more than £1,000 over five years.

Lexus hybrid batteries are rigorously engineered for performance and durability and are covered by a five-year/60,000-mile warranty. UK customers taking advantage of a Hybrid Health Check at their Lexus centre can benefit from an additional year’s warranty, up to 15 years.

Because the regenerative braking delivers the first half of all braking force, brake pad and disc wear are significantly reduced. Over the course of 60,000 miles, a Lexus hybrid will usually require just one set of replacement pads and no new discs.

Safety technology and driver assistance

UX models are all equipped with eight airbags: driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact airbags; and front to rear side curtain airbags.

Lexus

The second generation Lexus Safety System+ is fitted as standard, a suite of active safety technologies that support the driver and reduce the risk and severity of a range of potential accidents. It includes all-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System (PCS) with pedestrian detection, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Alert and Steering Assist, Lane Trace Assist, Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Intelligent High-Beam headlamps/Automatic High Beam (AHB) or Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).

UK model range and pricing

The UX is available in the UK in three equipment grades:

  • The UX grade features the second generation Lexus Safety System+, seven-inch Lexus Navigation and multimedia system with DAB, dual-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, roof rails and 17-inch alloys
  • The F Sport grade includes F Sport interior and exterior styling features, including F Sport 18-inch alloy wheels, black front spindle grille and black door mirror housings. In the cabin there are F Sport front seats with fabric and Tahara upholstery and F Sport pedals and steering wheel. There is also rear privacy glass, LED front fog lights, heated, power-adjustable front seats and a heated steering wheel
  • The Takumi grade, named in celebration of Lexus’s skilled takumi craftsmen, offers smooth leather upholstery, washi paper-grain trim inlays, integrated front seat heating and ventilation, a bespoke Mark Levinson 13-speaker Premium Surround Sound system, 10.3-inch Lexus Navigation and multimedia display, 360-degree camera, colour head-up display, sunroof, power tailgate, smart entry system, 18-inch alloy wheels, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert with braking function.

UX 250h PRICING

GRADE OTR PRICE
UX £29,900
F Sport £33,900
Takumi £39,100

 

All new Lexus models come with Lexus Care as standard, with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty and three years’ roadside assistance package.

About The Author

Mike Cowton

Michael Cowton, an outdoors writer, editor and photographer with a passion for nature-based travel and wildlife. He is a former editor of EcoTravel, Outdoor Pursuits, Camping, Lakeland Walker and Which Motorcaravan magazines, and national newspaper journalist.

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