The angular Lexus UX compact crossover has acquired a mid-life replace – not that you would actually inform.
For 2023 there’s been a variety of enhancements to the spec sheet and underneath the pores and skin, although solely the F Sport variations obtain any distinguishable exterior options within the type of body-coloured bumpers.
Highlights embrace a brand new, bigger infotainment unit with wi-fi smartphone mirroring and related features, a beefier commonplace sound system, a stiffer chassis, in addition to retuned steering and shocks for higher dealing with.
These upgrades have include worth rises. On check now we have probably the most reasonably priced hybrid variant, the 2023 Lexus UX250h Luxurious + Enhancement Pack 2 – priced from $53,820 earlier than on-road prices, or $1795 greater than earlier than.
Lexus nonetheless has a reasonably distinctive place within the premium section, in that it provides a hybrid choice regionally – although most supply mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid energy abroad.
With its edgy styling and miserly hybrid drivetrain, does the Lexus UX deserve your consideration?
As famous earlier, the automobile you see right here retails from $53,820 earlier than on-road prices.
That’s slightly dearer than the pre-update mannequin (up $1795) however it’s nonetheless positioned on the decrease finish of the vary and certainly the decrease finish of the premium small SUV section.
With the Enhancement Pack 2 specification, the Lexus UX manages to cram in various package that will often be optionally available in rivals, whereas electrification is a rarity at this finish of the market.
The BMW X1 (from $60,400) and Mercedes-Benz GLA (from $63,200) are priced considerably increased than the Lexus on this specification, whereas probably the most reasonably priced Mini Countryman SE plug-in hybrid ($64,000) provides usable electrical vary however once more is dearer.
Maybe the Lexus’s closest like-for-like rival from past the Toyota steady is the Kia Niro HEV, which in top-spec GT-Line guise is a stone’s throw from the Lexus on check at $50,030 plus on-road prices.
2023 Lexus UX pricing:
- Lexus UX200 Luxurious: $46,085 (+$1640)
- Lexus UX250h Luxurious + Enhancement Pack 2: $53,820 (+$1795)
- Lexus UX200 Sports activities Luxurious: $56,850 (+$1600)
- Lexus UX200 F Sport: $57,495 (+$1745)
- Lexus UX250h Sports activities Luxurious: $60,850 (+$1750)
- Lexus UX250h F Sport: $61,495 (+$1895)
- Lexus UX250h Sports activities Luxurious AWD: $65,350 (+$1750)
- Lexus UX250h F Sport AWD: $65,995 (+$1895)
Costs exclude on-road prices
Whereas the updates inside and outside are comparatively minor, the inside tech improve could be very welcome.
Key to the replace is a brand new 12.3-inch central touchscreen that’s a growth over the outdated 10-inch show when it comes to display actual property, but additionally when it comes to software program and connectivity.
The newest technology software program is current right here with sooner response and cargo occasions, up to date mapping, enhanced decision and graphics, in addition to new related providers – together with an clever voice assistant and on-line navigation.
Not like Toyota – which often provides only a 12 months’s price of related providers earlier than charging prospects for the total characteristic set – Lexus Linked is complementary for the primary three years of possession.
Lexus has additionally introduced the touchscreen nearer to the driving force to enhance usability, and the outdated mousepad-style contact controller is gone to unlock more room on the centre console.
Inputs on such a big display is usually a little difficult on the transfer, so some could favor having a rotary controller like BMW iDrive, for instance. Nevertheless, I can affirm it is a welcome improve in comparison with Lexuses of outdated.
Our Luxurious-spec tester isn’t out there with the 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system of upper grades, however even the usual 10-speaker audio examined right here is fairly good for the category with clear and deep sound.
Rounding out the spec sheet are DAB radio, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. Wi-fi CarPlay labored faultlessly throughout our time with the UX, and the wi-fi cellphone charger ensured I didn’t run out of juice on longer journeys.
The entrance seats are a few of the most comfy in school, with good bolstering and help all-round. Props to Lexus for giving its most reasonably priced mannequin an identical expertise to its increased finish choices on this regard.
Likewise the steering will is a well-recognized unit plucked from increased up within the vary, providing a pleasant stable really feel and a delicate, clean end for the rim. It’s fairly good to carry, if not fairly as attractive because the F Sport wheel.
Luxurious and Sports activities Luxurious variations of the UX get a extra fundamental digital instrument cluster in comparison with the F Sport, with a set ring define that serves as a border for the digital dial. It’s a clear however uninspiring format that doesn’t have the identical wow issue because the items changing into more and more widespread within the section – each mainstream and premium.
The Luxurious will get guide attain and rake adjustment for the steering wheel, although there may be energy adjustment additional up within the vary which is exclusive at this finish of the market. The entrance seats are 10-way energy adjustable for the driving force and eight-way for the entrance passenger, in addition to heated – not unhealthy for a base mannequin.
Much less spectacular is the again seat, which makes even a Toyota Corolla really feel spacious – humorous that, they’re mainly the identical automotive beneath.
Knee and legroom are tight, particularly for those who’re over 6’0 like me, and the rising window line means it will possibly get slightly darkish within the again. Keep in mind, the UX is Lexus’s tackle the Toyota C-HR, which explains the coupe-ish rear packaging.
You do get respectable facilities, although. There are air vents and USB charging ports, map pockets and a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders. In an odd transfer for Lexus, the rear door trims are laborious scratchy plastic up high, a transparent cost-saving measure.
Anybody with a small or younger household considering of utilizing the UX as a household automotive, I’d counsel getting a really feel for the second row and boot. There are ISOFIX and top-tether factors, however I think you would possibly outgrow this beautiful rapidly. An X1, Q3 or XC40 can be higher geared up for a rising household.
The baggage space is equally tight at 368L for the UX250h. It’s one of many smallest boots in school.
It’s nearly 60L lower than the UX200 petrol model, and nicely underneath the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, not to mention the Volvo XC40.
The Lexus UX solely will get a tyre restore package in entry-level Luxurious guise, not even a space-saver spare. Larger variants with bigger wheels get run-flat tyres as a substitute.
The UX250h pairs a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine operating the environment friendly Atkinson cycle with an electrical motor and nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack.
By itself the petrol engine develops 107kW (6000rpm) and 188Nm (4400-5200rpm), whereas the e-motor contributes 80kW and 202Nm.
System energy output is quoted at 131kW, although in typical Toyota/Lexus trend there’s no system torque determine as the facility sources peak at completely different occasions.
Drive is distributed to the entrance wheels on this model through an digital repeatedly variable transmission (e-CVT), although an all-wheel drive mannequin with a further electrical motor on the rear axle can be out there increased up within the vary.
Lexus claims the UX250h 2WD can speed up from 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds on its strategy to a high pace of 177km/h.
As for gasoline consumption – arguably the extra vital metric for a hybrid – the UX250h 2WD quotes mixed effectivity of simply 4.5L per 100km, with CO2 emissions rated at 103g/km.
The gasoline tank in hybrid variations measures 43 litres in capability, and it’s capable of take cheaper 91 RON common unleaded. Price noting is the UX’s Euro 6 emissions certification.
Very like most TNGA-based hybrids.
Nevertheless, one key distinction between the UX250h and Corolla and C-HR relations, a minimum of in Australia, is that it comes with the model’s beefier 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid system as a substitute of the lesser 1.8-litre unit.
How does that translate in the actual world? The UX feels smoother and extra muscular, with a better ceiling than the lower-spec system of its siblings – although the most recent Corolla’s up to date battery permits it to lean extra on the electrified bits for higher gasoline consumption.
Whereas on paper the UX250h’s 131kW mixed energy output appears to be like good in comparison with the 100-110kW base items within the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, the Atkinson-cycle petrol engine must be labored to get into its candy spot, and the electrical motor whereas fairly rapid in response palms off to the petrol engine fairly rapidly.
In brief, it doesn’t really feel fairly as punchy or resolved as equal turbocharged rivals, and even much less so towards the 145kW/300Nm 2.0-litre turbo within the base Volvo XC40 B4 Plus.
The place the hybrid does shine, nonetheless, is in city environments, the place you possibly can glide alongside in EV mode repeatedly and the petrol engine doesn’t have to be labored too laborious to achieve the pace restrict.
Typically you’ll get to 10-20km/h with out firing the petrol engine, with the two.0-litre motor coming on-line to maintain up with site visitors and rapidly shutting off once more whenever you launch the accelerator and coast.
Toyota and Lexus have been doing this hybrid factor for some 20 years already, and that exhibits within the simplicity and refinement of the drivetrain’s operation.
Whereas I achieved an general determine of 4.9L/100km after every week of combined driving, I repeatedly noticed higher than that when the UX250h spent extra time in metropolis and concrete areas with pace limits of 40-60km/h. It’s really easy.
The e-CVT does an amazing job at shuffling between energy sources, although it would flare revs underneath tougher throttle inputs and like Toyota’s different Atkinson cycle petrol engines the UX250h’s mill sounds extra like a failed X Issue audition than a Mariah Carey monitor…
When it comes to journey and dealing with the UX’s TNGA underpinnings strike an exquisite steadiness between consolation and engagement, particularly on the Luxurious’s smaller 17-inch wheels and chubby 215/60 tyres.
The UX irons out pimpled metropolis streets and imperfections like tram tracks with aplomb, whereas the fluid steering and pure ranges of physique lean make it a chuckable little factor. Its compact dimensions additionally make it a cinch to put in site visitors or tight streets.
Insulation from street and wind noise is respectable if not fairly on the ranges anticipated of a Lexus; with a good stage of tyre roar permeating the cabin at freeway speeds, if much less so than higher-spec fashions on run-flat tyres.
Like I discussed earlier, the drivetrain can get a bit gruff underneath laborious acceleration. It doesn’t have the attraction of the brand new BMW X1 sDrive18i’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit, for instance.
Price commending although is Lexus’s inclusion of the total suite of driver help methods from the bottom stage (a minimum of for hybrids), underneath the Lexus Security System+ banner.
The adaptive cruise management and Lane Hint Help (centring) methods mix to supply semi-autonomous freeway driving functionality, even when the latter could come off slightly overbearing for some, whereas blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert show useful in on a regular basis driving because of the UX’s rising beltline and slim rear glasshouse.
- Sonic Quartz
- Sonic Chrome
- Sonic Iridium
- Graphite Black
- Khaki Metallic
- Celestial Blue
UX200 Luxurious highlights:
- 17-inch alloy wheel
- LED headlights
- LED daytime operating lights
- Shark fin roof-mounted antenna (NEW)
- Energy-folding, heated door mirrors
- Rain-sensing window wipers
- 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment show (NEW)
- Wi-fi Apple CarPlay (NEW)
- Wired Android Auto
- DAB+ digital radio (NEW)
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- 10-speaker sound system (NEW)
- Twin-zone local weather management
- Push-button begin
- Washi instrument panel paper trim and stitching (NEW)
- Synthetic leather-based upholstery
- Heated entrance seats
- 10-way energy driver’s seat
- 8-way energy entrance passenger’s seat
Enhancement Package deal 1 provides:
- LED fog lights
- Parking help alert
- Parking help brake
- Blind-spot monitor
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Keyless entry
UX200 Luxurious and UX250h Luxurious with EP2 add:
- Enhancement Package deal 1
- Energy tailgate (kick sensor for UX250h)
- Wi-fi cellphone charging
- Cornering lights
- Headlight washers
- Privateness glass
- Alloy scuff plates
Enhancement Pack 3 provides:
Bigger 18-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tyres are additionally optionally available on Luxurious fashions.
All variations of the Lexus UX put on a five-star ANCAP security ranking primarily based on 2019 Euro NCAP assessments.
Lexus’s child crossover scored 96 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 88 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 82 per cent for weak street person safety, and 83 per cent for security help.
Commonplace security options embrace:
- 8 airbags incl. driver, passenger knee
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian detection (day/evening)
- Bike owner detection (day)
- Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
- Auto high-beam
- Lane departure warning
- Lane preserve help
- Lane Tracing Help (centring)
- Visitors signal recognition
- Parking help monitor
UX Luxurious + EP 1 add:
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic help
All 2023 Lexus UX fashions now obtain a three-year complimentary Lexus Linked Companies subscription.
Lexus Linked Companies:
- Automated collision notification
- SOS emergency calling
- Stolen automobile monitoring
- Final identified automobile location
- Current journey info
- Diagnostics information
- Door lock standing
- Doorways, home windows, bonnet and boot standing
- Tyre pressures
- Hazard mild standing
- Lexus Distant Join
- Distant begin
- Distant lock/unlock
- Hazard lights
The Lexus vary is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.
Hybrid fashions have their high-voltage batteries warranted towards degradation for as much as 10 years (limitless kilometres) topic to annual Hybrid/EV system well being checks after the fifth 12 months.
You additionally get entry to the Lexus Encore possession program, which supplies house owners entry to Caltex gasoline reductions, invites to luxurious dinners and occasions, in addition to luxurious lodge partnership advantages. Lexus Australia is rolling out a brand new smartphone app that lets house owners monitor and investigate cross-check or management elements of their automobile from the sofa.
Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.
Lexus provides three years of capped-price servicing for the UX petrol and hybrid vary, with the primary three visits costing $495 apiece – amounting to $1485 for stated interval.
Actual-world gasoline financial system was fairly darn spectacular, as is predicted of a Toyota or Lexus hybrid. Our check automotive was exhibiting an indicated 4.9L/100km on the finish of our week of testing, which included a mixture of peak-hour commuting thrown in with some off-peak city and freeway stints.
It’s additionally very optimistic that the UX was capable of come inside 0.5L/100km of its mixed declare with out a lot effort.
The bottom Lexus UX250h shapes up as a fairly stable city crossover.
Whereas it lacks the sensible packaging of its German and Swedish rivals, it’s considered one of very few electrified choices within the premium compact SUV house, and is priced inside attain of one thing like a supply-constrained high-spec Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid or RAV4 Hybrid.
It drives nicely, is environment friendly with out a lot effort, and is fairly nicely specified from the bottom stage. The Luxurious + EP2 spec that serves because the entry-level hybrid variant might arguably be the choose of the vary.
That stated, whereas worth is a robust promoting level for the UX relative to its rivals, the Volvo XC40 B4 Plus boasts far more room and extra efficiency for comparable cash whereas packing a aggressive stage of spec, although its mild-hybrid turbocharged 4 gained’t come near the Lexus in real-world effectivity.
Sure the appears to be like could polarise, and sure it gained’t be a sensible choice for individuals who repeatedly carry adults within the again, however in order for you an environment friendly each day runabout that’s slightly posh, the UX250h is price a glance.
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