Known for decades for its highly acclaimed models delivering dynamic driving experiences, luxury and style, Lexus is now appreciated for its range of excellent eco-conscious cars, too, including the recently launched UX. We recently enjoyed time with the 250h F Sport version which proved the perfect car for a Cornish weekend escape.
An elegantly eye-catching car, viewed kerb side, the exterior design of the UX is tasteful with a unique and bold design language. All variants are attractive but with the F Sport the exterior is even more special with a striking black with chrome surround grill, jet black roof spoiler, redesigned rear bumper and 18-inch dark metallic F Sport alloy wheels. These premium features really give the car an even more sporty and dynamic appearance.
Moving to the inside, the distinctive design continues with a host of innovative features, clever design configurations and luxury materials throughout. The quality is remarkable with top notch furnishings and high-quality touch points making it feel like a very special place to be. If you are not familiar with Lexus models you really will be impressed at just how luxurious they are – matching, in many cases, cars from other brands several times the price.
The UX is supremely practical and the cabin is full of innovative and ergonomically placed features. In front of the driver’s eye line is the digital driver’s display which is clear and easy to use and is customisable depending on what driving mode is selected.
All controls are perfectly positioned and intuitive to use, the only tiny niggle is how the central infotainment screen is operated – with a track pad that’s a bit sensitive and takes a little bit of getting used to. However, this really is the only downside the team could find for the entire car, and the rest of the interior and the standard fitment of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto more than make up for this.
This is a safe and spacious car, which scores the full five stars from Euro NCAP safety tests. Heading to the rear, the seats provide ample space for two adults, or three for shorter journeys. The seats are very supportive and coupled with rear ventilation and a comfortable central armrest make the cabin an enjoyable place to spend time in. Similarly, the boot is a very practical and useable size and shape with no load lip, and the rear seats fold to reveal a flat loading bay – ideal for carrying longer items. One feature we particularly appreciated was the fold up parcel shelf, meaning it can be stowed away neatly within the vehicle when not in use.
Power wise, buyers can choose between the two-wheel drive 250h and the 250h E-Four (AWD), both of which are 2.0 litre petrol engines hybrid motors producing 181bhp. Performance is almost identical between the two with the AWD version being just 0.3 of a second slower to 62 at 8.7 seconds. The only real difference is AWD from an additional electric motor at the rear axle on the E-Four variant.
On UK roads the Lexus UX is a rewarding and enjoyable car to drive. We took it on a raft of long and shorter trips, including a jaunt to Cornwall, and it has earned its place as one of our most highly rated cars to live with and travel in. It’s just ‘right’ on so many levels and is an engaging and spritely drive and achieves that rare perfect mix of practicality, style, quality, class, space and pace.
With a host of available adjustments, it’s also easy to achieve the perfect driving position. The suspension has an excellent balance between comfort and driving dynamics which meant that despite the size and slightly higher centre of gravity, the car proved perfectly composed on straights and through tight bends on twisty rural ‘B’ roads.
The compact size of the car makes it easy to park and manoeuvre, especially with our test car’s rear camera and front and rear sensors. In addition, the ability to run on only battery power at very low speeds enables the car to be relaxing to drive around town as well as providing impressively low fuel consumption. In fact, Lexus claims around 50mpg for the combined MPG and we found this to be accurate on our tests. Compared to rivals we have tested previously, the fuel economy was a real stand out feature for this model.
Lexus has been famous for its excellent reliability for many years, and buying and owning a car from this excellent brand has now become even more risk free with owners benefiting from up to a 10 year/100,000-mile free warranty when the vehicle is serviced at a Lexus main dealer each year.
The Lexus’s UX is an excellent vehicle that is perfect for almost all situations and will provide peace at mind motoring for many years to come. Prices start from around £33,500 – representing excellent value for money for a car of this calibre.
All imagery used in this article credit: Matt Howell