It was 2018, Terence was the editor of CAR magazine, I was newly into being a freelance motoring journalist, and the Lexus UX was launching in Sweden. We were asked to attend this international launch and it was a trip for the books. What made it even more special was the fact that the car we were there to test drive was a brand new model for Lexus. It’s always more fun driving a new model as opposed to a revised one. But here we are, because I am now reviewing the revised UX (insert awkward ‘LOL’ here). To be fair, it is one of the brand’s best-selling models in South Africa and so it needs to be kept up to date and refresh.
UPDATED IN WHAT WAY?
It’s not a huge overhaul. The model line up consists of three derivatives, all hybrids, with all models seeing a few tweaks to the exterior design, such as improvements to the headlights, rear combination lamps, and outer mirror. There are also new exterior colours to be had. There is a new and larger multimedia system – it went from 8-inches to 12.3-inches. There are also new trim options available as well as the new F Sport Bi-tone paintwork option added to the line up.
I love this Lexus because it really does appeal to a younger crowd. I am not always keen on the more fancy pants models with their wood-finishes etc, it always makes me think of Grandparents. But this interior is modern and has been well thought out. Even the centre bin, which houses the USB-A port, can be opened from the passenger side and the driver’s side…something my co-driver and I only figured out much later on in our drive.
Space is good, except if you’re looking at the boot. It is a rather small 268-litres, but again, the younger crowd might not be too bothered by this.
DRIVING THE UX
If you can’t go electric, go hybrid I say. The UX has a combo of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. This means a claimed fuel consumption of 4.5l/100 km, in reality, maybe more in the 5s, but still very low. The 135 kW and 180 Nm is felt when you put your foot down, the UX really does have some oomph. And the ride is helluva smooth. Overall, it is a lovely drive…quiet, comfortable, composed.
WHAT WILL THE UX COST YOU?
- UX250h EX: R792 700
- UX250h SE: R874 300
- UX250h F Sport: R928 900
- UX250h F Sport Bi-tone: R939 300
It’s hard to pinpoint a direct rival, even the peeps at Lexus couldn’t really say if there was one. A beloved colleague of mine pointed out that the Alfa Romeo Tonale would it be its closest competitor, but the UX tops it in many ways. You could say that the Lexus UX is in a class of its own, and you’d be right. It is an excellent product and it is no wonder it sell like it does.
All UX derivatives are sold with a seven-year/105 000 km warranty and full maintenance plan, as well as an additional eight-year/195 000 km hybrid battery warranty.