The Lexus UX is a doddle to drive, ideally suited the negotiating city streets. And you can get any engine and gearbox combination you like – as long as it’s petrol-electric hybrid
Choosing your Lexus UX is simple – you can only get the UX 250h hybrid in the UK. That means you get a 2.0-litre petrol engine that works with an electric motor to give a combined output of 176bhp. This set-up comes with an automatic (CVT) gearbox – there is no manual gearbox available.
So the only real choice you have to make is whether you want two- or four-wheel drive.
The UX is a hybrid – a kind of SUV-hatchback hybrid. It sits lower than other SUVs and feels more like a family hatchback to drive. That’s not a bad thing
‘UX’ stands for Urban Crossover, highlighting that this is an SUV that’s built for the city – so the four-wheel drive capability is more to provide grip and traction over slippery wet leaves or going around corners, not for getting you across the outback.
Fuel economy is OK. In real-world conditions, you can expect around 50mpg for the two-wheel drive car, and that drops to nearer 40mpg for the four-wheel-drive UX.
You can buy SUVs that are sporty and fun to drive, and you can get SUVs that are comfortable and relaxing – the Lexus UX sits somewhere in the middle.
It is as comfortable to drive as any Lexus – the car doesn’t judder or shake when you go over potholes, and you don’t hear much in the way of road, wind or engine noise when you are on the motorway.
Yet around town the car feels nippy, able to dart in and out of traffic and, whisper it… is quite fun to drive.
Some hybrid cars have a weird thing where, if you accelerate hard there is a noisy delay from when you press the pedal to when the power actually comes through to the wheels. Thankfully, the Lexus UX is not like that – the acceleration is smooth and relatively quiet.
On the Lexus UX F Sport you can choose the Lexus Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) as an option. This should help the car from leaning too far when you go around corners and helps reduce bumps when you drive over potholes.
EuroNCAP hasn’t crash tested the UX just yet but we would expect a good score when it does – the Lexus UX comes with a wide range of active and passive safety systems that should keep you and your passengers safe.