Having seen some press images of the UX before it arrived at the office, I had, for some reason, decided that the ‘urban explorer’ was not dissimilar in size to the Volvo XC40 I had previously been road testing. Of course, assumption is a foolish endeavor and so when I first set eyes on our new Lexus my first thought was, “oh… that’s quite small”.
The UX is, of course, not NX-sized. It’s the first Lexus to be built on the manufacturer’s new GA-C global architecture platform, with which Lexus is claiming to have created “a new genre of SUV, an ‘urban explorer’ that offers a new take on what luxury means for today’s motorists”.
For the uninitiated (like me), it is 4.495m long, 2.08m wide (including mirrors) and stands 1.56m or 1.55m height depending on whether it is sporting 17in or 18in wheels, respectively.
Its compact dimensions mean the UX is a joy to navigate through towns and cities in. In fact, according to Lexus it has the best in class turning circle. By tilting the wheels inward during tight manoeuvres, the UX features a 17.1-foot turning radius, plus its suspension was “specially tuned to enhance agility and ride quality over well-worn streets”.
Our Takumi model also comes fitted with a 360-degree camera, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert with braking function, all of which combine to further enhance the ease of driving and sense of safety when threading through urban environments.
Of course, a fleet car is likely to spend much of it’s time on the open road, so it remains to be seen how the UX acquits itself on the motorway, but it’s certainly won me over early on; despite being that bit smaller than I’d imagined.
Lexus UX Takumi joins our fleet
Marketing spiel aside, the Lexus UX cuts a stylish dash in the car park and our top-of-the-range Takumi model looks good in its £850 optional Sonic Titanium metallic paint finish.
In the UK, the UX is offered exclusively with a fourth generation ‘self-charging’ hybrid powertrain. Available in both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive ‘E-Four’ drivetrains, the UX 250h combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 650v synchronous electric motor on FWD models, while the E-Four gains a 216v induction motor at the rear.
Combined total power is 184PS for both variants, with CO2 emissions ranging from 94g/km for FWD vehicles fitted with 17-inch wheels, to 97g/km for those with 18-inch wheels, up to 103g/km for E-Four models. BIK ranges from 22% to 24% respectively, while VED costs are £120 for FWD models and £140 E-Four derivatives.
WLTP combined mpg figures are 49.5-53.2 for both FWD variants while the all-wheel-drive models dip to 46.3-47.
The Lexus UX 250h range starts at £29,905. Three specification levels are available: UX, F Sport, and Takumi. The Takumi has an on-the-road price of £39,105, when the optional metallic paint is included.
All models come with an impressive array of active and passive safety features as standard, which includes: Lexus Safety System+ with pre-collision system and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane-trace assist, road sign assist and automatic high, beam/adaptive headlight system, electronic brakeforce distribution with brake-assist system, secondary collision brake, vehicle stability control, curtain shield airbags and traction control.
I’m really looking forward to clocking up some miles to see just how “infused with dynamic attitude” the Lexus UX 250h really is.