Lexus UX moves even more upmarket


17 March 2020

LEXUS is the latest car company to upgrade one of its luxury SUV ranges, whilst just managing to keep the price below the all-important £40,000 mark.

This is the point above which the tax incentives for self-charging hybrids no longer apply, so manufacturers are desperate to keep them below it.

In the case of the Lexus UX the improvements centre upon style, safety and connectivity.

Private buyers also get the chance to choose funding at a rate of just 3.9 per cent, which may become even lower following this week’s bank base rate cut.

The entry-level UX models are offered with a new Premium Pro pack that combines the same kit as the established Premium Plus Pack with additional technology-led features.

These include Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert with auto-braking, head-up display and triple-eye LED headlights with an Adaptive High-beam System.

There is also a 13-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround audio system, wireless smartphone charger, power adjustable steering wheel and eight-way power-adjustable front seats.

There is also two-way lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat, and all UX models also now get wireless smartphone integration using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

The choice of interior colour schemes is increased with a new Cobalt option, combining black and blue trim with seat upholstery in contrasting white and blue.

This comprises fabric finish for the UX grade and smooth leather for Takumi and Premium Plus Pack.

There is also a new F White interior that is exclusive to the UX F Sport with Premium Plus or Takumi packs. It features smooth black leather for the instrument panel with white stitching, plus white leather seat upholstery with a contrasting vertical black stripe section on the cushion and seatback of the front seats.

A series of technology features designed to help the driver turn and manoeuvre the car more safely are incorporated into a new Lexus Driver Assist Pack. Now included in the cost of the Premium Plus Pack, or in addition to the Premium Pack option for £745, this equips the UX with a Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert with automatic braking and an Intelligent Clearance Sonar System.

This claims to significantly reduce the risk of an accident by giving the driver a better view of the surroundings and alerting them to approaching traffic or static hazards.

The finance deal is based on a personal contract purchase with a £1,000 hybrid deposit allowance and an annual interest rate of 3.9 per cent.

Competition in this sector of the small SUV market is intense, with Lexus UX prices starting at £29,905 to include cruise control, a seven-inch screen and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Then there are the F-Sport versions costing from £33,905 that come with 18-inch wheels and heated seats and steering wheel.

At the top of the pile are the Takumis with keyless entry and an automatic tailgate. However, the price of these models rises to just over the £40k mark at £40,105.

All models use a two-litre petrol-electric power source with an output of 175bhp and claimed economy of between 45mpg and 50mpg.

They have a continuously variable automatic transmission and come with a choice of front wheel drive or 4WD.