Spring debut for Lexus UX

14 January 2019

LUXURY car maker Lexus has announced that the first of its new compact SUV models will take to UK roads from March.

Costing from £29,900, they will be powered by a fourth generation self-charging hybrid with a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine plus a powerful electric motor and newly developed hybrid transmission.

The vehicle charges itself as you drive, with C02 levels from 97g/km and a tax BIK from 21%, thanks to official economy of just under 70mpg.

Extra reassurance for the hybrid bit comes in the form of a five-year warranty that covers the first 60,000 miles for all of the hybrid components and the batteries.

The hybrid Lexus UX 250h is a crossover to rival Nissan’s Qashqai and will line up alongside the current Lexus NX model that has proved a significant success.

The name of UX is intended to denote its urban crossover aspirations, with an SUV body shape and a low-emissions driving system suited to town and city use.

The newcomer will aim to have particular appeal to younger buyers who want a more sporting appearance and driving style, which are delivered within a sleek coupe-style shape.

Performance will be impressive for a vehicle of this type, with acceleration to 60mph in eight and a half seconds courtesy of a 175bhp two-litre petrol engine aided by a pair of electric motors.

There is an improved version of the Lexus continuously variable transmission system, with The claimed economy of up to 69mph likely to be about 50mpg in real-world driving.

The car comes with five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, with optional 18-inch upgrades.

There will be a choice of 13 different paint colours for the bodywork, three of which have been developed specifically for the UX, including one that uses a multi-layer process involving red as a base colour incorporating a yellow mica layer.

There will be six-way manual or eight-way power adjustable front seats, the latter with adjustable lumbar support for the driver.

The newcomer will also be offered with an optional leather upholstery that is said to be inspired by sashiko, which is a Japanese stitching technique that is also used in the making of judo and kendo martial arts uniforms. It is combined with a perforation pattern on the lower part of the seat.

Instrumentation includes a seven-inch screen and a head-up display that will be available on higher grade versions.

Other kit includes a six-speaker system and eight-speaker upgrade using bamboo-charcoal speaker diaphragms, whilst the eight-speaker system adds a centre-dash tweeter, a subwoofer mounted in the luggage area and a more powerful amplifier.

An optional Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System uses a 13-speaker array, 668W eight-channel amplifier, Quantum Logic Surround Sound and ClariFi 2.0 technology to deliver a more immersive, concert-like sound experience.

The vehicle is 4,495mm in length and is claiming an unrivalled turning circle, although there is no such boast for boot space, which is compromised by the semi-coupe body styling.

Prices rise to about £35,000 for the flagship versions.