Easy to love, the youngest Lexus sibling offers a nippy, compact, yet spacious and luxurious urban crossover with excellent fuel economy.
By RUBIN VAN NIEKERK
Funky looks and personality will probably attract many new first time Lexus buyers. The UX moniker simply describes that it is an urban + X-over (crossover)=UX.
Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Lexus Sales and Marketing says, “The UX was designed to appeal to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what’s also relevant to their lifestyles.”
As the first Lexus constructed on the new Global Architecture Compact (GAC) platform, it has a lightweight, super-rigid structure, with a low centre of gravity and refined suspension. It excels at manoeuvering with nimble dynamics and the UX 250h pairs an efficient 2,0-litre petrol engine with a new fourth-generation hybrid drive system with two electric motors engineered specifically for this platform.
Brow-like daytime running lights arranged in an arrowhead motif above the headlights complement the Lexus L-shaped lighting signature.
Some world firsts are the wheel arch moldings that protect the body from gravel by using airflow to reduce turbulence and lift. Unique Aero Stabilising Blade Lights also use airflow around the rear of the UX to improve stability and quietness. Finally, aluminium alloy aero ventilating wheels reduce wind resistance and cool the disc brakes.
Entering and exiting is easy due to optimal and higher placement of the hip-point and unique shaping of the seat cushion. Human-centeredness also reveals itself in the instrument panel’s low, unobtrusive design and the slim A-pillar moldings, which improves visibility. A very quiet driving experience, due to the high-strength structure and specially designed sound-absorbing and insulating materials throughout the body is typically Lexus.
The 8-way power-adjustable front seats, with lumbar adjustable support for the driver ensures complete comfort. Lexus focuses on craftsmanship and a sense of contemporary luxury with an uncluttered “less is more” approach.
A 7-inch TFT LCD display digitally creates realistic, analogue gauges in a three-dimensional space. The Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) with haptic feedback feels as familiar to use as a smartphone with intuitive operations, such as double-tapping and flicking. White LEDs illuminate the interior and create a warm ambience.
A hands-free power tailgate can be opened and closed by moving one’s foot in front of a sensor located underneath the rear bumper if the smart key is close.
Run-flat tyres are now quieter and more comfortable and allows driving with a flat tyre at speeds up to 80km/h for up to 160 kilometres.
Lexus Premium Sound System plays back the highest-resolution digital audio formats from a USB device, conveying more musical data than a CD, but thankfully there is a CD player as well. The 8-speaker system uses bamboo charcoal speaker diaphragms to deliver natural-sounding voices with improved mid-range sound.
The speed with which the hybrid system can shut off the petrol engine, such as when driving on long downward slopes, has been raised from the 70km/h to 115km/h for the UX 250h. Lexus Drive Mode Select allows you to change your driving experience by selecting from three different drive modes.
Highly advanced safety technology includes eight airbags and impressive safety features like the LED Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), that is the best I have experienced in a car under a million rand.