This 2022 update to the smallest SUV in the Lexus line-up may be just light, but the UX is still great to drive, economical, and well-built. The financial figures are also favorable compared to the closest competition from German rivals. If Lexus can outfit the cabin with the cutting-edge infotainment technology we know it’s capable of, and somehow figure out how to improve that tiny starter, the UX could rank right at the top of its class. .
The Lexus UX is a car that has impressed us in a number of areas, but has let us down with flaws that have made it a truly affordable alternative to rivals like Audi Q3, BMW X2 and our favorite of the segment, Mercedes GLA.
For 2022, there’s a structural change to the trim to keep things fresh. Now there are four different levels to choose from. At the bottom is the base UX, which features 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 7-inch infotainment screen and cloth seats.
Above it is the Premium Sport Edition. The wheels of this model are an inch larger, while the interior features artificial leather on the heated front seats. It also has a reversing camera, all-round parking sensors and lane departure warning.
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The top two models have familiar names: F Sport and Takumi. The former features sportier suspension tuning, power-adjustable front seats and unique upholstery, while the second gets luxury touches like a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, head-up display and head-up display. up and the ventilated front seats are covered in full leather.
The revised F Sport and Takumi grades now stand out thanks to wheel arch trims; Previously unpainted plastic (and still finished this way on the entry-level model), they now come in body color to mark the most lavishly equipped variants.
While the trim structure has changed, the drivetrain of the UX remains the same. In terms of handling and handling, it is among the best in its class. The steering loads up naturally and predictably while its German rivals feel too light and responsive. Even on the 18-inch wheels, the ride feels smoother and the shocks sharper are well insulated. All add up to one Premium SUVs feels compact and easy to place on the road.
As before, there are two versions of hybrid powertrain. Both use a 2.0-liter petrol engine paired with an electric motor up front, but the all-wheel drive option also gets a second motor on the rear axle. We’ll stick with the front-wheel drive model; The electric motor is powerful enough for responsive acceleration from low speeds, with the petrol engine providing further acceleration at stiff acceleration for a combined maximum of 181bhp.
The E-CVT transmission results in some somewhat odd noises from the engine as rpm rises and falls at a completely different speed from road speed, but the impressive fine-tuning means this rarely becomes the norm. an annoying problem. In many situations, the engine is completely cut off, creating a very relaxed driving experience.
Even though that hybrid system helps keep emissions lower, UX still accounts for 30% Kindness benefits , making it an unlikely choice for corporate car buyers. However, for private drivers, the promise of high forty mpg – a number we find perfectly achievable in daily driving – will have a lot of appeal.
However, there are two main weaknesses that keep UX from being at the top of this segment. The first is startup. At 321 liters, it’s smaller than some superminis. Floors are high and space is shallow, so even cramming into a suitcase or two can be a challenge. It’s even worse in the all-wheel drive model, which has only 281 liters. The story isn’t great for the rear passengers either; it’s pretty cramped in the back.
Another downside is the infotainment system. With the newest one NXLexus has proven it can make a great system, but its little brother has to do with an old setup plagued by annoying touchpad interfaces. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available, but that input method makes even those systems unwieldy.
Of the four models in the revised trim, we think the Premium Sport Edition makes the most sense when it comes to a compromise between cost and kit – sumptuous despite the Takumi owning. This top specification.
Deposit £4,000 on a three-year PCP finance agreement with an annual limit of 10,000 miles, and the Premium Sport Edition costs up to £435 per month. That includes a £2,000 donation from Lexus. By comparison, a Audi Q3 The automatic S line 35 TFSI on matching terms costs £520 per month, while a BMW X2 sDrive18i M Sport currently costs £621 per month.