New Lexus UX 2018 evaluate
Now, simply three years after unveiling its second soft-roader, the NX, a 3rd SUV is on the way in which. Because the crossover’s reputation reveals no indicators of slowing, Lexus has introduced the compact UX to market; the Mercedes GLA-inspired small mannequin will probably be launched subsequent month, priced from round £30,000.
• Finest hybrid vehicles on sale 2018
On the skin, the UX has a whiff of first-generation BMW X1 about it. Decrease however longer than most of its fundamental rivals, it cuts a profile extra akin to the present crop of coupé-SUVs. That decreased roofline is mirrored inside, the place the low driving place offers the UX a sportier really feel from behind the wheel.[gallery:1]
Based mostly on an adaptation of Toyota’s TNGA platform (referred to as GA-C within the UX’s case), the newborn Lexus SUV is remarkably good to drive. Grip is nice and physique management composed, whereas the steering is direct and properly weighted, too.
That sharp steering is the results of a brand new set-up that has let the engineers mount the steering rack on to the sub-frame. It reduces vibrations and flex, and interprets to a surprisingly entertaining driving expertise.
Utilizing Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) from the agency’s flagship LC coupé ensures it rides properly, too. Round city it’s properly cushioned, and little appears to catch the UX out at velocity. We’ve but to attempt a automotive on passive dampers, nevertheless, which can end in a rougher experience.
The only powertrain alternative, in true Lexus vogue, is a ‘self-charging’ hybrid. Utilizing a brand new 2.0-litre petrol engine linked to 2 highly effective electrical motors, it’s able to 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds. Refinement is spectacular, though a few of Sweden’s harsher surfaces did generate a substantial quantity of highway noise.
The only real gearbox choice is way smoother than earlier Lexus CVTs, but it nonetheless gives little enjoyable or suggestions. The F Sport’s steering wheel paddles management the automotive’s regenerative braking relatively than mimicking the step ratios of a traditional auto.
In fact, that hybrid set-up gives encouraging real-world operating prices. Our UX was returning greater than 50mpg, however Lexus claims 65mpg is achievable, and our experiences in similarly-powered Toyota fashions would recommend these numbers are possible. Low CO2 emissions will make it an interesting firm automotive, making certain the UX sits a number of Profit-in-Type tax bands decrease than the equal BMW or Audi.[gallery:2]
The Lexus units a excessive benchmark for inside design. Though our pre-production take a look at automotive demonstrated the odd rattle, the broad touchscreen appears to be like nice. The piano-style local weather management buttons are simple to function, however it’s a disgrace Lexus persists with the fiddly console-mounted touchpad; it’s awkward to make use of. And with no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you’re pressured to make do with the clunky infotainment bundle.
Area within the again is okay, if just a little claustrophobic in dark-trimmed F Sport vehicles. Headroom is surprisingly beneficiant given the sloping roofline, and kneeroom is enough. However the boot is alarmingly small. There are not any official figures, but it’s protected to say even BMW’s coupé-styled X2 will trump the UX’s carrying capability.
Costs and full specs will probably be introduced when the mannequin goes on sale in October, however inner hypothesis at Lexus suggests entry-level vehicles will kick off at a whisker beneath £30,000.
A flagship F Sport just like the model we examined ought to prime out at round £35okay, with E-4 all-wheel-drive variants of the Japanese crossover commanding a further premium.