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The Lexus UX is a five-door compact crossover SUV that’s packed with creature comforts and oozes elegance and sophistication. It’s the company’s baby of the SUV line-up but still packs a mighty punch with its powerful hybrid or fully electrified technology.

Lexus UX 300h F Sport Design side
Lexus UX 300h F Sport Design rear
Lexus UX 300h F Sport Design interior

The good

Design, refinement and economy

The bad

Lots of competition in the sector

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
56.4mpg (EV 279-mile range)
0-62 from
7.5 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from
113g/km (EV 0g/km)

Test Drive

Lexus UX 300h – First Drive (2024)

Lexus has upgraded one of its most popular European models with the new UX 300h replacing the outgoing UX 250h and bringing with it extra power, improved tech and an increase in safety features.

With a wide choice of trims to choose from, including a new entry-level Urban grade, customers can choose a UX to suit their needs and budgets with prices ranging from £34,895 to £50,995. And there is still the option of the all-electric UX 300e version too.

The UX 300h (it stands for Urban Crossover) is a great-looking five-door compact SUV with bags of character and distinctive styling. It boasts a strong road presence with sleek lines, sweeping light clusters and neat 17 or 18-inch alloys. Depending on the model you get rear privacy glass, F Sport bumpers with a gloss black spindle grille, roof rails, a sunroof and even the option of bi-tone paintwork on the high-end cars.

Moving inside, the interior is very premium and there is a clear focus on refinement with elegant fixtures and fittings throughout, plus a choice of cloth, synthetic leather or full leather upholstery.

Once again, depending on the model, there is either an eight or 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen which offers access to the numerous on-board features. These include full smartphone integration, cloud-based navigation, a reversing camera, DAB radio and plenty more besides.

There is a separate panel for all the climate settings and all dials, controls and switches are perfectly positioned in this driver-focused cockpit. In addition, the Hey Lexus assistant can help with all manner of tasks leaving you to concentrate on the driving itself.

The UX features self-charging hybrid technology and is fitted with the company’s latest fifth-generation technology. This sees a 2.0-litre petrol engine and lithium-ion battery delivering 196bhp (an increase of eight per cent over the outgoing 250h) and 190Nm of torque.

We tested a couple of the new UX 300h models on a road route that included fast dual carriageways, twisting country lanes and busy, built-up villages.

First up was the UX 300h F-Sport Design, costing £37,495, which Lexus believes will be the most popular customer choice. With a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.1 seconds and top speed of 110mph, this model could deliver a combined 54.3mpg with carbon emissions of 117g/km.

With manual seat and steering wheel adjustment, both of which can be heated, it’s easy enough to get comfy inside the UX 300h and thanks to the slightly elevated driving position, all-round visibility is excellent.

The acceleration via the-CVT gearbox is both smooth and responsive – long gone are the days when the transmission screeched and protested at the slightest throttle pressure … thankfully.

On twisting lanes, it was well balanced with excellent grip. The battery is positioned beneath the floor under the rear seats which results in a low centre of gravity and that means the car can be confidently pushed hard into tight corners without any sign of body sway.

Drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport alter the driving characteristics of the car and these also change the appearance of the driver display panel accordingly. Eco will priories fuel and energy efficiency, Normal ensures a balance of economy and performance, while Sport gives sharper acceleration with added weight to the steering feel.

In addition, there is a B mode that strengthens the regenerative braking and also an EV-only setting.

Lexus has an excellent reputation for developing vehicles that deliver superb refinement and the UX 300h is another perfect example with additional noise insulation on the latest car. This results in a beautifully quiet cabin. And the highly effective suspension set-up smooths out most bumps and dips along the way too.

Although some grades offer a lot more, this F-Sport Design car packs quite a punch with bundles of tech for a very competitive asking price.

On the downside, the F-Sport Design car has the smaller infotainment screen which can be a tad fiddly to operate on the fly and also has a lot of piano black surrounds which is prone to slight glare.

Next up was the high-end UX 300h Takumi E-Four model with all-wheel drive, costing £49,795. It is slightly faster than the first car and completes the 0-62mph dash in just 7.9 seconds, topping out at 110mph. But the economy takes a little bit of a hit with combined fuel efficiency of 50.5mpg and carbon emissions of 127g/km.

The car benefits from a new rear motor with five times more power compared to the previous model, which in turn, results in faster throttle response and a more engaging driving experience. This rear motor also acts as a generator for the car’s regenerative braking system increasing the amount of kinetic energy that is captured during braking or decelerating.

With the higher price-tag comes plenty of extra kit, including the addition of ventilated seats, a sunroof, head-up display, the larger and more practical 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a pitch-perfect 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and the reassurance of all-wheel drive.

Performance-wise there was little to separate the two cars. The Takumi model felt even more refined as it featured full leather upholstery, powered seats with a memory setting and an electrically-adjustable steering wheel.

It is marginally heavier so feels more planted when firing through the B roads, but the cabin still remains beautifully hushed with just the occasional tyre rumble noise filtering through.

On the practicality front, inside the UX 300h, there is bundles of room for a couple of six footers up front, along with two more in the back or a trio of youngsters.

The boot can swallow 438 litres of luggage up to the roof, increasing to 1,231 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. Elsewhere there is a locking glovebox, a cubby beneath the front central armrest, front and rear cup holders, door bins with space for a bottle, a single seat back pocket, charging pad and some trays.

Safety features have also been enhanced with the latest third generation Lexus Safety System+ that sees the likes of Proactive Driving Assist that uses a front camera to detect hazards such as parked cars, cyclists and pedestrians, Safe Exit Assist that prevents the driver opening the door into the path of a cyclist or car, a Driver Monitor that uses a camera mounted on top of the steering wheel to check on the driver’s condition, along with a whole list of driver aids.

With improved performance, along with an increase in efficiency, the latest Lexus UX 300h is an excellent family vehicle that’s big on style, quality, handling and practicality. And, of course, it boasts refinement in spades.

Test Drive

Lexus UX 300e (2023)

When Lexus announced its first battery electric vehicle back in 2021 it was greeted with great anticipation because the Japanese carmaker would be drawing on 15 years of hybrid electrification expertise.

The UX 330e was an adaptation of the hybrid UX model – the company’s best-selling car in the UK – and the fully electrified version proved a popular choice with customers.

However, the driving range between charges was quite limited at 196 miles and that is one of a number of areas Lexus has addressed with the new 2023 model.

For starters the 54.3kWh battery has been replaced with a larger 72.8kWh unit and that has resulted in the range being increased by 40 per cent with a WLTP-tested 279 miles between chargers.

In addition, the outdated and clunky infotainment screen has been replaced, along with fine-tuning to the suspension system and steering for improved dynamics and superior insulation.

Prices range from £47,495 for the entry-level UX 300e, but customers can choose from trims called Premium Plus Pack, Premium Plus Pack with 18-inch Wheels and Takumi Pack. We opted for the range-topping UX 300e Takumi Pack with a price-tag of £57,095.

The five-door Lexus UX 300e is certainly a head-turner with a strong road presence. It stretches almost 4.5 metres in length so covers all the practicality bases for any active family and is packed with high-end tech throughout.

Design cues include the company’s trademark spindle grille housing the Lexus logo, along with sweeping arrowhead daytime running lights and sequential turn indicators. Privacy glass, a sunroof, roof rails and 18-inch alloys complete the look.

Moving inside, the interior is beautifully crafted with top-quality fixtures and fittings, including the finest leather upholstery. The powered seats can be heated or ventilated and the steering wheel, which is also power-adjustable can be warmed against the winter chill. Back seat passengers benefit from heated seats too.

But the main news inside this latest UX is the infotainment set-up. Thankfully, the old-fashioned touchpad controller, which was very hit and miss, has been ditched and now the car boasts a 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia display with embedded navigation. This can be operated via touch or by using the intuitive Lexus voice recognition system which will adjust the temperature, find a radio station, make a phone call and lots more without taking your hands from the steering wheel.

The screen is faster than the outgoing set-up and creature comforts are plentiful, including full smartphone connectivity with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a pitch perfect 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, a head-up display, reversing camera with guidelines, a 360-degree panoramic view camera, along with four front and rear USB-C ports to stay connected on the move.

When it comes to performance, the latest UX 300e boasts 204bhp with 300Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.5 seconds and top speed of 100mph.

Range anxiety is a thing of the past with its 279 miles between charges – this figure is for cars fitted with 17-inch wheels. Move up to 18-inch ones and it drops slightly to 274 miles.

The acceleration out the starting blocks is rapid and the front-wheel drive UX 300e is confident as it sweeps through the twisting country lanes with no sign of body sway in or out of tighter bends. The low centre of gravity, along with quite hefty body weight of about 1.8 tonnes, result in a balanced and grounded ride quality.

It’s a car that cruises effortlessly at 70mph on motorways and, with good all-round visibility, is comfortable navigating through the bustling city centres with cars and cyclists darting out from all angles.

Three drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport alter the characteristics of the vehicle and there are steering wheel paddles that can be used to adjust the level of regenerative braking with four settings to choose from.

Comfort levels for all occupants is sublime – as is the Lexus way where luxury is prioritised above pace and dynamics. The ride is nicely cushioned and the improved insulation means barely a sound filters through into the cabin.

With the battery stored beneath the floor, rear passenger space is not compromised and there is room for a couple of adults in the back provided the front seats are not pushed too far back.

The boot is accessed via a powered tailgate and this has a capacity of 367 litres which is 47 litres more than the hybrid UX model. This limit can be increased further by dropping the rear seats and there is a storage area beneath the boot floor to keep charging cables out the way.

Additional storage compartments include a lockable glovebox, a central cubby, door bins with space for a bottle, front and rear cup holders, a single seat back pocket and a charging pad.

And when it comes to charging the UX 300e, the 72.8kWh battery can be boosted from 0-100 per cent in 9 hours, 30 minutes from a 7kW wallbox or, by using a fast charger, a 0-80 per cent top up takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.

When you also factor in the raft of safety features, along with the Lexus warranty that is easily extended to 10 years, the UX 300e is a fabulous all-rounder for someone wanting to make the move to electrification while hanging onto the luxury the Lexus brand always brings to the mix.

Test Drive

Lexus UX 300e EV with Premium Plus Pack – First Drive (2021)

Lexus and Toyota have long been pioneers in developing hybrid vehicles building a reputation that is renowned the world over and now Lexus has unleashed its first fully-electric car.

It’s called the UX 300e and is a dynamically-styled five-door compact SUV that is packed with high-end kit as standard, boasts a decent driving range and offers a practically-sized boot.

The car is powered by a 54kWh battery that is located beneath the cabin floor and, with an output of 201bhp, the UX 300e can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 7.5 seconds and maxes out at 100mph. The driving range, under strict WLTP testing, is 196 miles between charges depending on wheel size.

From a design point of view, the electrified model shares much of its DNA with the standard UX car, including the signature spindle grille, arrowhead daytime running lights, coupe-like roofline and a choice of 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels.

Moving inside, the cabin is beautifully-crafted and inspired by traditional Japanese architecture with a very driver-focused layout. The instrument display has been revised to offer all the electric-related data such as driving range, battery charge levels and there is a smart digital speedo readout.

Replacing the conventional gear lever is a shift-by-wire drive selector with drive, neutral and reverse options, but otherwise the cabin is clutter-free, modern and very premium with the finest upholstery and materials throughout.

The level of on-board technology impresses too and our car was fitted with a Premium Plus Pack included in the standard £44,400 price-tag. There is a seven-inch media display screen with six-speaker sound system, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless smartphone charging tray, heated and ventilated front seats with eight-way power adjustment, a reversing camera and parking sensors.

Out on the open road, the UX 300e is an absolute delight to drive cruising effortlessly at 70mph on motorways and it is dynamic through twisting B roads and country lanes with plenty of acceleration and grip. There is a small amount of body sway if tight bends are attacked too eagerly, but generally the car is well balanced and many uneven surfaces are smoothed out along the way by the highly-effective suspension system.

You can switch through drive modes called Sport, Normal and Eco that alter the mannerisms of the vehicle and by choosing ‘B’ on the gear selector, it maximises the energy recouped during braking or cruising.

The UX 300e is a comfy car to fizz around town in with good all-round visibility and I can confirm the range is pretty accurate too. The vehicle was showing a driving range of 185 miles and I completed a 161-mile journey, arriving home with 11 miles to spare!

With the lithium-ion battery stored beneath the rear seats, the boot size is actually larger than the conventional UX with 367 litres of space – an increase of 47 litres. However, like most compact SUVs, back seat occupants do not fare quite so well and adults will find it all a little cramped, especially if the front seats are pushed well back.

There are lots of convenient cubby spaces to store away bits and pieces, such as a glovebox, a central bin beneath the armrest, door pockets, front and rear cup holders, pockets in the front seatbacks and some handy trays.

And when it comes to charging the UX 300e, there is an AC port located on the right-hand rear wing of the car and a DC port for rapid charging is found on the left side of the car, where the battery can be boosted from zero to 80 per cent in 50 minutes. Obviously, using the AC system with home charging takes much longer, but is ideal for overnight plug-ins.

Safety specifications are comprehensive and include vehicle stability control, hill assist control, electronic brakeforce distribution with brake assist, along with the Lexus Safety System+ features that introduce pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane trace assist, road sign assist and a high beam system.

To date, the Lexus UX is the company’s best-selling car in Europe and, after a week behind the wheel of the electrified 300e version, this new model is guaranteed to be a very popular addition to the line-up.

Test Drive

Lexus UX 250h F Sport 

Lexus has an enviable reputation for developing hybrid-powered SUVs to high acclaim and now the already-established NX and RX models have a baby sibling joining the ranks in the form of the all-new UX.

It’s a five-door compact crossover and it simply oozes Lexus character and DNA through and through with a distinctive design that features the manufacturer’s over-sized F Sport grille with an eye-catching mesh pattern created by individual L-shaped pieces. There are 18-inch sports wheels, jet-black trim on the front and rear mouldings, sweeping light clusters with LED daytime running lights, a rising waist line plus lots of crisp lines and creases.

Buyers can choose from three well-equipped trim levels called UX, F-Sport and Takumi with the option of adding 4×4 capability to each version.

Powering the UX is a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine along with an electric motor that together deliver a total output of 181bhp. It is the Japanese company’s fourth-generation self-charging hybrid engine and, like its predecessors, is mated to a CVT gearbox.

Our mid-trim F Sport model was priced at £33,905 (£38,675 with options). It was the front-wheel-drive version and could reach 62mph from a standing start in a very respectable 8.5 seconds, maxing out at 110mph while delivering a combined 49.5-53.2mpg (WLTP) along the way with carbon emissions of 97g/km.

The interior of the car is feature-rich and the layout is very driver-orientated with all controls, dials and switches well positioned for ease of use. The deep red leather upholstered seats look fabulously sophisticated and can be heated, along with the steering wheel, to keep the winter chills at bay.

On board technology includes a 10.3-inch screen with Lexus navigation (complete with European mapping), a DAB radio, reversing camera with guidelines, parking sensors, a GPS clock, front and rear USB ports, dual-zone climate control with humidity sensor, plus plenty more besides. Noticeable by its absence though, is the lack of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for full smartphone connection.

Many of the on-board systems are accessed via a touchpad with haptic responses – this takes a while to get to grips with and can be quite clunky on the move. Thankfully, there are some quick keys with shortcuts to simplify certain actions, but sometimes less really is more and this is one of those occasions.

All the instrumentation is clear and precise and the F Sport has a moveable meter ring in the tft display behind the steering wheel. This originated in the LFA supercar and allows the driver to change the content and data on show.

When it comes to performance, the UX certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s the first Lexus vehicle to be built on the company’s GA-C platform (it stands for Global Architecture – Compact). This rigid, yet lightweight structure has enabled designers and engineers to produce a car with an exceptionally low centre of gravity and that translates into great all-round capability with excellent balance, poise and handling.

In addition, the CVT transmission is both smooth and responsive. Like many similar systems it reacts well to a more gentle approach to avoid any screeching or over-revving.

Out on the open road, the UX feels composed and agile as it sweeps through bends without any sign of body sway or loss of traction into bends. It’s not as aggressive as some rival compact crossovers but the all-round performance is impressive. Also worth noting is the clever Active Cornering Assist that helps prevent any understeer.

There are various drive modes that alter the way the car reacts. For example, an EV mode comes into force when cruising or driving gently whereby the front electric motor drives the car without using any petrol. Then in Normal mode, there is a balance between fuel economy and performance. Eco mode maximises fuel efficiency and finally, Sport mode delivers faster acceleration responses for a more dynamic driving experience.

Although the UX is in theory an SUV, it is relatively compact in size and that means passenger space in the back of the car is fairly limited for taller adults. It also feels quite claustrophobic as the dynamic design of the car, complete with its rising waistline, results in small rear windows. But it is fine for children.

When it comes to storage, the UX boot can swallow 320 litres of kit, a capacity that increases further with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat and there’s a number of handy compartments throughout the car to hide away bits and bobs.

As one would expect from a premium car maker, the level of safety kit on the UX is plentiful with the likes Lexus Safety System+ which includes dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision system, road sign recognition, automatic high beam, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist.

All in all, the Lexus UX is quite the impressive all-rounder. It oozes class and elegance, is packed with technology and performs beautifully. It may not be the ultimate thrill-seeker’s car, but it is very refined and upmarket in its design and handling.

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