Tested: The planet-friendly oppulance SUV

Hybrids. Using an electric engine to assistance boost a fuel potency and opening of a petrol engine, they have been around for about 20 years, with Toyota’s Camry hybrid a many renouned instance here.

Hybrid energy is outrageous in a US, where emissions regulations are too tough for many diesels.

Toyota’s variety are refined, fit and reliable. The latest, fourth-generation chronicle is now accessible in a Lexus UX, a tiny SUV that shares a bottom physique structure, including wheelbase, with primogenitor Toyota’s Corolla induce and CH-R SUV.

Photo of 2019 Lexus UX

Photo of 2019 Lexus UXSource:Supplied


UX stands for Urban Crossover, that says it all really. The Lexus bridges a opening between hatchback and SUV, with hybrid record to broach extent potency in a grub of city traffic.

Hybrids start during $47,950 for a UX250h Luxury, with a 2.0-litre engine and twin electric motor-generators pushing a front wheels. Combined energy outlay is 131kW.

With all-wheel drive, a UX250h Sports Luxury is $61,000. We’re contrast a tip spec F-Sport, during $61,450.

That’s vast bucks for a tiny SUV, yet a UX cost spectrum is identical to petrol and diesel-powered rivals such as BMW’s X1 and X2, Jaguar’s E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz’s GLA and Mini’s Countryman.

Lexus gives we a longer guaranty (four years as against to their three) and industry-leading quality, trustworthiness and patron service, that includes collect adult and smoothness when your automobile is serviced, or a loan car.

Photo of 2019 Lexus UX

Photo of 2019 Lexus UXSource:Supplied


Lexus goes a possess approach in cabin pattern and as shortly as we stand in you’ll possibly adore or hatred UX’s irritable geometric anarchy.

Compared with a minimalist, ergonomically fit moody decks on many oppulance SUVs, a UX control blueprint is old-school symbol heavy, so it takes some training and is not quite good organised.

Lexus also uses a super-sensitive touchpad interface to pierce a cursor around a infotainment screen. When you’re driving, it’s impossibly distracting and formidable to work with any precision, and yet holding your eyes off a road.

How such user-unfriendly pattern finished adult in a finished product is incomprehensible.

There are also many pluses in a entirely installed F-Sport: flawless fit, finish and extraneous paint; bright, easy-to-read displays for instruments and infotainment; a luxurious, leather-faced, exhilarated and ventilated driver’s seat; snug, sporty pushing position; manageable voice control; and reasonable storage and connectivity tighten during hand.

Rear legroom is hatchback parsimonious yet kids should be calm interjection to vents and a integrate of USB sockets. The tiny boot, reached around a energy tailgate, has an towering building and vast bin underneath for additional storage.

Photo of 2019 Lexus UX

Photo of 2019 Lexus UXSource:Supplied


All a essential motorist support reserve tech is standard, and adaptive cruise, line keeping, speed extent and tyre vigour monitoring.


Toyota’s goal with hybrid record is not sports performance. Rather, it’s to furnish a smooth, quiet, fit drivetrain that works seamlessly as a day-to-day drive.

There are no EV tenure issues, such as perplexing to find a charging hire in Woop Woop or using an prolongation lead out into a travel to extract adult your battery. The UX hybrid’s nickel steel hydride battery is invariably recharged as we drive.

Acceleration is important rather than rapid, with a engine and electric motors mixing to furnish diesel-like torque during low and midrange revs. When we wish some-more manageable performance, even in Sport mode, it’s still comparatively sedate.

Pure electric energy is accessible usually next about 30km/h, for a few hundred metres on a really light throttle.

Photo of 2019 Lexus UX

Photo of 2019 Lexus UXSource:Supplied

Around town, pattern 5-6L/100km, on unchanging unleaded, or about half what a petrol-powered tiny SUV will do. On a highway, where a hybrid’s advantage over an fit petrol engine disappears, expenditure will be a tiny higher.

Toyota’s new physique structure is engineered for energetic ability and motorist enjoyment. With all-wheel expostulate and in F-Sport grade, a UX is a surprisingly taut, manageable handler.

The AWD has a third electric motor/differential that provides on-demand energy to a rear, and adaptive cessation dampers, giving it an additional magnitude of intrepidity and grip, assisted by a low centre of gravity, accurate (though numb) steering, glue Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres and a conspicuous tightening of physique control in Sport and Sport+ modes.

Ride comfort also depends on a mode selected. Comfort and Normal are well-spoken and supple; sportier settings are lumpy around town, with correspondence improving during open highway speeds.

Heart says

I get Lexus’s uncompromisingly different, brave Japanese pattern aesthetic. The brand’s premium, made-in-Japan peculiarity is equally seductive.

Head says

I’ve owned German cars before and I’m over their reduction than ideal trustworthiness and high tenure costs. It’s approach too early to go electric. Hybrid energy is convenient, proven and efficient.


BMW X1 xDrive 25i from $60,900

Arguably a collect of a tiny SUVs in this cost range, with honeyed 170kW 2.0-litre turbo/eight-speed automatic/all-wheel drive. Hardly a guzzler, either, with single-figure economy practicable around town.

VW Tiguan 162TSI from $50,150

Good value for a top-spec Tiguan Highline, with some-more interior space yet still tiny adequate to be nippy and manoeuvrable in town. 162kW 2.0 turbo/seven-speed DSG/all-wheel drive.

Verdict 3/5

Rivals during a $60K pricepoint give most sportier performance. Instead, a UX hybrid prioritises efficiency, comfort, excellence and oppulance in a proven, planet-friendly package.

Lexus UX 250h F-Sport vitals

Price: $61,450 (pricey)

Warranty/servicing: 4 yrs (avg), $2995 for 5 yrs/ 60,000km (expensive)

Engine: 2.0L 4-cyl, electric motor, 133kW total (adequate)

Safety: Not rated, 8 airbags, AEB, adaptive cruise, blind mark monitor, back cranky trade alert, line gripping (good)

Fuel use: 4.7L/100km (excellent)

Spare: Run-flats (not good)

Boot: 334L (small)