Exploring the Lexus UX and why we love this compact crossover

More a crossover than a true SUV, the Lexus UX is an urban icon.

The Lexus UX, a fantastic compact crossover, falls into the SUV category, but is actually only slightly larger than a standard hatchback. But as they say, dynamite comes in small packages, and the impressive range of features puts this vehicle in a league of its own. This is why we rate it… 

The Lexus UX, a fantastic compact crossover, falls into the SUV category, but is actually only slightly larger than a standard hatchback.

This hybrid SUV drives like a hatch

It is only available as a hybrid, which is always a box to tick. Built on the powerful Lexus GA-C global architecture platform, it is rigid and light and has the lowest centre of gravity of any vehicle in its class, thanks to the aluminium and composite body panels that save weight. I wanted the UX to deliver the benefits of a conventional crossover – features such as a higher seating position and better visibility – yet with the dynamic performance and agility of a hatchback, explains UX Chief Engineer Chika Kako, who was inspired by Akio Toyoda’s vision that ‘every Lexus should be fun to drive’.  

The Lexus UX from the rear

It has superb handling

In its quest to set a new benchmark for handling quality in the UX crossover, Lexus focused on developing aerodynamic innovations. The car is fitted with a flush underbody and an aerodynamic doormirror design, and has feature flaps shaped like the Gurney flap on the rear wing of a Formula 1 car on each side of the spokes to regulate airflow and increase downforce. The UX was extensively tested in the 260-metre long Lexus wind tunnel, one of the most advanced of its kind, after which it was passed on to the Lexus master drivers, who drove thousands of kilometres in all conditions to achieve the best possible balance between road and vehicle. 

It’s luxurious and stylish

Guided by the Japanese engawa concept, there is a seamless connection between the inside and outside of the car. While the aesthetics are modern, inspiration is taken from the traditional Japanese art of washi, the grain pattern of the traditionally handmade Japanese shoji paper used to make sliding doors. This art form is recreated in the texture of the instrument panel for a top-notch interior atmosphere. Craftsmanship at its best. 

The wireless charger at the centre console of the Lexus UX enables charging a portable device or smartphone

It sports smart tech

A wireless charger at the centre console enables charging a portable device or smartphone by simply placing it on the charging pad, and the centre console has an impressive 12.3-inch touchscreen, with all driver-related information and entertainment at your fingertips so you can drive without distractions 

The Lexus UX at a charging station

It has superior safety features

This hybrid comes with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 and active safety technology, the aim of which is to prevent accidents, reduce traffic injuries and fatalities, and lighten the burden on drivers. It includes driverassistance features such as the Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection, daytime cyclist detection, standard automated braking system, blind spot monitoring, Lane Departure Alert and adaptive cruise control. It also has built-in cameras to help detect road signs. Other safety features include the all-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, intelligent light beams and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. 

What’s not to love?

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