Car Test: Lexus UX 250h, Hybrid, Compact and Premium

With the UX, Lexus offers a compact SUV.

Lexus is releasing the UX, its first crossover, only in hybrid technology, in 2 and 4-wheel drive, with a finish worthy of its premium status. Its price starts at € 36,490.

Lexus throws itself into the battle of the compact SUV , or crossover , with its UX 4.49 m long. This is the first Lexus model to benefit from the new compact, lightweight, low center of gravity platform.

Hood, front fenders and doors are aluminum. With its trapezoidal grille, the UX sign its membership in the Lexus family but its mesh is specific to give it a three-dimensional side, changing depending on the angle of view. Its massive appearance is attenuated by tapered LED lights with daytime running lights in the shape of an arrowhead. A sign of desired dynamism that is reflected in the sharp lines of its profile, the protection of rounded wheel arches on the front and angular on the rear and the wing-shaped taillights having an aerodynamic function and connected by a bright belt over the entire width of the tailgate.

An interior of impeccable finish

The Lexus UX seats, with their multiple electrical settings, heated and ventilated, are wraparound and comfortable.
The Lexus UX seats, with their multiple electrical settings, heated and ventilated, are wraparound and comfortable. (© DR)

The cabin, with a sober or sporty atmosphere, gives the choice between two textures and four colors, according to the versions. The dashboard, as original as it is functional, has a multifunction screen located at the center and the foot of the windshield for perfect vision. The digital dashboard is scalable with counters that move to reveal the information on demand while the bottom of the rev counter gradually changes from white to orange when his needle approaches 5,000 rpm.

The chairs, with multiple electrical settings, heated and ventilated, are well wrapped and comfortable. Finally, the trunk volume is victim of the positioning of the battery and even more the electric motor for the 4 × 4 version.

Unpublished motorization in 4 × 2 and 4 × 4

The UX 250h is equipped with a hybrid system including a new 152-hp Atkinson 2-liter petrol engine and an 80 kW (109 hp) electric motor, both of which operate on the front axle, while the 4-wheel drive version (+1,500 €) receives an electric motor of 5.3 kW (7 ch) to animate the rear train, only when needed and up to 70 km / h. This explains that the total power is 184 hp, and 177 km / h maximum speed, for 4 × 2 as for 4 × 4, but the latter offers a more neutral behavior in the sequences of turns, exfoliating more easily a start of understeer and, of course, better traction on snow or dirt roads. In return, his slight excess weight of thirty kilos makes him lose 2 tenth in acceleration on the 0 to 100 km/h (8”7),

Several driving modes

The start is always on the electric motor and the UX 250h can drive in town for nearly 2 km. Then the heat engine takes over smoothly while charging the nickel-hydride battery pack. The speed at which the hybrid system can shut down the gasoline engine, for example downhill, has been increased to 115 km / h. The transmission is provided by an epicyclic train, CVT style, but benefits from a sequential system in six levels by the action of paddles on the steering wheel or the central lever. It acts on the speed of the engine to stay higher or lower in the towers in the manner of a mechanical gearbox and get more nervousness or engine braking.   

The UX is also equipped with a driving mode selector that offers the choice between Normal, Eco and Sport, acting on the responsiveness of the accelerator and the firmness of the power steering. The high end adds a Sport S + with the adoption of an active suspension that modulates the damping and taring suspensions.

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