The differences in facelifts are very small externally (photo: Keinan Cohen)
comfort, multimedia update, fuel consumption
We didn't like:
noise insulation, space, gearbox
Only 5 years have passed since the current Lexus UX was introduced, 5 years can be in the blink of an eye in certain aspects or a different world Completely in others, in regards to the segment in which it competes - the second answer is more accurate in describing the situation.
In 2018, a few hundreds of electric vehicles were sold in Israel out of a limited supply, in 2019 this jumped to 613, in 2020 to 1,570, in 2021 we have already passed the 10,000 units mark and you already know the rest.
These changes did not pass by the category in which the Lexus UX competes, which boasted the green image of the group then, today we see vehicles such as DS3 Crossback, BMW iX1, Audi Q4 Itron, Volvo C40 and XC40, Mercedes EQA and more.
Yes, it also has an electric version, but with 83 pieces in 2022, it seems we're not the only ones who haven't flown it.
So Lexus gave the UX a facelift, both because that's what they do and because in a category that is changing and with electric alternatives that are starting to take up more and more volume - improving the offer is the most requested thing.
The quality of the materials and assembly are very good, as expected from Lexus (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
You have to stand really close next to a renewed UX and the one that preceded it to stand for the changes in design.
Slightly different front lighting units and integrated bumpers with fog lights, that's more or less what comes up when comparing the photos.
It's still a handsome little crossover, with a very recognizable "Lexus" design of angular lines.
Today as then, I wonder to what extent the wheel arches in this black plastic serve the message of "luxury", because no one buys the story of "terrain".
Abroad, the model also goes around with body-colored wheel arches and a more harmonious look. It has a low and wide stance that somewhat blurs the line between a "crossover" and a type of raised hatchback. Passenger compartment: the general appearance of the passenger compartment remains the same. That is, good quality
materials And the assembly level is excellent, the human engineering is simple and therefore easily understood and the orientation and control here are done in a very short period of time. The driving position is not much higher than other cars around.
The most significant change here is what happens in the central console.
The previous screen (10.3 inches) is replaced by a 12-inch one that now also serves as a touch screen, replacing the terrible control surface it had before.
There are some other small changes in the structure of the console, such as the two USB-C sockets that have been added, moving the seat heating buttons from the climate control area to near the gear selector, where the touch pad used to be - we prefer more storage compartments that are here sparingly, oh, and the CD player (yes, there was one here such in the past) also disappeared.
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When the base is a C-HR, there is limited space for those sitting in the back (Photo: Kenan Cohen)
The back seat was not and is not one of the vehicle's strong points.
The 2.64 meter wheelbase that it inherits from the C-HR on which it is based is not something you can get too much out of.
The change in the window line allows it to offer better outward visibility than the C-HR.
As before, there are air conditioning ports and two charging sockets.
With 438 liters in the trunk, there is no shortage of useful volume for the family.
He still has a high charge threshold.
The test car in the highest Takumi finish level on offer includes heated seats, leather upholstery, electric adjustment for the front seats, electric steering wheel adjustment, audio system with 10 speakers, electric opening for the trunk, sunroof and more.
The safety equipment includes lane departure correction, automatic braking even in reverse, adaptive cruise control, vehicle warning in a "dead zone" (only on the high trim level), speed sign recognition and a system to prevent children from forgetting.
Abroad it comes with wheel arches in the color of the body (photo: Keinan Cohen)
There is no change in the drive system of the UX itself.
A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor with a combined power of 184 hp. They go through a continuous transmission to the front wheels. It is not a sports car, but the business works efficiently and the vehicle even gives a feeling of agility and lacks drive even on long climbs or when you need to take detours.
Moving it to "Sport" mode from the switch above the dashboard tightens the throttle response to pressing. The problem arises with its noise, when dragging the engine to a relatively high rpm, which happens all the time due to the continuously variable transmission.
Noise isolation is less impressive than expected in a Lexus.
The hybrid drive unit is still very efficient both in its electric function and in the smooth combination with the gasoline engine, but it is no longer the last word and its new (fifth) generation is already spinning under the hoods of newer Toyotas (Corolla, Corolla Cross and the new Prius).
We finished the test days, which as usual included several hundred kilometers on a driving route that combines highways, an urban section and a dynamic section, with a fuel consumption of 15 km per liter. Very good.
17-inch rims give it a few more points in ride comfort (photo: Keinan Cohen)
Comfort and handling:
Lexus UX goes against the grain when it comes to tires and rims.
It wears 17-inch wheels with a relatively relaxed cut and, together with a relatively soft shock absorber calibration, you get a very good ride comfort in terms of damping bumps and asphalt waves.
Except for those moments of repulsion in the gasoline engine, the noise insulation also gets a very good score.
Remember the mention of his low and wide look?
So it turns out that on the winding road it has an advantage.
The road behavior is very good, there is plenty of grip and it doesn't do that thing of excessive roll angles that crossovers have.
And again the story of the 17" rims proves that with good tires (Bridgestone Toranza in his case) it is possible and worthwhile to let go of the stupid pose of big rims and a low cut in the tires.
Despite a direct and precise steering wheel, it doesn't connect to something fun to drive, the address among other things is the continuous gearbox, the power always comes half a second after you need it.
The transition to a large touch screen is the most significant upgrade in the passenger cabin (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
The bottom line
Since it was introduced, the UX is alongside the NX at the top of the manufacturer's best-selling models in Israel.
No surprise in one of the crowded and sought-after categories of small luxury crossovers, at the time it was exactly what was missing from its product line.
Then even today, it is a model that manages to humble its popular roots well and gives the shine of a luxury brand to a small car.
Then and today, he also manages to play on the price card and the green slot when he is cheaper than most of his direct competitors.
The changes in the passenger compartment already allow it to upgrade the previous grade it received.
But remember the market that changed?
So there's his challenge, for those who don't travel extraordinary distances and can consider an electric car, today there is an interesting electric offer that is very close in price to those of the UX, from the Audi Q4 Itron, through the Volvo C40 to the Tesla Model Y, which at the new pricing will be only NIS 10,000 more expensive.
The current electric version of the UX suffers from too short a range, and the new long-range version isn't here yet.
So the bottom line is, except for loyal customers (and there are many), even if it's improved, it's still a bit late.
Cheaper than the gasoline competitors, but the streetcars are already breathing down his neck (Photo: Keinan Cohen)
On the technical side: Lexus UX 250h
gasoline, electric, front
184 (combined)/19.4 (gasoline only)
0-100 acceleration (seconds):
Maximum speed (km/h):
Fuel consumption (manufacturer):
18.5 km per liter
Fuel consumption (test) ):
15 km per liter
European crash test score: 5 out of 5 stars (2019)
Lane deviation correction, automatic braking, "dead zone" vehicle warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic braking in reverse, child neglect warning
Group 3 of 15
3 years or 100 thousand km. 5 years or 100 thousand km to the hybrid system.
DS3 Crossback, Mercedes GLA, BMW X1, Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, Alfa Tonella