By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we had the opportunity to bond with Lexus’ newest SUV, the Lexus UX. Not only is the UX Lexus’ newest SUV but it will be the entry point into the growing Lexus SUV range. Based on its pricing, the UX will most likely offer younger and new buyers a window into the Lexus offering. The Lexus UX will also go up against established rivals like the X1 and Volvo XC40.
The UX is elegantly styled on the outside and that’s from any angle that you look at it. The designers have managed to give the UX an identity of its own upfront but also blend in with the design of the Lexus range as seen with the expressive spindle grille. The good looks continue on the side where the UX has strong lines that run from the back to the front. Also prominent on the side are wheel arch mouldings that protect the body from gravel thrown up by the tyres. These also give the UX a masculine appeal whereas the overall design is feminine and elegant. At the back, the UX has a bow tie like LED light design which will have you know that you are following the UX from a mile away. The LED lights are also standard at the front. In the case of our F-Sport model, you also get F-Sport badges.
Inside, the UX 200 F Sport is packed with a lot of standard features. From a hardware perspective, these features include standard F-Sport leather seats, a generous 10 inch infotainment screen with navigation, stop/start button. From a technological perspective, you get blind spot monitors, lane keep and adaptive cruise control. This makes the car a top contender from a safety perspective.
The space in UX is best enjoyed upfront. Legroom and shoulder room is decent at the back but you’ll at best fit three children. Adults will have to be kept at two otherwise you’ll run into space issues. The boot is also on the compact side compared to competitors like XC40 and X1. The seats do fold over to extend the boot space and you have benefit of extra storage space that would typically house the spare wheel as the car employs run flats.
Engine and drive
The UX is powered by a competent 2.0 litre engine with 126kW and 205Nm. The engine makes for a good drive with a new Direct Shift-Continuously Variable Transmission. The car does suffer from a drone sound when you accelerate, this is especially noticeable at take-off or when overtaking. To eliminate the sound, you have to take it easy at take-off and generally time your overtaking manoeuvres, both of which may not always be practical. This does not compromise the drive as the steering is precise although light. The car’s handling is also dynamic with spirited performance in various driving conditions. The UX is an overall good offering and serves as a good entry into the Lexus brand.
The Lexus 200 F Sport is priced from R726,200. The price includes a best in class 7 year / 105,000 kilometre maintenance plan, and a 7/105,000 kilometre year warranty.
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