By Khulekani Dumisa
The world is slowly but surely moving towards electric vehicles. Whilst some may lambast the slow pace, they may take in comfort that brands like Lexus have been championing the middle way in the form of hybrids. These make up a significant number of Lexus vehicles sold by Lexus. The local market is no exception. A fair amount of Lexus’ sold are hybrid. To keep the hybrid momentum going, Lexus has introduced the Lexus UX 250h EX which becomes the second hybrid in the UX range and the most affordable Lexus hybrid model.
Looks and practicality
The UX offers many standard features that include LED daytime running lights and headlights, park distance control with a reverse camera, push start system, leather seats and heated and folding side mirrors.
Inside, a new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto has been introduced. Overall the quality of the interior is of top quality. There are barely any parts which could be described as not belonging in there. The interior is also well executed from a design point of view. There is also adequate space for four adults. Three adults will be okay at the back for short trips whereas two teenagers and a small child will be good for a long drive. The only let down is the compromised boot space. The boot space is actually smaller than that which you would get in some competitors.
The UX 250h rides on standard 18-inch aluminum alloy aero-ventilating wheels.
Engine and drive
The UX 250h EX offers the same powertrain as the ES model. The EX makes total system output of 135 kW with its 2.0-litre petrol engine alone delivering 107kW and 180Nm, equating to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.5 seconds, topped off by a maximum speed of 177 km/h. Lexus claims that it produces fuel economy figures of 4.5-litres/100km combined.
The UX impresses with its comfort levels. The interior is quiet and this is driven home when the car defaults to hybrid mode and you do not hear anything from the engine bay. The drive cannot be described as entertaining but the UX is not for that. It is a luxurious city car and it does this well. It soaks up road imperfections well and offers a decent ride quality.
The urban SUV really impresses with a lot of standard features, build quality, comfort and refined ride quality. The introduction of an infotainment system with AppleCar Play and Android Auto is to be welcomed but the hypersensitive Lexus trackpad lets it down as you scroll through menus. The boot space is also somewhat limited and will hardly be good for two medium sized suit cases plus one or two soft bags. Being a hybrid, the car shines in the fuel consumption arena. With mostly city driving during our test period, we managed a decent 5,3l/100km (against a claimed 4,5l/100km) without breaking sweat. The CVT transmission is decent with the occasional drone sound in hurried situations.
The hybrid Lexus UX 250h EX is priced from R690,300.
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