The Lexus UX is urban jungle material

Lexus introduced the UX crossover in the South African market in 2019, coming with a gentle ride, high manoeuvrability, and excellent fuel economy. Primarily focused on urban explorers, this crossover competes with Audi Q3, BMW X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40. A few things that hold back its supreme status include obtuse infotainment controls and subpar cargo capacity.

The 2022 Lexus UX crossover is available in three variants – base EX, mid-level SE, and range-topping F Sport. All variants are powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine assisted by an electric motor, generating 135kW and 180Nm of torque. The engine mates to an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variant Transmission (ECVT) powering the front wheels only.

The automaker claims it can hit 100km/h from a standstill position in 8.5 seconds and top out at 177 km/h. The company estimated fuel economy is 4.5l/100km, which is very impressive for an urban crossover.

The test drives confirm lag-free power delivery with no power pauses. While the uphill drives aren’t very lively, the overall propulsion feels refined, smooth, and silent. The 2022 UX is an urban vehicle and doesn’t feature any off-road-focused goodies that would enable you to explore the beaten paths. With 160mm ground clearance, FWD, and low-profile tyres, the UX crossover screams it can only conquer the urban jungle.

However, the F Sport drives better than others do in the range, courtesy of Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) featuring special springs, stabiliser bars, and a rear performance damper that improves handling and dynamic performance.

The 2022 Lexus UX Hybrid features standard LED headlamps with L-shaped daytime running lights, aero stabilizing rear light, a rear spoiler, roof rails, and 18-inch alloy wheels. However, the flagship F-Sport gets a unique grille design with a vertical mesh pattern and reshaped front and rear bumpers. While Lexus offers nine colour choices for the UX, the White Nova and Poseidon Blue are exclusive for the F-Sport.

The interior boasts a 7-inch display with a touchpad (F-Sport has an 8-inch TFT), a seven-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, USB-C ports, Bluetooth, power-adjustable front seats, a rear-view camera, and new digital key functionality, allowing you to open the crossover with your smartphone.

The F-Sport model comes with some premium goodies such as distinctive F Sport front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, aluminium pedals, and a digital instrument meter.

Although the UX crossover offers plenty of space inside for passengers, the boot space isn’t very generous at 265 litres, with no spare wheel.

For improved safety, consider the UX F Sport Hybrid that comes equipped with eight airbags, adaptive cruise control, pre-crash system, blind-spot monitor, lane keep assist with lane departure alert with steering assist, and LED adaptive high-bean system. 

Luxury doesn’t come cheap; the 2022 Lexus UX 250h EX demands R775,200 at least. The SE and F Sport go for R857,200 and R910,000, respectively. All the UX models come with 7-years or 105,000 km (whichever occurs first) standard warranty. (Prices correct at time of publication.)

Do you love reading about the cars available on South Africa’s roads? Be sure to check out the Reviews section of our blog. Every month we review two different car models. Click here to check it out.

Please note the imagery supplied in this blog was taken off

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