Driven: Lexus UX 250h EX

Kelly Fisher recently got to grips with the latest Lexus UX and had this to say;

Lexus recently added the EX specced UX to it’s lineup. It’s difficult to meet a modern Lexus that I don’t like, so I was eager to jump straight in and experience this Japanese compact SUV.

What is it?

The Lexus UX 250h is a 2.2-litre petrol-electric hybrid vehicle. In this EX guise, it’s the entry level version of Lexus’s hybrid compact SUV but don’t let the words “entry level” fool you. It’s comes generously specced with items such as electrically adjustable and heated seats at the front, rear parking sensors and a rear camera, an infotainment system that leaves you wanting very little and a touch pad system to the left of the gear lever that gives you access to all the car’s features. Being right-handed means that I could quite get accustomed to the system under my left hand, but it just takes some living with to get fully acquainted with.

How does it look? 

As with many Lexus vehicles these days, the UX is very appealing to the eye. Sharp lines that look at they’ve been carved with a samurai sword (something my husband would say), a sloping roofline, narrow taillights and a large menacing nose certainly don’t scream “hybrid”. Instead, these features make the UX look sexy, shapely and sporty.

What about living with it? 

Well now, this was fun. Aside from the usual things to mention here such as the fact that it’s practical for everyday tasks and can take you from home to the shops without burning fuel, it’s also fun to live with because a hybrid always suprises people on the outside. South Africa is yet to mass-adapt to a hybrid lifestyle. I could name many reasons for this including social and economic, but this is not the forum for that conversation. Because we’re so unfamiliar with hybrids, having one start up and move off right in front of us without a peep is still somewhat startling for onlookers and fun for the driver. Navigating a parking lot full of slow walkers is always entertaining in a hybrid.

How does it go? 

Quietly into the night if you want it to. There’s a naturally aspired petrol unit under the bonnet that delivers 107kW and 180 N.m. with the electric motor, the power increases to 135kw. The electric motor is the default setting, of course, with the petrol unit kicking in when needed. But if you’re just popping to the shops, up the road or a out town, moderate driving means you could easily get away with just using what the electric motor gives you. Lexus claims a fuel economy figure of 4.5-litres/100km combined.

Lexus UX 250h EX

On the road, the Lexus is quick and nimble. Dynamically, there’s a lot to love with a sporty feel when needed, while also being a comfortable ride for the whole family.  A comfortable cruiser, I’d say.

There’s a CVT sending drive the wheels. Did I hear you gasp? A CVT?! “How very dare they?!”, I hear you utter. Well, CVTs have come a long way and I didn’t once complain about it.

Should you buy one? 

If you’re in the market for a hybrid vehicle and this is in your budget, then yes, consider it for sure. It’s great to look at, lovely to drive and will help you save on fuel costs in the long run. There isn’t much competition in this segment when it comes to hybrid vehicles.

Quick stats: Lexus UX 250h EX (2020)

Price: R690 300 (August 2020)

Engine: 2.0 Petrol-electric Hybrid

Gearbox: CVT

0 to 100 kph: 8.5 sec

Fuel economy: 4.5 L/100 km (claimed)

Power/Torque: 135 kW/180 Nm

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