Lexus UX 300e

Premium Pack

Lexus UX 300e EV, 2021, overhead
Lexus UX 300e EV, 2021, front
Lexus UX 300e EV, 2021, rear
Lexus UX 300e EV, 2021, interior
Lexus UX 300e EV, 2021, boot
Lexus UX 300e EV, 2021, side

LEXUS is rightly known for turning out high quality, ultra-reliable and well engineered prestige models.

And the latest UX crossover is no exception when it comes to the way it drives, looks and how it performs. But there's a side to it that may cause some potential buyers to have reservations.

The new all electric version has a range that will only take you a 196miles, and during the week's test I found it impossible to charge it beyond 170 miles, severely limiting its usability as an all-purpose family express if you hope to cover longer distances.

What's more, when the heater was on and the wipers going - pretty necessary on damp, cold winter mornings - the range guide slumped at an alarming rate. So I found myself plugging it in most nights to ensure I had sufficient miles in the ‘tank'.

Mind you, Lexus researchers discovered most owners cover less than 30 miles a day, so this limitation is unlikely to become a problem to everyone.

The UX is a supremely decent drive with an immediate and ultra-smooth power supply fed through its single gear. Steering wheel paddles are provided to enhance the experience but are seldom required, such is the abundant torque.

Most pure EVs are quiet but the UX is among the most silent, partly because of its solidity and strength and also thanks to excellent sound insulation. You really have to keep a careful eye on the speed because it creeps up quickly and almost unnoticeably.

Despite the elevated stance and reasonable proportions, cabin space is about average for the class. Those in the front fare better with ample legroom and a beautiful environment that emits a real feeling of quality and class.

Seats are well contoured and hugely comfortable with generous electric adjustment. The steering wheel can also be moved electrically in and out, and up and down. Rear seat occupants may find their leg space more restricted although headroom is perfectly sufficient for most.

A hump in the floor centrally prevents it from being regarded as a comfortable five seater.

Luggage room is about what you'd expect from a mid-size saloon rather than an SUV or crossover but there's enough space for a couple of suitcases and a squashy bag or two, though the platform is relatively high.

With 201bhp on tap, it's hardly surprising that the UX is nimble. In fact, it feels quicker than its stats of 0 to 62mph in 7.5 seconds suggest. This is mainly because of the immediacy of the electric power and the considerable torque readily available. Top speed is just under 100mph - probably of only academic interest for most.

Stamp on the accelerator is damp or greasy conditions, and the traction control can intervene to prevent wheel spin as the power is fed in. The ride is high quality with good vertical damping and just enough body roll to prevent bumps jarring the passengers.

Steering, like most SUVs and high-riders, is on the light side and somewhat numb.

FAST FACTS

Lexus UX 300e Premium Pack

Price: £45,995

Mechanical: 201bhp, 150kW electric motors driving two wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 99mph

0-62mph: 7.5sec

Combined MPG: 196 miles

Insurance Group: 38

C02 emissions: 0g/km

Bik rating: 1%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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