Lexus has increased the appeal of its UX compact city SUV, one of its best-selling models in South Africa, with upgrades to the UX 250h fully self-charging hybrid range.


Image provided by Lexus South Africa

Available in three model classes and exclusively as a hybrid, all derivatives feature a new multimedia system that offers improved connectivity, faster performance and easier operation. New features include easy-to-use 12.3-inch touchscreens, an improved navigation system and the introduction of wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto (wired).

Other changes include improved and additional Lexus Safety System+ features and a new two-tone paint finish option for the UX 250h F Sport.

The new UX 250h in EX (entry level), SE and F Sport classes - all available for sale - ensure good sales of the UX model range.

Self-charging Hybrid-Electric UX 250h

The self-charging hybrid-electric UX 250h is powered by a combination of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor.

The UX comes standard as a front-wheel drive range. The Lexus UX 250h Series front-wheel drive delivers superior performance thanks to fourth-generation self-charging hybrid drive technology that delivers exhilarating driving with high-speed response and a smooth, natural acceleration feel.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine alone delivers 107 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 180 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm, but when combined with the electric motor it delivers a total system power of 135 kW.

This equates to a very commendable 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.5 seconds. However, fuel consumption draws attention - combined results of 4.5 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of just 103 g/km.

sales success

The UX is one of the top-selling Lexus models in South Africa and competes closely with the mid-size NX model. The UX is considered a true city explorer car and has captured the hearts of many younger customers and first-time buyers in the luxury segment. The UX is also the top-selling New Energy Vehicle (NEV) in the premium vehicle market, accounting for an average 26% share of the Lexus SUV lineup since launch.

The most important decision factors for UX buyers are electrified powertrains, which has been one of the motivations for marketing the UX as a pure series hybrid since 2021.

The flexibility of an SUV, the driving characteristics of a hatchback

The UX has its roots in Lexus' ambition to develop a "Creative Urban Explorer", a vehicle that offers the safe feel of a crossover/SUV and the ride quality of an upscale hatchback.

In the UX, world-class Lexus refinement and smoothness are combined with dynamic attributes that prove that driving with the ultimate SUV driving experience can still be enjoyable.

The car is based on Lexus' GA-C global architecture platform, a lightweight structure that is also exceptionally rigid, enhancing its response to driver input. The new model improves chassis performance by introducing stiffer steel tailgate reinforcement and additional weld points on the rear fascia and side members.

The 2,640mm wheelbase makes for a smooth, stable ride and spacious cabin, while the 10.4m curb turning circle makes maneuvering and parking easy. Ride and handling also benefit from the UX's low center of gravity, achieved in part by the battery's underfloor location under the rear seats of the UX 250h, as well as the use of lightweight aluminum on the side doors, fenders and hood. , and composite materials for the tailgate.

As soon as the driver is behind the wheel, the UX conveys the feeling of a dynamic luxury hatchback: despite the higher seating position, there is relatively little headroom from hip to heel, which gives the driver the feeling of being closer. Of car. solo than with other SUVs.

On the road, Lexus Drive Mode Select allows the driving experience to be tailored to the driver's conditions or preferences. Normal driving mode offers an ideal balance between driving performance and fuel consumption; ECO mode maximizes fuel economy by smoothing throttle response and moderating air conditioning operation; and Sport mode offers quicker throttle response and an improved steering feel.

The F-Sport classes

The F-Sport package comes standard with a UX version of the new highly responsive Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, which debuted on the Lexus LC and LS flagship coupe and sedan. The system increases damping force to minimize body roll when cornering or changing lanes, and reduces damping force when driving straight ahead to maintain ride quality. With AVS, the vehicle's drive mode selector adds Sport S+ mode, which activates the system.

Exclusive interior features of the F Sport cabin include front sport seats made with a highly supportive integrated foam technique first developed for Lexus F models. The digitally rendered instrument cluster features a moving virtual ring inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar . The leather-wrapped F SPORT steering wheel, leather-wrapped gear knob, 8-inch TFT color screen, aluminum pedals and footrest complete the interior package.

Lexus multimedia and connectivity

The UX's new Lexus multimedia system offers faster response, more intuitive, human-centric operation and enhanced functionality.

Depending on the trim level, all models are equipped with 12.3-inch displays, with new touchscreen technology replacing the previous trackpad control. The new displays sit 143 mm further forward in the instrument cluster, bringing them closer to the driver for more comfortable operation. They feature sharper graphics - in high definition on the 12.3-inch screen.

Significantly increased computing power means faster command responses, while always-connected cloud-based navigation is standard, providing access to real-time traffic and road information for easy trip planning.

Smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay (wireless connection) or Android Auto (wired connection) is provided as standard and, for absolute convenience, multimedia system software updates can be provided wirelessly via the DCM (communications module). data) of the vehicle.

Connectivity options include a USB-A port in the center console box for playing Hi-Res sound sources and a Type-C (front USB charging and two rear USBs).

A redesign of the center console takes advantage of the space that housed the multimedia trackpad for controls for the heated front seats. The console also gains an illuminated shelf in front of the climate control panel, with space for a large smartphone.

Internal and external audits

A new color is introduced in the cabin, namely Hazel Brown – an upholstery option available in synthetic (EX class) and genuine leather (SE). The F Sport also has three standard finishes which include White, F Black and Flare Red. The perforated leather upholstery has a fresh look with a new Kagome stitch pattern inspired by a traditional Japanese basket. The faux leather upholstery has a new crinkled sashiko effect.

The UX is available with a new exterior paint finish option, Sonic Iridium and Poseidon Blue now becoming the standard option for F-Sport models. The revised lineup also offers a wider choice of two-tone finishes, with six colors available in combination with a contrasting black roof and roof rails on F-Sport models. New two-tone colors include White Nova, Sonic Iridium, Sonic Chrome, Madder Red, Blazing Carnelian and Poseidon Blue.

UX 250h F Sport

The UX 250h F Sport now includes standard Lexus Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) performance rear shocks and front and rear performance rods (suspension struts). AVS provides continuous adjustment of damping force at each wheel and responds to signals from steering, yaw rate and linear G sensors. This results in more precise handling and chassis responsiveness, reduced body roll when cornering, and a smoother ride quality. The AVS control system has been tuned to provide a seamless transition to high damping force. It is also tuned to reduce high and mid frequency vibrations.

There's also a more precise steering feel thanks to a new rigid connection between the top of the headset mount and the front suspension mount. To maximize the benefits of this, the damper's damping force has been adjusted, improving the linear steering feel.

Lexus+ Security System

Revisions to the UX's Lexus Safety System+ improve the performance of the pre-collision system and equip the car with Intersection Turning Assist for safer left and right turns in intersection traffic and Emergency Steering Assist to assist the driver in steering, to Avoid obstacles without leaving your lane. Dynamic cruise control at all speeds adopts Curve Speed ​​Reduction, which automatically adjusts the vehicle's speed to the radius of a bend in the road.

Last but not least, there are cosmetic tweaks, including some stylistic tweaks to the darker headlights, taillights and door mirrors (with electrochromic memory for the higher specs), which come standard in black.

Pricing and service information

Lexus UX models start at R792,700 for the EX Class, R874,300 for the SE Class, R928,900 for the F Sport and R939,300 for the F Sport Bi-tone class. The entire UX range comes with a premium 7-year / 105,000 km warranty and a full maintenance plan. Vehicle maintenance intervals are set every 15,000 km, alternatively once a year. Models also come with an additional 8-year/195,000 km hybrid battery warranty.

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