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Experience Brave Design – Lexus UX 300e

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ten second review

Since its launch in 2020, the first Lexus EV, the UX 300e, has been hampered by its limited range. But with a new battery offering up to 280 miles between charges, it’s a much better place to reward thoughtful buyers who are ready to think a little more laterally. , there are cheaper all-electric models, some of which offer even greater range. But the all-electric mileage you get here is probably good enough for most suburban users, and there are surprisingly few compromises when it comes to interior packaging and a very high-quality feel.

Background

Lexus has been a pioneer in vehicle electrification since the introduction of the RX 400h in 2005, but dating back to 2020, this UX 300e model was the brand’s first battery electric vehicle. It was based on the all-electric version of the Toyota C-HR offered exclusively in China and was the first of many production vehicles the brand decided to build under the ‘Lexus Electrified’ banner. .

Having built more than 1.6 million electric self-charging hybrid vehicles in the last 15 years, it was certainly well positioned to make EVs. This means groundbreaking Lexus technologies such as power control units, battery management systems and electric motors have been tried and tested over millions of miles. But the UX300e, on his early 54.3kWh battery, could only go 196 miles on a single charge, making it easy for any rival in its class to go farther. So his 72.8kWh version of this car you’re looking at here is the resulting upgrade.

driving experience

Changing the size from a 54.3kWh battery to a 72.8kWh battery does not increase power. It remains rated at 201bhp. But of course, with the UX300e on 17-inch wheels, the range is significantly increased, from just 196 total miles before, to up to 280 miles. Lexus also took the opportunity to incorporate some engineering changes. These include tweaks to steering and shock absorber settings to sharpen dynamic performance and additional spot welds increase body stiffness.

Chief Engineer Takashi Watanabe and his team seemingly designed this car with driving fun in mind, building inherently strong chassis stiffness and redeveloping the standard UX steering and suspension. To balance the EV powertrain, additional braces have been added and the damping of the shock absorbers optimized to better match the specific dynamics and extra weight of a fully electric vehicle.

design and build

Lexus is one brand where buyers of full EV models want their cars to look as “normal” as possible. So the visual changes that distinguish this his UX 300e model from the regular his UX 250h self-charging hybrid showroom stable are minimal. There is a subtly revised version of this model’s “significant” radiator grille, special 17-inch “aero-ventilating” alloy wheels, different badging work and a more refined front bumper with smaller air intakes.

Inside, specific UX 300e features are even harder to find, limited to a bespoke auto gear selector and a few EV-specific displays for this crossover’s digital instrument binnacle and its center stack infotainment screen. I’m here. Depending on the equipment grade, models are equipped with an 8-inch (Lexus Link connect) or 12.3-inch (Lexus Link Pro) center display, and touchscreen technology replaces the previous trackpad controls. The design, which is based on the Japanese architectural concept of a “porch” that seamlessly connects the inside and outside of a building, has a very luxurious feel, just like the UX.

Market and model

Now we have to consider spending well over £45,000 on the UX 300e. Customers can also specify one of his two option packs, ‘Premium Plus’ and ‘Takumi’. All of this is a reminder that full EVs are still an expensive purchase, even in the compact segment. Still, there are quite a few kits available for that.

Key standard features include the latest generation Lexus Safety System+ package. This now includes Intersection Turning Assist for safe left and right turns across traffic at intersections. Emergency Steering Assist helps the driver steer around obstacles without straying from the lane. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses curve speed reduction, which automatically adjusts vehicle speed to the radius of the road bend.

Bi-LED headlights with automatic high beams, power-adjustable heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera, illuminated entry, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), power steering wheel and much more. It has been. adjustment, automatic wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels, aluminum roof rails.

cost of ownership

As I told you before, the WLTP mileage quoted here is now 280 miles, which is 40% better than what was possible from the old 54.3kWh.

The available range can be maximized by actively using the ‘Drive Mode Select’ feature, which can manage smooth acceleration and deceleration. The latter variable can be controlled using the steering wheel paddle shifters that can be used to scroll through four levels of deceleration recuperation. Of course, the new 72.8kWh battery will take longer to charge. For reference, an old small battery with an AC (200V/30A) 7kW garage wallbox took 8 hours to charge. I was also able to charge from 0 to 80% in 52 minutes with an old battery at a DC public fast charging point.

Using the provided LexusLink app, UX 300e users can not only check battery charge and mileage, but also schedule charging according to when the vehicle is expected to be driven next and when energy prices are low. You can set the. Control your car’s climate.

summary

Other rivals can offer greater range. But otherwise, there’s a lot to like here. It’s all very Lexus. So, if you like this brand and want a compact EV crossover, you’ll probably love this car.

summary of facts

Car: Lexus UX300e

Price: £47,495 – £57,095

Category: Full Electric

Insurance Group: TBC

WLTP electric mileage: 250 miles

Performance: 0-62mph 7.5s / Top Speed ​​100mph

Boot capacity: [litres] 367

Will it fit in your garage?: length/width/height 4495/1840/1540 mm



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