“The Lexus UX 300e is a refined electric SUV with respectable range”
The Lexus UX 300e is the Japanese brand’s first all-electric car. It’s somewhat surprising it’s taken so long, given that Lexus and parent company Toyota have been a pioneering force in building electrified hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and Lexus CT.
Sitting on the same basic platform as the Toyota Corolla and C-HR, the late arrival will go head-to-head against a growing number of models such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, Mazda MX-30 and Peugeot e-2008. Starting from just over £40,000 (after the Plug-in Car Grant), it also undercuts the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8, which is another premium electric SUV.
With a 53.4kWh battery pack, the UX 300e boasts a range of 196 miles and supports rapid charging at 50kW. It can be topped up from 0-80% in around 50 minutes and charged at home overnight, in just over eight hours. Those are fairly competitive figures, giving the UX 300e a range that matches the Peugeot and easily betters the MX-30.
Its quiet electric motor also accentuates the refinement we’ve come to associate with Lexus cars, while giving the UX an impressive turn of speed. It has 201bhp, front-wheel drive and a single forward gear, so 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds arrives with an effortless surge. You aren’t quite pinned back in the seat, but it feels plenty fast enough for a crossover, particularly around town.
With few changes from the standard car, the interior features plenty of quality materials and a sturdiness evidenced by a lack of any rattles or unwanted vibrations. The touchpad-controlled infotainment screen takes some getting used to, but it at least now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The UX is one of the smaller models in its class but four occupants will still be comfortable thanks to its plush seats. Surprisingly, the UX 300e also has more boot space than the Hybrid version, with 367 litres versus 320 litres. However, that’s still less space than a Volkswagen ID.3 or Nissan Leaf, so the SUV badge here is more about style than space.
It might be the brand’s first attempt at an electric car but the Lexus UX 300e gets a lot of things right. It’s smooth, good to drive and pleasant to sit in. The range-topping Takumi model is expensive but entry versions still offer a reasonable amount of kit and are better value.
Lexus has jumped straight into the EV market with a competitively-sized 54.3kWh battery. This gives the UX 300e a 196-mile range with 17-inch alloy wheels fitted – an easy victory over the underwhelming 124 miles you get from the Mazda MX-30. The Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 has a larger 75kWh battery and 260-mile range, but it’s also much more expensive.
If you need to take a longer trip, it can also be topped up pretty quickly. Lexus has included 50kW rapid charging for use at compatible public charging points, taking the car from 10 to 80% in 50 minutes. At home it can charge at a maximum of 6.6kW using a wallbox, taking it from 0 to 100% in around eight hours. AC and DC charging cables are included as standard, and the charging port is found where the fuel filler used to be, at the rear of the car.
Compared with a petrol or diesel powered rival, the UX 300e is expensive to buy outright, but Lexus estimates that owners will save around £3,000 in fuel over four years. Company-car customers will also be drawn to the electric UX by its 0% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) in 2020/21, which goes up to 1% in the following tax year. Other cost savings include nothing to pay in VED and exemption from schemes like the London Congestion Charge.
Lexus has an impressive reputation for making refined, soothing cars, and an electric powertrain has only helped the UX in this regard. It’s quick as well though, accelerating from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds thanks to its single 201bhp electric motor. Power is sent to just the front wheels, and it’s possible to spin the wheels if you aren’t smooth with the accelerator pedal.
Read more: CarBuyer
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