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Do you know what is great about time? Things change and evolve. When BMW initiated the premium sub-compact crossover segment with their X1 back in 2010, they opened the way for many other competitive options to come.
The newest arrival of a rival to this category is the Lexus UX, also known as an Urban Crossover.
With several rivals available, the Lexus UX has carved a unique offering. Not the most sporty, dynamic, practical or cheapest in its brat pack. Instead, the UX has taken a step back to consider the future. This vehicle oozes design thinking in every aspect of its creation. Starting with its aerodynamic design, to its energy efficient engine options that are mates to what is arguably the most sophisticated CVT gearbox money can buy.
Being a Lexus, you can expect a beautifully built car that’s designed to last. Quality oozes from both its expressive exterior and interior design language. Everything works well: open and closing, switching and clicking to tapping and twisting. It is well-honed.
Refinement abounds. Craftsmanship is tactile; form and function harmonized. The UX is an ergonomic winner.
Being a premium crossover that’s aimed at a well-heeled individual who enjoys tech, the UX is very well equipped. From superficial niceties like AppleCar Play to a highly advanced touchpad infotainment system. Be warned, it takes concentration and effort to master the system. Then there is the very important aspect of safety and the technology that is related. Again, the UX is endowed handsomely in this department. The list is vast. Suffice to say that the all-seeing-eye has your back and every well-recognized safety aid is part of the premium package - as standard.
The UX is offered with two engine choices: a 200 model, which features a 2.0-l four-cylinder petrol motor with 126 kW and 205 Nm of torque and mated with a CVT gearbox. This model is front wheel driven. Expect frugal fuel consumption figures of around 6.5L/100km. This model is available as an entry-level EX grade and the range-topping, F Sport.
The second engine choice is the 250h, powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine that works in conjunction with 2 electric motor-generators to produce total outputs of 135 kW and 180 Nm of torque. I was the lucky guy who got to review the UX 250h. Over my time with the crossover, I spent most of the time in dense urban conditions and recorded a very impressive fuel consumption of 6.0L/100km.
What impresses most about this excellent crossover is its integration of technology that has created a highly refined vehicle that is both brisk in performance; agile while remaining relaxed; cosseted while remaining alive. Best of all: its hybrid combination allows for a unique experience that is also frugal to run.
Lexus is leaving the brats in the pack to do their thing – who has the most status, who is the fastest and most practical. The UX is the crossover for those less interested in herd mentality. Are you an individual who thinks out the box? Then consider the UX.
Audi Q2/Q3, BMW X1/X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Jaguar E-Pace, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and Volvo XC40.
UX 200 EX - R599 000
UX 250h SE - R699 000
UX200 F Sport - R726 200
Service and warranty
The Lexus UX is sold with a 7-year/105 000 km warranty and a 7-year/105 000 km maintenance plan.
UX 250h SE - R699 000
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