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The Lexus brand rates highly in customer survey reports – the brand offers a reliable and luxurious product that offers its own unique design flair.
The brand’s compact SUV, the UX, presents all these attributes and more. Recently facelifted after its initial launch in 2019, the UX offers more. It’s now available exclusively as a hybrid model, which means the brand is taking another confident step on the path to becoming carbon neutral by further lowering fuel emissions and providing a realistic entry to electrified motoring.
Lexus South Africa introduced the EX-grade (entry level) hybrid model in June last year. Fast-forward to 2021, the brand is excited to launch the F Sport model grade for UX hybrid. This brings the total range to three grades, namely the Lexus UX 250h EX, the UX 250h SE and now the newly minted UX 250h F Sport.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine alone delivers 107kW of power at 6000rpm and 180Nm of torque at 4400rpm, but when combined with the electric motor, it provides a total system output of 135kW. The F Sport is capable of dashing to 100km/h in 8.5 seconds, which is very reasonable, while fuel economy sits at a sub-6-litres/100km (while Lexus claim a 4.5-liter figure) combined.
The UX is the first Lexus to be constructed using the new Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform. A lightweight yet super-rigid structure, extremely low centre of gravity and refined suspension tuning endow it with exemplary handling agility and ride comfort, not to mention a distinctive driving character reinforced by some bespoke F Sport* fettling under the skin.
The UX F Sport has all-LED headlamps that feature L-shaped daytime running lights. Its redefined spindle grille remains an integral part of the Lexus brand as it cements its bold presence, while simultaneously differentiating itself from other Lexus SUVs.
The F Sport transformation includes an exclusive grille design, featuring a vertical mesh pattern created by individual L-shaped pieces. Several other items that strengthen the F Sport image include differentiated front and rear bumpers, jet-black trim on the front and rear mouldings as well as unique alloy wheel ornamentation. Also worth mentioning are the large fog lamp bezels with L-shaped chrome mouldings that feature the same mesh pattern as the grille.
The F Sport has a customised suspension tuning that includes specific springs and stabiliser bars, plus a rear performance damper for a more refined ride. Dynamically this can be felt with high levels of refinement and prodigious grip. It’s a fun drive, all while being very well composed.
The F Sport also rides on attractive 18-inch, five twin-spoke aluminium alloy wheels that contribute to responsiveness and handling agility.
The F Sport package comes standard with a UX-tailored version of the new high-response Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system that debuted on the Lexus LC and LS flagship coupe and sedan. The system increases damping force to minimise roll when cornering or changing lanes and reduces damping force in straight-line driving to preserve ride quality. With AVS, the vehicle’s Drive Mode Selector adds the Sport S+ mode which activates the system.
Moving indoors, the F Sport-exclusive cabin’s features include front sports seats made with a highly supportive integrated-foaming technique, which wasfirst developed for Lexus F models. I can personally attest to the Lexus brand having one of the most comfortable and supportive seats in the business.
The digitally rendered instrument meter features a novel and movable virtual ring inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. A leather-covered F Sport steering wheel, leather-trimmed shift knob, eight-inch TFT colour display, aluminium pedals and footrest round off the interior package.
All UX models are equipped with eight airbags: driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact airbags; and front to rear side curtain airbags.
The Lexus Safety System comes standard in the hybrid F Sport:
Audi Q2, BMW X2, Jaguar E-PACE, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40
Lexus UX 250h EX Hybrid R752 600
Lexus UX 250h SE Hybrid R832 200
Lexus UX 250h F Sport Hybrid R883 500
Service and warranty
The entire UX range boasts a Lexus best-in-class 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle service intervals are at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year.
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