We all know and love the Lexus brand for its big SUVs, but Lexus couldn’t ignore the demand for smaller SUV/crossovers and so it’s hit this segment of the market with its brand new UX. Just launched in South Africa, this striking offering from Lexus will go up against the likes of the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

It’s all angles and sharp lines which is something we have become accustomed to when it comes to Lexus models. It will certainly turn heads, but whether these heads turn with awe or disdain remains to be seen. Either way, there is no denying that it stands out from the crowd.

The interior is far more people-pleasing. And with the generous standard spec levels on offer, it will certainly become a crowd pleaser. The base trim level, the EX, boasts heated front seats, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a reverse camera, satellite navigation, rain-sensing wipers, LED head- and taillamps, 18-inch alloy wheels and wireless smartphone charging dock. You can also expect eight airbags as standard. See what I mean? Generous!

The next up in the range is the hybrid model, the UX250h SE, and this adds things such as adaptive cruise control, genuine leather seats, and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system to name but a few. The top of the range UX200 F Sport adds the final touches with an F Sport steering wheel, adaptive variable suspension, alloy pedals and a sport S+ driving mode. It also has slightly different styling.

Under the bonnet of the UX200 EX base model sits a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 126 kW and 205 Nm of torque and has a claimed fuel consumption of 6.1l/100 km. The UX250h has a version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an electric motor. The claimed fuel consumption is a low 4.5l/100 km. The range topping F Sport features the same 2.0-litre engine as the UX200 EX.

If I had to choose a model, I would go for the 250h. The power is almost instant and the specially engineered CVT is mated perfectly to this engine. The UX ride quality is noticeably smooth and I would be quite happy to drive this in the city or on a long road trip…although the boot might not be big enough for all my bags. Practicality might be its only downside.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to the exterior colour options which sits at 12 exterior paint colours. Not to mention the five different interior colours available on the EX and hybrid models. The F Sport has three to choose from.

Lexus isn’t always a top seller so it will be interesting to see how this fairs against popular rivals such as the Q3 and X1. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you won’t go wrong with the UX, it is a truly excellent product.



Lexus UX200 EX: R599 000
Lexus UX250h SE: R699 000
Lexus UX200 F Sport: R726 600



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