What's the used Lexus UX estate like?
Foolish would be the mainstream manufacturer that doesn’t carry a family SUV in its range these days. Lexus seemed to cater pretty well for the affluent classes after a large SUV and a luxury SUV – with its NX and RX models – but it took until the arrival of this UX in 2019 before it could snap up sales in the smaller class from families eager to sample its intriguing blend of petrol-electric, hybrid-powered opulence.
It certainly looks the part. It shares the creases and eye-catching style of its larger siblings but is better proportioned. Its hybrid drive means its rivals encapsulate both petrol and diesel family SUVs, and its reputation for luxury and reliability put it firmly into the premium market sector.
On the road, the UX is smother than a diesel, although it can grow noisy when you accelerate hard, due to the workings of its CVT gearbox. There’s also a fair amount of wind and road noise at motorway speeds. It always feels solidly planted, though, even if its ride, which is comfortable most of the time, can grow crashy on larger bumps and road imperfections. The steering is light and fairly precise, while its cornering abilities, though unlikely to please a keen driver, are business-like rather than athletic. It would be fair to say that most of its rivals offer more enjoyment to the driver via more agile and nimble setups.
Inside, the driving position is excellent, and the seats, especially the sports seats in the F Sport trim, very comfortable. You sit lower than you do in some SUVs, and visibility is reasonable - all options come with a rear-view camera as standard.
You’d expect a Lexus to feel plush inside and to a certain degree the UX does, although there are one of two scratchier plastics on display than you’d find in the firm’s more expensive models. Another major sticking point, common to other Lexus models, is the UX’s infotainment system. The standard 7.0in screen is tiny by class standard, and both it and the optional 10.3in display are of low resolution next to the sharp and clear screens found in nearly every other rival. The menus are overly complicated, too, and the whole thing fiddly to use, especially on the move.
Space up front is good, but rear-seat space is very compromised. There’s less space in the back than most of its rivals. The boot is usefully square but terribly small, especially for this class of car.