New Lexus UX 300e vs new Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric: practicality

Both of these family SUVs promise to combine zero emissions with luxury. But which should you choose: the first ever fully electric Lexus or its equally fresh-faced rival from Volvo?...

Lexus UX300e 2021 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Tall passengers and drivers will be comfortable up front in both cars, but it’s not such a success story in the back of the Lexus UX 300e. Its rear seats are set slightly higher than in the hybrid UX model (to accommodate the battery beneath the floor) – and the latter was already cramped by family SUV standards. Sure, a couple of average-sized adults will be okay back there, but it’s not spacious by any stretch and taller passengers will be tight for head and leg room.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is unchanged inside compared with its petrol siblings and offers more spacious rear seats than the UX, as well as better access, thanks to wider door apertures and higher-set seats.

Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge 2021 rear seats

The UX doesn’t really fare any better when it comes to boot space. It does have a usefully bigger boot than the UX hybrid, but that’s not saying much. There’s shallow storage under the floor for cables, but it has only just enough room for a chunky buggy in the boot itself and the load lip is high.

The XC40’s bigger, deeper boot is far more practical. And unlike in the UX, there’s a space under the XC40’s bonnet that’s ideal for storing cables.


Boot space

Lexus UX 300e

Lexus UX300e 2021 boot

Boot 367-na litres Suitcases 4


Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric

Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge 2021 boot

Boot 414-1290 litres (front 31 litres) Suitcases 7


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