Lexus UX 300e review

Lexus UX 300e review

Lexus was a part-electrification pioneer when it launched the RX400h self-charging hybrid SUV way back in 2004.

However, it’s taken until now for the premium car maker to bring its first all-electric vehicle – the UX 300e – to market.

Consequently, it’s a little late to the party, joining the likes of the similarly sized Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric and Peugeot e-2008, to name but a few.

Lexus UX 300e review

Starting at £41,745, the Lexus has an official range just shy of 200 miles (190-196 miles, depending on the wheel size) and looks much the same as its hybrid sibling (priced from £29,955).

“Compact, classy, comfortable and economical, it’s engaging to drive, distinctive and oozes badge appeal,” was our conclusion when we reviewed the regular UX (Urban Crossover) in 2019.

In fact, our only gripes were the CVT gearbox (short doses of uncomfortably high revs on hard acceleration) and the infotainment screen which is accessed via a fiddly touchpad down beside the gear selector.

Lexus UX 300e review

The infotainment system is much the same in the UX 300e, but going all electric means there’s no need for a CVT because it’s a one-speed like all EVs, so the new model is a smoother operator.

For now there’s just one power option and three trims levels. A 201bhp e-motor and 54.3kW battery pack combine to power the front wheels and it’s good for a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.5 seconds.

The UX 300e can be fully charged at home in just over eight hours or via a 50KW public charger (up to 80%) in as little as 50 minutes.

Lexus UX 300e review

Naturally, it’s also (modestly) charged on the move via regenerative braking (the levels are controlled via steering wheel paddle shifters) which converts much of the energy lost while decelerating back into stored energy in the car’s battery.

Talking of charge, we found the UX’s real world range to be closer to 170 miles, though this figure will always depend on driving style, terrain, whether you use items such as the heater and the outside temperature.

To look at, the sleek electric UX is definitely one of the most stylish compact SUVs available.

Lexus UX 300e review

In fact, it looks like no other car in its class with bold, sculpted lines, a full-width rear lightbar, roof spoiler and that unmistakable Lexus mesh front grille.

Slightly lower than most competitors and sporting a coupe-like profile, it’s full of innovative features including wheel arch mouldings which not only protect the bodywork, but also have a secondary aerodynamic function, just like the rear lights and the special alloy wheels.

Inside, it oozes class. There’s plenty of room up front, though it’s not as spacious in the rear as some rivals, no is there much space to stick your feet under the front seats, thanks to the batteries below.

Lexus UX 300e review

Luggage capacity is a useful 367 litres (more than the hybrid UX) expanding to 1,278 litres with the rear seats folded.

The cabin itself is stylish, beautifully finished and very Lexus with superb attention to detail. Up front it’s very driver-centric with the instrument panel, switchgear and infotainment screen subtly angled away from the passenger.

Despite its batteries, the UX 300e feels light on the road and even swifter than the official acceleration figures suggest. In fact, in the wet, the traction control system struggles to stop the front wheels spinning if you really go for it.

Lexus UX 300e review

There is a Sport mode, but the difference isn’t that dramatic, and while body control in faster corners is fairly good, the overwhelming sensation is one of comfort and refinement, which again, is very Lexus.

Like many electric cars, the brakes aren’t massively responsive, though the steering is light, making it easy to drive around town.

The 300e is packed with safety and driver assistance systems, and when the hybrid UX was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 it achieved a maximum score of five stars.

Lexus UX 300e review

And for extra peace of mind, it comes with the standard Lexus three-year/60,000 mile manufacturer warranty for the car, plus an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

Perhaps the 300e’s biggest challenge is its price point and range. For instance, it costs significantly more than the e-Niro and Kona Electric (which both have a range closer to 300 miles) and is even nudging the bigger Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model 3.

Verdict: Refined, comfortable and offering a premium experience, the all-electric Lexus UX 300e is a class act. With a range best suited to urban ownership, it’s easy to drive and stands out from the crowd, but it’s also up against some serious competition.

Renault’s drive for clean school air

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

More than half of drivers would be willing to take a different route on their regular commute, if it meant avoiding and reducing congestion outside schools, claims new data.

This congestion, which leads to vehicles sitting with their engines running (also known as idling), is a key contributor to poor air quality – and there are more than 8,500 schools, nurseries and colleges in England, Scotland and Wales located in areas with dangerously high levels of pollution.

The findings, which form the latest part of Renault’s ongoing “Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” campaign, also revealed that a third of motorists (37%) said they know of a different route which doesn’t involve driving by a school, while 39% said the reason for not driving a different way to avoid a school was because they do a set route.

Despite the improvement in air quality that could be achieved through such a detour, 62% of drivers who had an alternate route to avoid a school said they don’t take it as it adds more time to their journey.

“Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” 

An idling engine contributes the equivalent of 150 party balloons-worth of emissions unnecessarily into the atmosphere every minute.

Renault found idling during the school drop-off and pick-up is more common in urban areas – with 50.1% admitting to doing it – compared to 12% in rural locations. More than 28% of people of those who admitted to idling said they leave their engines running for 6-10 minutes.

Renault's drive for clean school air

Renault is a pioneer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles and is now Europe’s number one manufacturer for electric cars and vans.

In total, it sold more than 115,000 EVs across the continent in 2020, with the Zoe E-Tech 100% electric becoming the best-selling electric car (sales of more than 100,000).

It has broadened its electrified offering further to include the Renault Captur and Mégane Sport Tourer E-Tech plug-in hybrids as well as the Clio, Captur and All-New Arkana E-Tech hybrid.

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Jaguar I-Pace crowned “best new car”

Home / Auto News / Jaguar I-Pace crowned “best new car”

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1 day ago
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The all-electric Jaguar I-Pace has been named New Car of the Year at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021.

The awards are decided by real car owners, (148,000 voted) and trophies went to more than 20 new cars .

Owners were asked to rate their cars according to 16 different criteria, from reliability and performance to appearance and running costs, as well as their overall satisfaction and how likely they would be to recommend it to others. Auto Trader used this data to determine the finalists and the ultimate winners of each category.

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021 – the winners

  • New Car of the Year – Jaguar I-Pace
  • Best Car for Families – Tesla Model 3
  • Best Car for New Drivers – Renault Zoe
  • Best Value New Car – MG ZS
  • Best Car for Long Distances – Hyundai Tucson
  • Most Fun to Drive – MINI Hatch
  • Best Car for City Drivers – Renault Captur
  • Best Car for Dog Owners – MG ZS
  • Best 7-Seater Car – Mercedes-Benz GLE Class
  • Best Car for Towing – Volkswagen Touareg
  • Most Loved Car – Ford Puma
  • Best Hybrid – BMW 3 Series
  • Best Value Electric Car – Kia Soul
  • Best Premium Electric Car – Polestar 2
  • Most Loved Brand – Porsche
  • Most Reliable Brand – Toyota
  • Car brand with the best tech – BMW
  • Best Value Brand – Dacia
  • Best Luxury Car – Mercedes-Benz G Class
  • The Rory Reid Award – Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
  • The Erin Baker Award – Peugeot e-208

“With nearly 150,000 genuine car buyers contributing to this year’s judging process, our awards provide the industry with a very accurate measure of consumer satisfaction,” said Auto Trader’s commercial director Ian Plummer.

“They also reflect changing consumer attitudes and trends, not least with a record number of electric vehicles making it on to this year’s winners’ list.”

Tags auto trader Auto Trader New Car Awards Electric Car electric vehicle EV Jaguar Jaguar I-Pace

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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One-off multi-coloured Bentley makes diversity statement

Unifying Spur - one-off Bentley Flying Spur celebrates diveristy

Bentley Motors has unveiled a uniquely-designed Flying Spur to highlight its aim to become the most diverse luxury car manufacturer.

Dubbed the ‘Unifying Spur’, the car has been wrapped in a design capturing the themes of love, progress and unity.

As European Diversity month draws to a close, and Pride celebrations begin around the world, Bentley has set itself a target of increasing diversity in management to 30% by 2025.

Unifying Spur - one-off Bentley Flying Spur celebrates diveristy

Bentley challenged its design team to create an automotive artwork that celebrates diversity in all its forms.

Designer Rich Morris, who paints and sculpts in his spare time, created a piece of four-wheeled art using the nine colours of the Progress flag.

His design joins the words “Love is Love” through a single, unbroken line, that traces faces, dancing figures and shapes – representing the unifying power of humanity, regardless of race, creed or sexuality.

Unifying Spur - one-off Bentley Flying Spur celebrates diveristy

“We know that diversity drives success, by bringing a greater range of experience, creativity as well as inclusion allows co-operation to play in business strategy, innovation and decision-making,” said Bentley’s Dr Astrid Fontaine.

“We also want our our business to reflect our global customer base and most importantly of all, to ensure that we all work in an environment where everyone feels safe to bring their true self to work and valued for who they are and what they can do.

“For us this means ensuring there are colleagues from all walks of life in our management structure.”

The 101-year old company is going through unparalleled change on its journey towards a climate-positive future.

In 2020, it announced its Beyond100 strategy with the aim of becoming a global leader in sustainable luxury mobility, which will see the brand reinvent every aspect of its business.

This also includes switching the model range to offer exclusively plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles by 2026, and fully electric vehicles only by 2030.

Nissan Ariya laps up the Monte Carlo attention

Home / Auto News / Nissan Ariya laps up the Monte Carlo attention

Gareth Herincx

1 week ago
Auto News

The all-new, all-electric Nissan Ariya has made its public driving debut on the iconic Circuit de Monaco in the glamorous French Riviera.

The stunning coupe-crossover’s sleek design was perfectly complemented by the spectacular Formula E street circuit.

“Ariya’s public driving in the streets of Monaco is a great way to witness the capabilities of our e-4ORCE technology,” said Nissan’s Arnaud Charpentier.

“Ariya is the epitome of Nissan’s innovation in electric mobility and this event marks a defining moment in the next chapter of Nissan’s EV journey.”

Nissan’s first electric 4×4 comes with cutting-edge looks, up to 310 miles of range and serious performance in top-of-the-range trim (0-62mph in 5.1 seconds).

With a stylish, minimalistic interior packed with tech (two 12.3-inch screen stretched across the dashboard), it’s expected to be priced around the £40,000 mark.

Tags Circuit de Monaco electric vehicle EV Monte Carlo Nissan Ariya Nissan Ariya in Monaco zero emissions

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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