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.

Lexus tests LC Convertible to its frozen limits

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto Video

Watch Lexus subject its acclaimed LC Convertible to an extreme ordeal – a 12-hour deep freeze in an industrial-scale refrigeration unit.

The sub-zero marathon was undertaken with the stunning soft-tops four-layer roof folded down, exposing the interior to the icy atmosphere. And it was followed by an immediate high-power drive around one of the UK’s most demanding test tracks, with a professional stunt driver at the wheel.

Lexus wanted to demonstrate to customers that the car’s quality and craftsmanship are more than able to endure the challenges of a harsh environment, in particular the ability of the intelligent Climate Concierge system to deliver a comfortable cabin, whatever the conditions.

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Eight of the best post-lockdown road trips

With UK road trips now possible and staycations on the agenda for the coming months, we’ve got together with Lexus to recommend some spectacular driving routes to enjoy this summer.

From Land’s End to John O’Groats, via sweeping bays, soaring cliffs and rolling fells, there are great roads to enjoy.

To provide inspiration, Lexus UK took the new LC Convertible and the LC 500 coupe for a spin in the Lake District, on Snake Pass and in the Mam Tor area, where the Lexus driving experience added to the breath-taking views.

Short but spectacular

Kendal to Keswick
Cumbria, England

Enjoy the best of the Lake District in one 38-mile drive via the A591, which runs along the banks of Windermere and Thirlmere, then the cloud-grazing Lakeland fells, through countryside that has inspired artists and writers. The village of Grasmere is perfect for a pit stop.

Cheddar Gorge
Somerset, England

See Cheddar’s soaring limestone cliffs along the twists and turns of the B3135. This 18-mile route will take you past craggy bluffs from Bridgwater to the Cheddar Gorge. Take the A372 east from Bridgwater, then the A361 north-east, before joining the B3131 and on to the B3135.

Ribblehead Viaduct
Yorkshire, England

Enjoy the beautiful Yorkshire Dales from the village of Hornby to the Ribblehead Viaduct, along the A683, A687 and B6255, encompassing wildwoodlands, pitted peaks and lush, grassy valleys. This 15-mile trip endsbeneath the famous 400-metre-high viaduct, which first carried locomotives in 1875. If you continue for another six miles on the Buttertubs Pass between Thwaite and Hawes you’ll encounter thrilling descents and hairpins.

Mid-range and magnificent

Snow Roads Scenic Route
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

You’ll see some of the Highlands’ most beautiful scenery along the A93 from Blairgowrie, which is Britain’s highest public road. Drive northwards, taking the A939 from Ballater, passing towns, crumbling castles and the Cairnwell chairlift (open all year, for skiers and hikers alike). You’ll finish this 89- mile route in charming Grantown-on-Spey.

The Atlantic Highway
Devon and Cornwall, England

One of England’s greatest coastal routes runs between Barnstaple (Devon) and Newquay (Cornwall) along the A39 and A3059, covering 75 miles of glorious beaches, dramatic clifftops and rolling surf. From Newquay you can extend the trip for a further 41 miles by following the A3075 and A30 to Land’s End, the most westerly tip of mainland Britain.

Long, adventurous trips

The Coastal Way
West Wales

The Coastal Way is 180 miles long, stretching the entire length of Cardigan Bay. You’ll encounter empty beaches and traffic-free roads with edge-of-the- world views. There are plenty of interesting stop-off opportunities, where you can join dolphin safaris, forest foraging tours, and kayaking. Interesting towns and villages along the way include Cardigan, Aberaeron, Aberystwyth and Aberdovey, reached via the A487.

North Coast 500
North Scotland

Start this circular route in Inverness and drive clockwise heading for northern Scotland’s coast, through Muir of Ord, Applecross, Ullapool, John O’Groats, Wick, Dunrobin Castle and Dingwall, before returning to Inverness. The 515-mile official route includes winding lanes, spectacular beaches, and remote rural communities. A trip to the Isle of Skye is highly recommended, to see the famous Storr rocks.

South West Coastal 300
Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

This 299-mile loop starts in Dumfries and features spectacular sea views, medieval castles and plenty of activities to try, from angling to horse riding. The driving is spectacular, including coastal curves and wide-angle stretches. The route can easily be reached via the M74 and M77 motorways and takes in Mull of Galloway, the most southerly point in Scotland, as well as passing through Wanlockhead in the Lowther Hills.