Test Lexus UX: Hope

Lexus is the motorist rather a term than the Nissan counterpart Infiniti. Nevertheless, it has the premium offshoot Toyota in this country is not easy. No 2800 new registrations called the Federal Motor Transport Authority for 2018. And now a completely new model in the future equal to about two-thirds of this figure? Since one may be more than curious. UX is called the new, in which Lexus sets such great hope and which is a kind of NX for the compact segment. Of course, the 4.50 meter crossover will be the first hybrid in its segment.

The UX 250h is visually a real Lexus. The expressive design has become a trademark of the company. Above all, the so-called Diabolo grille. He seems almost overpowering on the 1.54 meter high hatchback model. The sturdy (aluminum) bonnet and the large, slightly rectangular planked wheel arches match this. The lush front doors also ensure an appearance that at least visually breaks the standard C-segment standards. Behind it, the rear third of the vehicle with the rear and trunk literally falls behind. This looks a bit upset compared to the rest of the appearance. The rear view again acts solid, the taillights are narrow, the tailgate starts quite high up. Speaking of taillights. They end up in the shape of a fin. This is not a design gimmick but should actually serve the aerodynamics. Windschnittiges fine tuning wants to have had Lexus also in the design in mind.

The silhouette reflects quite accurately the internal structure of the UX. At the front there is a powerful hybrid drive, which gives the driver and front passenger plenty of space. Although there is plenty of headroom and shoulder clearance at the rear, as well as sufficiently wide seat cushions with long-backrests on the back, legroom should not be crowded in the front, and feet can become cramped under the front seats. This fits the lean trunk volume of 320 liters (a Polo offers 30 liters more). Utility value, as was often heard at the presentation in Spain, was not the top priority in the specifications. The UX is above all a design piece. So it does not surprise,

Design, family suitability: A car is still primarily there to drive. Here, Lexus brings the fourth generation of its hybrid system into play. The newly developed 2.0-liter vacuum cleaner with 154 hp (112 kW) works together with a 109 hp (80 kW) engine generator. They bundle their forces to a system output of 184 hp (135 kW).

The drive transfers its power to the front axle via a continuously variable CVT transmission. This works better than one is used to from this form of automatic. Speed ​​and retrieved performance remain largely in line. For Lexus leads, inter alia, an upstream fixed first gear for starting in the field. In addition, the electric motor supports a more linear acceleration. Alternatively, it is also possible to intervene manually in the drive via the selector lever (in UX F Sport via shift paddles).

Thanks to the support of the motor generator, the 1.6-ton UX 250h can be moved quickly. For the sprint from zero to 100 km / h Lexus indicates 8.5 seconds. However, at 177 km / h is over. Here, the idea of ​​efficiency and the speed limits in almost all sales markets are in favor of the German car driver Prestigewünsche. In purely electrical operation, the UX can reach up to 115 km / h.

Prestige wants to develop the UX in other places: in equipment, grace and comfort and with some unorthodox solutions. Thus, the speed switch is not in the center console, but right above the steering wheel next to the instrument panel. And since you’ve been there before, there may be another peculiarity. Eco and S-mode are changed by rotation, the (actually intermediate) normal mode, however, called by pressing a side button. In the spirit of symmetry, an identically designed switch then moved to the left side of the central display – where it also serves to deactivate the ESP system by means of a rotary movement.

Both provide space to accommodate in the center console a finger-controlled touchpad for controlling the infotainment menu and a somewhat idiosyncratic radio control immediately before the center armrest. It sums up a semicircle on the whole hand five knobs and buttons together – one for each finger. All this works better than expected after a certain period of getting used to, even if it does not make sense to have to use the steering wheel a little bit to change the driving modes. Also noteworthy are the inside of the wirelessly illuminated knobs of the ventilation nozzles and the like a pop-up tent collapsible trunk cover that can disappear so when not in use space-saving in the lower compartment.

The material grace, in which Lexus likes to quote traditional Japanese craftsmanship, is largely in order. The glove box or the lining of the B-pillar and the rear doors, however, was clearly saved. Saved was also on storage options, especially in the rear.

The bottom line is the package but. The parameters of the three driving modes differ sufficiently, with “Normal” closer to “Eco” than to “Sport.” Steering always works directly, suspension and damping are beyond any doubt, and noise reduction is on the cards The Lexus UX 250h E-Four offers a noticeable boost in dynamics and is equipped with an additional, 36 hp electric motor on the rear axle, which is less of an all-wheel-drive off-road component In addition, the small engine provides greater cornering stability, which is particularly well suited for the firmer F Sport.This equipment also has the two additional driving settings S + and the individual ,,

Lexus is commonly considered a synonym for hybrid propulsion. Nevertheless, not least because of some market peculiarities in other countries, the UX 200 is offered. At just under € 34,000, it is about € 2,000 cheaper than the 250h, delivering 171 hp (126 kW) and 205 newton meters of maximum torque with the same internal combustion engine. The may then be at the end of 13 km / h faster than the hybrid. However, at most ten percent should make up its share, according to the sales managers in Germany.

According to forecasts, 45 percent of customers will reach for the Executive Line (from 37 550 Ero), and almost a quarter will succumb to the charm of F Sport (43 250 euros). In addition to the basic version (35 900 euros), there is the Luxury Line as top equipment (49 200 euros) and the Business Edition for commercial customers (39 950 euros). Altogether it should be 2000 units a year. The dealership is the Lexus UX from mid-March.

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