Interior design and technology – Lexus UX250
Since the Lexus brand is renowned for fit, finish and quality of materials, the design of the seats has been given special attention. The seat structure incorporates polyurethane foam wrapped around an iron frame. It’s the flat cushion and raised side sections that support the hips and keep the body stable, while subtle depressions in the surface of the cushion allow smaller occupants to enjoy the same level of body support as taller people. The front seats are six-way manual in the UX model and eight-way power in the F Sport and Takumi, the latter with additional adjustable lumbar support for the driver.
The three-spoke steering wheel and analog clock come from the flagship Lexus LS sedan. The Lexus Climate Concierge automatically combines heating and cooling airflow with heated and ventilated front seats for added comfort, a welcome feature during a week in which temperatures soared to 34 degrees Celsius in southern Britain.
A plush leather upholstery finish with stitching is inspired by the Japanese sashiko technique used to make judo and kendo uniforms. It is associated with a pattern of perforations on the lower part of the seat derived from curves and perfectly aligned mathematical gradients.
The dashboard of the UX-grade model is black, while the Takumi version combines black with inlays and a grained finish inspired by the look of washi paper familiar from traditional screens found in Japanese homes, in black or brown noble. In the F Sport, the black instrument panel features red contrast stitching.
Further back, the power tailgate reveals 320 liters of luggage space in the square-shaped boot, loaded on the tonneau cover with all seats up and 1,231 liters with the rear seats folded down, loaded on the roof. There are also plenty of lockers for storing gear, including the large, effortlessly-opening glove box.
In the ambient lighting department, white LEDs illuminate the front footrests, glove box and console switches, LEDs also feature in the dome light, reading lamps and cargo area lighting . The air vents have a single control knob for airflow direction and volume. By combining the two functions in one control, the vents can be made larger, improving airflow while reducing noise.
Other comfort and convenience features include power steering wheel adjustment, rear view camera display with directions, six-speaker audio system with DAB, four USB ports and Aux socket, exterior rear seats heated, rear privacy glass, smart keyless entry, key card, smartphone wireless charger and illuminated door handles with puddle lights, auto-dimming rear view mirror, sunroof, surround view monitor 360 degrees and acoustic windshield.
Connectivity and infotainment
A touchpad located on the center console to partially control the 10.3-inch multimedia display screen looks neat but can be a little fiddly to use. That said, a useful switch at the base of the touchpad can call up an operation screen with related functions, such as climate control and navigation, facilitating easier access without having to click through menus.
The UX media pack includes a seven-inch EMV (Electro Multi Vision) multimedia and navigation screen standard on UX and F Sport models; a 10.3-inch version is provided when the larger, more sophisticated Lexus Navigation System is specified (standard on the UX Takumi).
The standard six-speaker system and optional eight-speaker upgrade system use bamboo charcoal speaker diaphragms to reduce mass and deliver natural-sounding vocals and mid-range sound. improved range. Both systems create a more realistic soundstage by using tweeters mounted on the sides of the dash and reflecting sound off the windshield. The eight-speaker system adds a tweeter to the center dash, a subwoofer mounted in the luggage compartment and a more powerful amplifier.
A Mark Levinson Premium Surround sound system – standard on the UX Takumi – uses a 13-speaker array, a low-distortion 668W Class-D eight-channel amplifier, Quantum Logic surround sound and ClariFi 2.0 technology to deliver an immersive, concert-like sound experience.
A lot of choices
The UX is available in the UK in three trim levels: UX, F Sport and Takumi.
UX-grade interior features include a six-speaker audio system with CD player, AM/FM and DAB reception, dual-zone automatic climate control and cloth seat upholstery.
Key features of the F Sport include fabric and Tahara upholstered front seats, as well as F Sport pedals and steering wheel. The specification also includes rear privacy glass, active sound control, heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment, front and rear parking sensors with intelligent clearance sonar and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
The Takumi offers leather upholstery, washi paper grain trim inlays, integrated front seat heating and ventilation, a bespoke 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround sound audio system, Lexus 10-speaker navigation ,3-inch and a multimedia screen, a 360-degree surround view monitor, color head-up display, sunroof, power tailgate, exterior mirrors auto-fold function, smart entry system, blind spot monitor and alert rear cross-traffic system with automatic braking function, electrically adjustable steering wheel and memory setting for the steering wheel and driver’s seat mirror.
Advanced driver assistance systems
Key to its safety performance is the second and latest version of the Lexus Safety System+, an integrated safety package that provides a suite of active safety and driver assistance to help prevent accidents or reduce their severity if an impact is unavoidable.
The Pre-Collision System (PCS) uses a front camera and millimeter wave radar to detect vehicles and pedestrians on the road ahead. If the risk of collision is calculated, the driver is automatically warned and additional braking force is provided the moment the brake pedal is pressed. If the driver does not react and the system judges that a collision is imminent, the brakes are automatically applied to reduce vehicle speed and the force of any impact, and seat belts are tensioned.
The functionality of the PCS has been increased so that it is now able to detect pedestrians in the path of the vehicle during day and night driving, and cyclists during the day.
The same radar unit is used to provide Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) at all speeds, which helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Once the lane is clear, the RX automatically accelerates to its preset cruising speed.
Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) detects when the RX deviates from its correct lane, without the turn signals being used. The system will automatically provide warning and steering inputs to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane, by detecting markings on the road surface or road margin. These features work when Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is in use and can be turned off if desired.
Other ADAS technologies include Adaptive Variable Suspension Control; panoramic view monitor; blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking; parking assistance brake; and sway warning. The latter involves the use of cameras to monitor the position of the car in its lane and the driver’s steering commands. If it detects degrees of vehicle sway caused by driver distraction or drowsiness, it issues an alert and displays a warning on the multi-information display, recommending that the driver take a break.
In terms of passive safety, the UX models are all fitted with eight airbags: driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags; side airbags integrated into the driver and front passenger seats and front and rear side curtain airbags.
On the balance sheet
The UX 250h features the fourth-generation Lexus self-charging hybrid powertrain, including a 2.0-litre gasoline engine, hybrid transaxle, compact battery and power control unit. It moves around town quietly and without hassle and accelerates briskly when further away. We’ve averaged 48mpg over the past week, compared to an official estimate of 52mpg. In the UK, the UX is offered with a fourth generation self-charging hybrid powertrain or the option of full battery power in the UX 300e. Throughout the cabin, the quality and finish of the upholstery, trim materials and details that give the impression of being expensive continue to reflect the attention to detail that Lexus engineers have given to this model. Rivals to this swanky little SUV include the BMW X1, Audi Q2 and Volvo XC40.