Trainspotters will note the “Electric” badging on the flanks and the fact it has a flap on the left and right rear quarter panels (one for DC charging, the other for AC) but the overall style follows the family DNA.
The UX is, not surprisingly, a compact SUV. The segment is the third most popular in the country and represents a key market for Lexus, given the difference in prices between prestige and mainstream vehicles is not as marked when it comes to electric vehicles.
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How much does the Lexus UX300e cost?
The Lexus UX300e is sold in two flavours, neither of them vanilla. The Luxury variant is priced at $74,000 before on-road costs, with the Sports Luxury adding $9000 to the bill.
The entry model rolls out the showroom door boasting front and rear LED lights, power-folding side mirrors, a 10.3-inch infotainment display including satellite navigation and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system to deliver the digital radio and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity, along with a wireless smartphone charging pad, kick-activated powered tailgate (and no, you don’t have to physically boot the vehicle) and keyless entry/start.
There are a pair of USB ports up front and another couple of USB-C chargers for those in the rear seats.
Step up to the Sports Luxury we’re reviewing and the alloy wheels grow by and inch to 18s, along with a moonroof, better LED headlamps, a “Washi” trim texture inspired by traditional Japanese hand-crafted washi paper and illuminated air vents that display a series of rings inside each bezel when the sun’s gone down.
Adding to the value proposition is the fact the UX300e comes with five years of capped-price servicing for every 12 months/15,000km (matching the newly expanded warranty).
Owners can also expect free collection of their car and a courtesy car while theirs is being serviced.
Toss in a complimentary 7kW home charger and, while not an absolute bargain, there’s considerable bang for the buck.
Prestige competition includes the Mercedes-Benz EQA starting at $76,800 and the singe-motor variant of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric at $72,990.
How safe is the Lexus UX300e?
The UX scored a high five-star rating when it was tested by ANCAP in 2019. Adult occupant protection was rated at 96 per cent, with child occupant protection at 88 per cent.
Vulnerable road users were also looked after with an 82 per cent score and the compact SUV scored 83 per cent for safety assist technology.
The Lexus UX is fitted with eight airbags and loaded to the windowsills with a comprehensive package of active safety features.
A radar sensor and camera provide the inputs for the collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems
The cruise also employs road sign assist, which reads speed limit signs and projects that data onto the driver’s display in the Luxury version and the head-up display in the Sport Luxury. The system can also alert the driver if the speed limit has been exceeded and there are three thresholds to choose from.
Lane departure and lane keeping functions are also in the mix, along with automatic high-beam assist, which in the case of the Sports Luxury selectively dims the headlamps to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic while maintaining high beam for other sections of the road.
What's it like inside the Lexus UX300e?
The biggest issue for occupants up front is whether they want their posteriors heated or cooled.
Otherwise, they’re spoiled for choice in terms of the cabin layout and quality of the materials employed in the dash and upholstery.
The glaring exception is the Lexus infotainment system. There is no lack of features but Lexus’s insistence on sticking with a touchpad is frustrating, given the criticism journalists have bestowed upon the fiddly-to-operate interface.
The fact the infotainment screen doesn’t have touch control adds insult to injury. The only upside is you will get used to it … eventually.
Rear seat space is limited in terms of head and leg room, though the outboard seats are well sculpted and heated.
Boot space is 414 litres, which is good for the class. There is no spare tyre though, just a repair kit nestled under the boot floor along with the charging cables.