Page 56 - Henley and Marlow Lifestyle Nov:Dec 2019
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                 lexus UX F Sport
Motoring Journalist Sue Cooke reviews the versatile ‘urban explorer’; the new Lexus UX F Sport...
If you were to buy a new car tomorrow what powerplant would you choose? According to research from GoCompare Car Insurance 22% of motorists would choose to buy a hybrid. They are more eco-friendly than conventional petrol or diesel cars and fuel costs and road tax can be cheaper.
And I fell completely under the spell of the Lexus UX hybrid. This compact SUV is powered by a petrol engine and an electric motor. A green EV icon lights up when electric only is engaged. Accelerate hard and the indicator moves to power. Coast down a hill and the indicator moves to charge. What the UX can also do is to regenerate the electric motor through gentle braking. It’s a marvellous system and with CO2 emissions of 97g/ km, the UX sits in a very low VED band
of E.
The UX also has the most gorgeous good looks which Lexus says is a brave design. My road test car was brilliant white with 18 inch F Sport alloy wheels and rear privacy glass. Then there is the innovative Lexus front grille.
I normally find one or two things about the cars I road test which I don’t like but there isn’t a single thing with the UX,
oh, apart from the silly name which has prehistoric connotations. However, there is nothing ancient about the technology in this SUV. Slide into the very supportive bucket seats and Lexus’ signature luxury and attention to detail is impressive. Press the power button and a wow factor galaxy of stars appears in front of the driver. Press it again and a digital display of dials emerge behind the steering wheel. Just to assure you that the car is ready to move off in soundless electric mode, the word ‘Ready’ appears on
the screen.
I like the soundless electric drive, but press hard on the accelerator and an adrenalin inducing sportscar roar is emitted. Active Sound Control generates the aural effect of up and down shifts like those of a geared automatic transmission. An additional Sonic Interaction Design function adjusts the sound the vehicle makes when driving in Sport S+ mode..
Adding to the anticipation are two
levers which jut out of the steering
wheel column. They look like horns and certainly one has a very racy purpose. Turn this to Sport S+ and the digital dial turns red and white and a distinct deep heart beat can be heard. Or perhaps it was mine! This mode enhances the car’s handling and stability when cornering and provides a more dynamic driving
feel. Other modes are Sport when the dial goes red or Eco and the face goes blue.
I like the head up display which shows all the important information on the speed of the road and alongside it the speed you are doing. There is even a compass. The indicator sounds like a ticking clock and thank you Lexus for including a wonderful analogue GPS clock, from the LX flagship saloon. The height of luxury has to be the pop up cigarette lighter which is difficult to spot when not in use.
Lexus calls the UX an ‘urban explorer’ and the plethora of futuristic standard equipment is much too long to list here. There is even an easy to use mini ipad which operates the radio, sat nav etc. What I also like is the braking system. You can just forget about it. The ‘hand brake’ automatically engages when you stop and disengages when you accelerate.
Lexus says the UX is a gateway model to help the company achieve its target of 100,000 annual sales in Europe by 2020. In my opinion, this compact SUV has everything to support this target.
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MODEL: Lexus UX F Sport Hybrid
PRICE: £33,900otr
ENGINE: 2 litre petrol and 181bhp
electric motor
PERFORMANCE: 0-62 in 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 110 mph
WLTP 49.5-53.2mpg

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