7: Lexus UX – A hybrid crossover that’s proper premium on the inside

Top 100 cars for 2019: Lexus listened to complaints about Prius power and upgraded the engine

Lexus UX: The high-end finish and the driving pleasure are what will get potential buyers to sign on the dotted line

Lexus UX: The high-end finish and the driving pleasure are what will get potential buyers to sign on the dotted line

 

This Lexus has three things going for it: it’s a crossover, it’s a hybrid and it’s proper premium inside. That should be more than enough to lure a queue of punters outside dealerships these days.

Sure it has its flaws, notably in the back seat where legroom is on a par with a sports coupe: we certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck back there on a road trip around the ring of Kerry. But there are more than enough empty-nesters and young families that don’t regularly need adult legroom in the back.

While it’s based on the same underpinnings as the Prius, the crossover roots of this car is back to the Toyota C-HR, which is good in its own right but with a hybrid system that didn’t make the most of the chassis. Lexus has listened and opted for an all-new 2-litre petrol engine instead of the 1.8-litre in the hybrid Toyotas. It has none of the lag or whine that dents our fondness for the Toyota C-HR and makes us prefer the 1.2-litre petrol version of that car.

The UX offers a flavour of electric motoring at a price point in line with petrol and diesel rivals. That’s the lure. The high-end finish and the driving pleasure are what will get potential buyers to sign on the dotted line.

Best model: UX 250h in mid-spec Executive probably best

Price range: From €40,500 to €47,000 when it arrives in mid-February. Finance from TBA per month.

Co2 emissions: 96g/km

Sum up: Proper hybrid in a proper premium (small) cabin