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18 Sep 2018

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AWD variant will not be offered in Singapore
No F Sport variant

The all new Lexus UX250h is the perfect answer for car shoppers looking to get a luxury hybrid crossover.

Lexus is finally jumping into the popular compact crossover segment with its all new UX, where it'll go head on with cars like the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Volvo XC40, among others, when it arrives at the Singapore Motor Show next year.

But with the hybrid version, it seems Lexus may very well excel in this competitive segment. Currently, the UX250h that you see here is the only luxury hybrid compact crossover. The car that comes close to the new Lexus hybrid will be the Kia Niro and the Toyota C-HR Hybrid, which is currently only available through parallel importers.

Headlamp design completes the UX's face

That, however, would be like comparing an apple to an orange.

You've got my attention

The Lexus UX250h, like its petrol-powered brethren, is the first Lexus to be built on the Toyota's Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) modular platform and is closely associated to the Toyota C-HR. Thus, it comes as no surprise that both cars share a similar wheelbase of 2,640mm.

However, unlike the popular crossover, the UX gets extensive laser welding and high-strength adhesives for extra rigidity.

Also differing from the Toyota is a unique ring structure around the rear of the Lexus for better crash performance, improved handling and reduced noise and vibration.

Size wise, the Lexus is also longer and wider than the C-HR and has dimensions that are much closer to the BMW X1.

Compact dimensions make the UX the perfect city car

So it's a city car, huh?

Most definitely. In a rather packed city such as Stockholm, Sweden, where we spent a fair bit of time around town and between cars, the Lexus UX250h makes good sense.

In fact, with its compact size, attractive sheet metal and smooth ride, the car is clearly right at home on roads that replicate Singapore's heavy traffic.

On certain parts of our route, the hybrid's suspension competently soaks up bumps and broken tarmac. It feels snappier than the UX200 but nonetheless well-connected to the driver and manages to be highly comfortable on the highway and perky around suburbs.

Luxury is the royal order of the day in the car's cabin

In more ways than one, it's very easy for the new Lexus hybrid crossover to find its way along and around roads. On the straights, the 2.0-litre powerplant, coupled with two electric motors, pushes out a combined output of 176bhp to the front wheels to guarantee an 8.5-second century sprint.

Around winding roads, on the other hand, there's a strong sense of composure and maturity. It's neither as crisp as the X1 nor does it possess the sort of punchiness from the Q3, but it's every bit as refined and cultured as a ballet dancer.
A huge portion of its elegance is due to its CVT transmission that helps make light work in heavy traffic conditions.

Interior intuitiveness

The refinement and cultured characteristic of the UX can also be seen and felt on the inside.

CVT transmission makes light work of stressful traffic conditions

Like all Lexus models we've come to know, every inch and corner of the UX's cabin feel like it has been immaculately placed together. Run your fingers through hidden areas of the car such as underneath the steering or below your seat and everything feels good to the touch.

Elsewhere, such as the new trim finish on the dashboard that's inspired by the grain of Japanese paper, as well as the addition of new controls by the armrest, are equally impressive.

Unfortunately, the lack of space in the Lexus UX's boot won't win it many supporters, even if it's sufficient for your weekly grocery shopping bags.

New controls by the armrest is a first for Lexus

Hello, gorgeous

Still, we suspect this wouldn't be a problem for buyers. Thanks to its decent proportions and bold design language, the Lexus UX's good looks overwhelm its quibbles.

While opinions may differ when it comes to designs of cars, it's admittedly an undeniable fact that the new Lexus is attractive from whichever angle you view it from - more so from the back where taillights curve sharply at the edges and are connected by an LED light strip.

Wait for it...

There's plenty to like about the Lexus UX250h, really. It's desirable, has ample feel-good quotient and is highly refined on the go. The only question, of course, will be the price.

The UX is a good-looking car, more so from the back

In a greatly competitive and popular compact crossover segment, carmakers can either make or break with their models. And more often than not, pricing plays a huge part. Thus, in Lexus' case, its key that the UX is priced aggressively against its German peers with stronger market presence.

The only thing now is to wait for the car to arrive in January next year.

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