Tuesday, February 7, 2023

2022 Lexus UX300e Review, First Drive

Toyota and Lexus have been criticized for being too late to the electric market. with its expertise in the automotive technology space, it was supposed to ace it instead of being the last one to enter. With models ready for launch now and deliveries far away for a few BEVs that the brand makes right now, it can be said that Toyota and Lexus have not delivered. However, the problem lies in the part where their hybrid push has been significant across the globe and has been unrecognized for a large part. Both the brands already met strict emission norms much earlier than before than most manufacturers. It relies on petrol, full hybrid or self-charging hybrids to meet its goals to become carbon neutral. EV demand from the consumer is higher and is the major reason than any other surprisingly. Quick IC engine cars’ conversion to electric led to certain models coming out. The Lexus UX300e is one of them. BEV vehicle that offers entry-level performance, range, and luxury. Lexus India plans to introduce electric sooner or later. Many questions are being asked why the brand has given out to drive the car before no launch date in sight. Still, What is it? We find out!

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The design has the presence of what a modern, premium crossover we have come to expect. This is no SUV, as it is not boxy nor very tall with normal suspension ride height. It is the elements such as the wheels, head, and tail lamps, which are LED that grab attention. The length and width of the crossover along with a lot of character and muscular lines on the car make it look befitting of a premium badge on it. Overall, the Lexus design stays true to tradition with sharp lines and edges a large grille, and a captivating rear design profile.

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The Interior continues to be a typical Lexus that we have recently seen and it remains the best of both worlds. Modern and old school. This is not a dedicated EV car, it is a converted EV from ICE-based cars. The screen can only be operated via a mouse-pad and is not a touch screen unit. The volume controls on the arm-rest is unique globally to the UX. The traditional knobs on the instrument cluster binnacle control driving modes and traction control, very gamer friendly, we approve! Quality is top-notch, there are a lot of cubby spaces, and seats are accommodating at the front and rear despite the battery pack right below you. You do sit knees up a bit and knee, Leg, shoulder, and headroom are adequate for a car of this size. Boot space is good too, making the Lexus UX300e quite practical.

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There are a lot of physical buttons to make sure that everything is easily available and understood quickly. The dashboard is mounted quite low and so is the steering wheel, denim fabric inserts, and seats were dual-tone blue and off-white to make it look youthful and luxurious. What you will enjoy in the car is the downright fantastic Mark and Leviston audio system, panoramic sunroof, and very basic-looking instrument cluster, but loaded with everyday features. There was two-zone climate control, a 360-degree parking camera, heated seats, ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a heads-up display, a wireless charger, and a lot of charging points in the front and rear.

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Driving the Lexus UX300e around Mumbai felt like we had a question mark tag on our car. We were stopped by a couple of luxury car owners to ask if this was available and how we got our hands on it. Assured them this is not on sale yet and it could come in 2023. First thing driving is the bespoke gear-level action, which is not easy to get used to at first. Paddle shifters are here for regen-level control. Acceleration as you can imagine is supremely quick. The regen can be very strong in the highest level and is ideal for stop-go traffic. Regen stat is visible on the instrument cluster.

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54 kwh battery pack making 204 PS of power and 300 Nm of torque in sport mode provides enough thrill too. All that goes through to the front wheels directly via the electric motor on the front and rear wheels. The ECO mode makes things so easier and feels almost like you are navigating an IC engine with top-notch refinement. 0-100 km/hr in 7.5 seconds is quick and is almost sports car territory from decades ago. A genuine 160 km/hr top speed, excellent highway stability, and a range of 270 km makes it very easy to live within our city where stop-start traffic means you will barely run out of juice while pondering all day in the city.

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With ride quality being very good for our roads thanks to underlying stiffness and enough compliance that you can go through bad roads easily, it makes it very relaxing to drive over our roads without worrying about anything, including ground clearance. Steering delivered good feedback and was light enough for everyday use. It did get heavy at higher speeds too on the highway. Due to a bit of anxiety range, we couldn’t do our usual Mumbai-Pun run, but a quick run on the expressway for a tea break before the ghats start, was possible on a single charge. Brakes charge the battery and you can control coasting and recuperation with the paddles on the steering wheel. Pedal bite and performance was strong enough as per EV standards with regen, which people driving enthusiastically can ask for more.

2022 Lexus UX300e Review, Verdict

If the UX300e can be priced under the Rs 75 lakh mark it can work for the brand to start its battery-electric vehicle journey. While it will be far away from rivals in most regards, but it will quench the thirst of luxury electric car buyers which are aplenty in the market right now. Hybrid continues to be the most important, critical and great step for the world right now and Lexus there is already bang on. If Lexus can deliver similar traits with a BEV in the future, there is no stopping the brand, as it is the case with its current lineup.

2022 Lexus UX300e Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Quality
  • Performnace
  • Dynamics
  • Features
  • Safety
4.9
Mohit Soni
Mohit Sonihttps://www.thrustzone.com/
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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