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Lexus UX gets infotainment and battery upgrades

The compact Lexus UX SUV has received some tech upgrades, a new trim choice and some extra cosmetic options

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Lexus has updated its UX range, installing a touchscreen infotainment system, further safety assistance features, a battery upgrade and introducing an additional range-topping trim grade, in order to keep the compact SUV competitive with key rivals like the Kia Niro and Volvo XC40.

The update impacts both hybrid ‘250h’ and all-electric ‘300e’ models, but only the latter receives a powertrain upgrade. The UX Electric’s 58kWh battery pack has been tweaked to now produce 73kWh, and although the car’s 204hp output remains the same, Lexus says that the SUV can now muster 280 miles of travel on a full charge, up from 196 miles before the update.

Lexus adds that it has tuned the steering and suspension settings of the ‘300e’ to improve the car’s driving dynamics, and says that it is working on improving the SUV’s sound insulation to make things a little quieter in the cabin. An additional ‘Sonic Platinum’ exterior colour has also been added to the options list.

The update does not include any styling changes for standard models, but does include the introduction of a new range-topping ‘F Sport Design’ trim for the hybrid ‘250h’ range – not to be confused with the ‘F Sport’ line already on sale. This trim comes with a jet black front grille, roof and rear spoiler, as well as several exterior chrome accents and the Lexus ‘F’ badging. The model sits on bigger 18-inch alloy wheels with a unique 10-spoke pattern.

Stepping inside, the most notable difference sits front and centre on the dashboard. Lexus has swapped out the UX’s trackpad control infotainment for a touchscreen, which the brand says sits a little further forward on the dash than the previous system to make it easier for the driver to use.

Both eight-inch and twelve-inch screens are available depending on the trim you select. Lexus claims that this touchscreen system has “crisper graphics” and is more responsive than the old system.

It is compatible with Android Auto (wired) and Apple CarPlay (wireless), and comes with cloud-based navigation and a voice assistant that can provide fuel prices and other driving information when asked. The driver can also use a smartphone app to lock or unlock the doors or operate the air conditioning system remotely.

A small storage cubby is now installed where the trackpad used to be on the centre console – if you opt for higher spec models this cubby will be replaced by controls for the heated seats.

Elsewhere in the cabin, an additional ‘hazel’ colour option for the upholstery is available, and Lexus says it has tweaked how the electronically-powered boot lid operates, opting for a “more gentle movement during the initial and final moments of opening and closing.”

Finally, Lexus has added to the SUV’s suite of safety assistance features, including an emergency steering feature that can automatically adjust the car’s steering to avoid obstacles, and a ‘curve speed reduction’ upgrade for the cruise control which automatically adjusts speed when an upcoming curve in the road is detected.

The updated ‘300e’ will be available to order in the UK in the second half of 2023 – pricing for this all-electric model is unconfirmed at the moment. The latest ‘250h’ range is available to order now, with prices starting at just south of £35k.

This update is likely to improve the Expert Ratings of the Lexus UX Hybrid and UX Electric, which have both received widespread criticism regarding their trackpad infotainment. The hybrid model currently holds an Expert Rating of 63%, while the electric version holds an Expert Rating of 55%.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.