The new Lexus UX compact SUV has achieved the top five-star rating in the latest round of independent testing by Euro NCAP.
The results place it firmly among the safest cars of its kind for driver and passenger protection, with a 96 per cent score for its effectiveness in safeguarding adults and 85 per cent for children. The UX also gained the highest ratings for pedestrian and cyclist protection of any car yet tested under Euro NCAP’s tougher 2019 criteria, with its automated emergency braking helping it secure an 82 per cent rating for vulnerable road user protection.
The new UX is equipped as standard with the latest version of Lexus Safety System+, incorporating a number of new and improved active safety features that can warn of and help the driver avoid many common collision risks. If an accident is unavoidable, the severity of the impact can be reduced. The advanced technologies include a Pre-Collision System that can detect pedestrians in the vehicle’s path during both day and night-time driving, and cyclists during daylight.
Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Trace Assist provide a degree of automated driving support (SAE Level 2). Adaptive Cruise Control is radar-controlled and maintains a safe distance between the UX and the vehicle ahead; it will also safely slow the car to a standstill in congested traffic, before returning to the pre-set cruising speed once prompted by the driver and the way is clear. Lane Trace Assist monitors road markings to keep the UX within its traffic lane. These systems reduce the burden on the driver, while keeping them in ultimate control of the vehicle.
Lexus Safety System+ also provides Road Sign Assist, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic High Beam functions. On the UX Takumi model with LED headlights, the Automatic High Beam is replaced by a more sophisticated Adaptive High-beam System. Passive safety provisions include eight airbags and seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters. Fundamental impact protection is provided by the UX’s highly rigid Global Architecture-C (GA-C) platform, designed to absorb and channel impact forces away from the cabin.
The UX comes with a full suite of vehicle braking and stability controls, co-ordinated with precision by Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management. Elements include ABS, traction control vehicle stability control and hill assist control, plus a secondary collision brake. A blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert – provided as standard on the UX Takumi – alert the driver to vehicles or hazards out of their line of sight, helping guard against collisions when changing lanes or reversing out of parking spaces.