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From the very first Lexus which I ever tested- the LS400- the company has continued to deliver the same high standards of quality and comfort to this very da. With the latest vehicles state of art technology making the brand one of the most desired currently available. I could be tempted to say that the brand is the best in the world, however I will state amongst the best and there is even more to come.

I recently had the opportunity to drive the first all-electric Lexus which is based on the UX compact urban SUV which leverages the company’s fifteen years of market leadership in manufacturing electrified hybrid cars. This is perfect timing by Lexus to benefit from improved charging infrastructure and rapid growth of public interest in luxury electric vehicles. With this newcomer, Lexus takes its electrification vision to the next level and this is a Lexus where nothing has been overlooked. With the UX300e comes exceptional craftsmanship, build quality, comfort and quietness. The development team studied noise patterns and they were able to take specific measures, such as fitting bespoke tyres and wheel arch liners that reduce the noise of gravel spatter and water, to significantly reduce in-cabin noise. As I clocked up the kilometres, what greatly impressed me was the sheer quality of the drive and the attention to detail came shining through as no detail was too small, even the shift selector was shaped by hand.

To the heart of the matter and the drivetrain has been optimised for urban driving and features a high-output 201bhp/150kW electric motor/generator that gives the vehicle natural, yet brisk, acceleration. It is powered by a new, high-capacity 54.35kWh battery located under the cabin floor and in common with the rest of the UX family, the UX 300e is built on Lexus’s New Global Architecture Compact (GA-C) platform. The light, yet super-rigid, structure which is made even stronger by the underfloor battery and cross members which support it, a low centre of gravity, supported by the low position of the battery and electric motor and tuned suspension combine to deliver precise steering, agile handling and ride comfort, together with a distinctive Lexus electrified driving character. Over the past few months, more EVs have come my way for test purposes and taken everything into account in my book the UX300e takes pole position.

I did learn that to ensure Lexus’s first BEV has the same world-class quality as all other Lexus cars, the new model is being built alongside hybrid electric models at the award-winning Kyushu plant in Japan, with production overseen by Takumi master craftspeople. The process includes an elite team responsible for stitching the leather seat upholstery with a design inspired by sashiko, a traditional Japanese quilting technique which brings both strength and distinctive style. Before shipping, every UX 300e is checked in a quiet room where Takumi use their finely tuned hearing and touch to detect and rectify any unwanted noise and vibration in the cabin. To appreciate what I am writing I would seriously suggest that you take the opportunity to take the wheel of this vehicle, it is simply outstanding. No surprise that this new model shares a number of Lexus design features with the rest of the UX range, such as the signature spindle grille, sculpted character lines and an athletic, coupe-like roof line. Daytime running lights are arranged in a distinctive arrowhead shape above the headlights, emphasising the Lexus L-shaped lighting design. According to model grade or option, the headlights are single-projector dual-beam or ultra-slim triple-projector units. The 17 and 18 inch wheels have been created especially for this model and both designs are finished in a medium grey colour. As on the standard UX, the seventeen inch wheels are aero ventilating, with flaps on each side of the spokes, similar in shape to the Gurney flaps found on the rear wings of Formula 1 race cars; these regulate airflow and create vortices that increase downforce. This innovative design contributes to more confident driving, with stable braking performance, increased cooling efficiency and reduced air turbulence along the side of the car. The interior which is high tech packed is also extremely comfy for all, another trademark of Lexus.

All versions are fitted as standard with the second generation Lexus Safety System+ which has been designed to protect driver and passengers. Finally you can the Lexus Link app to check their vehicle’s charge level at a glance on a smartphone, or view the driving range, both when the air conditioning is running and switched off. When the UX300e is being charged on AC power at home, the time remaining until completion can be checked remotely and you can also set a timer to suit a daily routine, to help ensure charging is complete before the planned departure time. If you had any doubts re taking the EV route, the new Lexus 300e might just be a mind changer.

Ian Lynas

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