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New Lexus UX gains more power and tech upgrades

Lexus has given its luxury UX crossover a substantial powertrain upgrade for 2024, introducing new technology, a more powerful hybrid powertrain and revisions to the interior design.

Since its introduction to New Zealand in 2018, UX has attracted a loyal customer base with over 1,500 sold to date, and two consecutive years as the best-selling Lexus in NZ in 2022 and 2023. Now positioned above the recently added first-ever compact LBX, UX has quietly gone from an entry level premium model to a customer favourite and one of the best-selling luxury vehicles in NZ for a premium compact SUV.

Lexus New Zealand Vice President Andrew Davis says the latest upgrades will only cement its place in the Lexus lineup offering customers a sleek and highly efficient mid-size SUV.

“We’re excited to continue adding to this customer favourite with the latest upgrades – the new hybrid powertrain is extremely economical and refined, while retaining elevated levels of performance,” says Andrew.

“The UX brilliantly encapsulates the advancements of Lexus’ original technology within a sharp and brave design. UX appeals to those who love the premium build quality as well as the slightly higher ride height of a crossover but who do not require a large family-sized SUV,” he says.

UX customers can choose from multiple options within the 7 variant line up, including Premium, F SPORT, Limited grades, front-wheel drive (FWD), all-wheel drive (AWD), and most importantly, hybrid and BEV powertrains.

The increase in hybrid performance follows on from a major upgrade to the all-electric UX 300e BEV last year, when it received a larger 72.8kWh battery to extend driving range by more than 40%.

All UX hybrid grades are now rebadged to UX 300h to reflect an 11kW increase in total system output to 146kW. Front-wheel drive variants now emit 98g/km and all-wheel drive variants emit 105g/km (under the 3P-WLTP standard).

The 2024 UX 300h hybrid system adopts fifth generation Lexus technology which includes the introduction of a Lithium-Ion battery, providing 15 per cent greater per-cell output while lowering fuel consumption.

The UX 300h FWD’s average combined fuel consumption has dropped to 4.2 litres per 100km, while the UX 300h AWD is down to 4.5 litres per 100km.

The new UX range consists of three hybrid grades, with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options available, and two BEV grades, a Premium and a Limited grade.

Drivers of the new UX will appreciate the new meters and wireless Android Auto which have been introduced on all variants. The UX 300h Premium features a revised 7” digital meter, while other variants receive a size increase to a 12.3” full colour digital meter.

Shift-by-wire is introduced to all hybrid variants and features a new, smaller shift lever. All variants, excluding the F SPORT grade, receive a dark grey metallic front spindle grille.

Occupant safety is enhanced with the expansion of the Lexus Safety System+, with new features including Safe Exit Assist, which may provide occupants exiting the vehicle on the roadside with warnings if there is a chance of a collision with an approaching vehicle or bicycle. Furthermore, the Pre-Collision System may now detect motorcycles in the daytime and bicyclists at all hours.

Several minor revisions have been made to the interior trim, with a gun metallic finish added to the centre console on Premium grades and all BEV variants. On Limited and F SPORT hybrid variants, a black hairline finish is added in the same areas. The finish on the door switch panel is updated to match the finish on the centre console. The Rich Cream interior colour is replaced by Solis White for Limited variants.

The Premium and Limited grades are available in nine exterior shades with Sonic Copper introduced as a new exterior colour, replacing Blazing Carnelian. Two-tone is introduced as standard for the F SPORT grade, featuring an Onyx roof section.

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