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Lexus UX 2023: Mercedes-Benz GLA rival gains 12.3-inch touchscreen, small price bump


A comprehensive midlife update has upgraded everything from the safety suite to the touchscreen of Lexus’s entry-level UX

Lexus has given its UX small SUV a midlife update, bringing a raft of key technology upgrades to the inside of the cabin at the cost of a small price increase.

The changes have been applied to both the UX200 petrol and UX250h hybrid, with the upgrades expected to trickle down to the fully-electric UX300e in the near future.

Lexus UX 2023 front 3/4
Lexus has updated its UX petrol and hybrid models

As before, Lexus continues to offer the UX in Luxury, F Sport and top-spec Sports Luxury grades coupled with a range of ‘Enhancement Packs’ that are detailed in full below.

The UX is set to go on sale mid-September with increases between $1640 to $1895 across the range, raising the price of entry to $46,085 before on-road costs.

Armed with these new features, the UX appears well placed to offer a more affordable alternative to rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and the incoming new-generation BMW X1.

What’s changed on the UX?

Lexus has focused primarily on updating the technology suite of the UX with the small SUV now featuring a 12.3-inch touchscreen (in place of the still-quite-large 10.3-inch unit) and is now available with wireless Apple CarPlay, though Android Auto remains wired.

Other additions include DAB digital radio and satellite navigation, plus the audio system has also been bolstered from eight to 10 speakers on the base Luxury grade.

Greater connectivity with the driver’s smartphone has been introduced thanks to Lexus Connected Services, allowing remote functions such as starting the engine, sounding the horn and unlocking or locking the doors.

Lexus UX 2023 interior
The upgrades largely focus on the interior of the UX

Lexus provides this service complimentary for three years after purchase, after which buyers will need to pay.

The system also adds safety features such as a stolen vehicle tracker and an SOS call function to alert authorities in the event of a crash or other emergency, which the user can prompt from inside the cabin.

Engineers have also added a further 20 spot welds to the body of the UX to enhance the chassis rigidity, with the hot F Sport grade receiving further stiffening on select locations to enhance the steering feel.

Petrol and Hybrid options continue

The UX continues to employ a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 126kW of power and 205Nm of torque which is sent to the front wheels via a CVT transmission.

Lexus UX 2023 front 3/4 driving
Engineers have also given the UX a more rigid chassis

Opting for the hybrid option lowers the outputs of the petrol engine to 107kW/188Nm but is joined by an 80kW/202Nm electric motor on the front axle.

All-wheel-drive models receive an additional 5.3kW motor on the rear axle, though in both cases the total system output is quoted at 135kW with no official torque figure listed.

What does each grade of the Lexus UX offer?

In addition to the aforementioned new features, the entry-level UX 200 Luxury features synthetic leather interior trim with genuine leather on the steering wheel and shifter. There’s also eight-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, a 7.0-inch digital driver’s display and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Standard safety features include eight airbags, forwards AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keep assistance and adaptive cruise control.

Lexus UX 2023 rear 3/4
17- and 18-inch wheels are available

The UX Luxury can be had with three enhancement packs, with the first (known as EP1) adding LED fog lights and a raft of safety features including blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear AEB and parking sensors.

Lexus’s second enhancement (EP2) pack adds a wireless phone charger, headlight cleaners, roof rails, puddle lamps, a powered tailgate and other trimmings around the cabin. The third enhancement pack (EP3) simply adds a sunroof.

Opting for the F Sport and Sports Luxury grades add smarter LED headlights with auto levelling and adaptive high beams, powered folding and heated mirrors and a memory function for the position of the driver’s seat.

Lexus UX 2023 screen
Lexus has added a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen inside the cabin

Lexus adds 18-inch wheels as standard to the Sports Luxury grade, leather accented upholstery, a 360-degree camera and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. Buyers can also option a sunroof and head-up display via the optional EP1.

Offering more of a performance flavour is the UX F Sport, which adds a striking leather interior and a more aggressive body kit. Buyers also receive a larger 8.0-inch digital driver’s display and a unique shifter.

Buyers of the F Sport can opt for the sunroof via the EP1 package, along with the Mark Levinson sound system, 360-degree camera and other niceties via the EP2 package.

Lexus UX 2023: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • UX200 Luxury: $46,085 (+$1640)
  • UX200 Sports Luxury: $56,850 (+$1600)
  • UX200 F Sport: $57,495 (+$1745)
  • UX250h FWD Luxury + EP2: $53,820 (+$1795)
  • UX250h FWD Sports Luxury: $60,850 (+$1750)
  • UX250h FWD F Sport: $61,495 (+$1895)
  • UX250h AWD Sports Luxury: $65,350 (+$1750)
  • UX250h AWD F Sport: $65,995 (+$1895)
  • UX300e Luxury: $74,000
  • UX300e Sports Luxury: $80,691