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Lexus UX 250h F Sport offers Japanese craftsmanship at it finest




If sedans are too yesterday and SUVs too soccer mom for you, then a crossover SUV might just be the thing to tickle your fancy.

Without getting too technical, a crossover SUV is kind of a mixture between an SUV and something else it shares a platform with – usually a sedan or a hatchback. It is not considered to be a full-blown SUV ready to tackle the bush, but offers more sports utility styling than the siblings it shares a platform with.

A prime example is the Lexus UX I recently got to sample in 250h F Sport guise. It is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture platform that also underpins the Toyota Corolla.

Being a Lexus, it is a premium product. And by premium I mean all of R910,000 premium. That is a lot of money, but still excellent value as contradictory as that may sound.

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Most unenlightened brand snobs will be completely unwilling to entertain the thought of a compelling luxury offering from Japan. But a simple specification comparison between what you get in this Lexus UX and what its rivals offer is damning enough to make the most loyal German luxury lovers choke in their pink Gin.

Curves in all the right places.

Just look at the exterior styling of the Lexus UX. Looking into the striking daytime running lights and signature Lexus spindle grille is sort of mesmerising. Both sexy and stylish at the same time, our tester, clad in Flare Red, kept on reminding me of the Chris de Burgh classic Lady in Red.

On the inside, Japanese craftmanship and finishing not only rival other premium brands, but betters it every so often in my humble opinion.

Being an F Sport, the cabin feature touches are exclusive to the nomenclature. These include sports seats made with a supportive integrated-foaming technique and digitally-rendered instrument meter with movable virtual ring inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar.

In addition, it also has a leather-covered F Sport steering wheel, leather-trimmed shift knob, eight-inch TFT colour display and aluminium pedals.

Before you lose too much sleep over all the animals that might have been slaughtered for their leather, rest assured that you might save some trees. Being a hybrid means it is both greener on the environment and should ensure you have more green left in your pocket to spend on important things like gel tips.

The dual-source hybrid powertrain means that the Lexus UX 250h F Sport draws its power from both a petrol engine and electric motor. But don’t be freaked out by the word electric. It’s completely load shedding-proof as it requires no power from an outside source.

The naturally aspirated 107kW/180Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine charges a battery which in turn powers an electric motor. The two sources combine to deliver a maximum system output of 135kW which is sent to the front wheels via CVT.

Because of the electrical assistance, Lexus claims it will only sip 4.5 litres for every 100km. We put that to the test and was able to clock around the lower-five mark. Being in a hurry meant that it rose to close to 7L/100km, which is still very acceptable.

Masterful finishing.

Another standout feature is that apart from boasting an impressive eight airbags, the Lexus UX 250h F Sport comes standard with comprehensive Lexus Safety Sense. This includes the real advanced goodies like adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitor.

Shop around, you will also not find better aftersales backup than the seven-year/105 000km warranty and full maintenance plan the Lexus UX is sold with.

Not wanting the same body shape as your besties is completely acceptable. In fact, being different shouldn’t be frowned upon. It should be celebrated. And a crossover in the form of the Lexus UX 250h F Sport is just the thing to get the party started.

For more information on the Lexus UX, click here.



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