Lexus has updated its smallest SUV, the UX, which benefits from the latest infotainment and ADAS tech together with new F Sport Design and Handling packages, a series of chassis improvements, but less powertrain options as only the hybrid UX 250h survives in the U.S.
Unlike most model year updates which are usually limited to new trim options, Lexus has added 20 spot welding points on the body of the UX increasing its structural rigidity, while recalibrating the electronic power steering and the shock absorbers. As a result, the 2023 UX promises to offer a more refined ride, better steering response and improved handling compared to its predecessor – something we’ll have to wait until our first drive to see if it holds true. Additionally, a new set of 18-inch Bridgestone run-flat tires are said to reduce noise and vibration.
The new infotainment is a welcome update to the UX. It comes with a standard 8-inch or an optional 12.3-inch touchscreen, with higher resolution than before and more connectivity features including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a new Voice Assistant, and available connected services subscription. The center console is slightly redesigned with a larger charging space, LED lighting, two USB charging ports, and the omission of the old touchpad and infotainment controls from the central tunnel.
On the ADAS front, the UX inherits the improved Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 that is also found on the larger NX. It comes standard for MY 2023, and includes systems like the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with curve speed-control function, the Emergency Steering Assist, the Lane Tracing Assist, and the improved Pre-Collision System.
We didn’t mention the exterior design of the SUV because it remains virtually unchanged. However, those who opt for the F Sport Design package will get body-colored cladding on the wheelarches (instead of unpainted plastic), a new set of 18-inch wheels, a slightly different grille pattern, F Sport bumpers, black-painted roof / roof rails, and a moonroof.
Inside the cabin, the F Sport Handling brings aluminium footrest, pedals, and scuff plate alongside F Sport-branded sport seats (optionally heated and ventilated), steering wheel, and shift knob. More importantly, it includes chassis upgrades with the Active Variable Suspension (AVS) system and performance dampers. Lexus claims that the new suspension setup is offering improved ride comfort and quietness, together with better steering response.
The only powertrain option for the US market is the UX 250h that pairs a 2.0-litre engine with two electric motors (AWD) for a combined output of 181 hp (135 kW / 184 PS). Sales of the 2023 Lexus UX will start in late summer 2022 with pricing to be announced closer to the launch date.