Lexus has updated its smallest SUV, the UX, which has benefited from the latest infotainment and ADAS technology, including the new F Sport design and handling package, a series of chassis improvements, but fewer powertrain options since only the hybrid UX 250h survives in the US.
Unlike most model year updates that are typically limited to the new trim options, the Lexus UX adds 20 spot welding points to the body that increase its structural rigidity, while re-calibrating electronic power steering and shock absorbers. As a result, the 2023 UX promises more refined rides, better steering response and improved handling than its predecessor – we’ll have to wait until the first drive to see if that’s true. In addition, a new set of 18-inch Bridgestone run-flat tires is said to reduce noise and vibration.
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A welcome update to the new infotainment UX. It comes with a standard 8-inch or an optional 12.3-inch touchscreen, higher resolution than ever before, and more connectivity features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a new voice assistant and available connected service subscriptions. The center console has been redesigned with a large charging space, LED lights, two USB charging ports, and the old touchpad and infotainment controls removed from the central tunnel.
On the ADAS front, the UX inherits the advanced Lexus Safety System + 2.5, which is also available on the larger NX. It is ideal for MY 2023, and includes systems such as Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Emergency Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, and advanced pre-collision systems with curved motion control functions.
We didn’t mention the SUV’s exterior design because it remains virtually unchanged. However, those who opt for the F-Sport design package will get wheeler-body cladding (instead of painted plastic), a new set of 18-inch wheels, a slightly different grille pattern, F-Sport bumper, and a black roof. / Roof rail, and a moonroof.
Inside the cabin, the F-Sport handling features aluminum footrests, paddles and scaffolding plates, as well as F-Sport-brand sport seats (optional heated and ventilated), steering wheels and shift knobs. More importantly, it includes a chassis upgrade with an Active Variable Suspension (AVS) system and a performance damper. Lexus claims that the new suspension setup provides improved ride comfort and quiet, as well as better steering response.
The only powertrain option for the US market is the UX 250h which adds a 2.0-liter engine with two electric motors (AWD) for a combined output of 181 hp (135 kW / 184 PS). Sales of the 2023 Lexus UX will begin at the end of the summer of 2022 and prices will be announced closer to the launch date.