Lexus UX

The UX originally had an infotainment screen controlled by a laptop-style trackpad beside the gearlever. This arrangement was unique to Lexus – and we’re glad that it’s now consigned to history, as it wasn’t the easiest thing to use.

The touchscreen system is one of the better ones on the market today. Measuring 8.0in or across, depending on trim level, it has more computing powers and additional connected functions than what went before – including, most crucially for many would-be buyers, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring functiona

It’s pleasing to the eye and to the mind, having crisp graphics, a sensible menu structure, large icons and a shortcut that makes it unusually easy to deactivate the new BEEP! BEEP! STOP DOING 31MPH IN A 30 ZONE! active safety features.

And if you still struggle with that sort of thing, you can now say “Hey, Lexus” and ask the voice assistant to do things for you – and using conversational English, too, rather than the rigid computer commands of old.

There’s also a 8.0in digital instrument display behind the steering wheel, the appearance of which changes according to your selected driving mode or indeed your own personal preferences.

Three upholstery options are offered: fabric, synthetic leather and leather. The latter two have finishes inspired by traditional Japanese craftsmanship, which is a nice touch.

Despite the new touchscreen, there’s still a lot of physical buttons on the dashboard, including for the air conditioning, which will always get an enthusiastic thumbs up from us.

The materials generally make the grade, too, although there is a conspicuously unpleasant bit of plastic ahead of the gear selector.

There are no practicality problems for the driver or front passenger, whether in terms of head room or seat adjustment, but two adults would feel a bit squeezed in the back – certainly more so than in the X1 or XC40.

However, the UX’s real big flaw is its boot: it’s only slightly bigger than the LBX’s, at 438 litres, and inconveniently shaped, with prominent side humps – or even worse if you go for a dual-motor E-Four model.

You can expect to get only three suitcases in there, which might make receiving airport run requests a little, shall we say, awkward.

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