Lexus UX 300e performance, top speed, motor
Adequate performance, a controlled chassis and a well engineered drivetrain make the UX 300e a pleasant drive
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Lexus isn't known for making cars that thrill, its focus instead put on making its models quiet, refined and comfortable. That extends to the UX 300e, a car whose switch to electric power has only amplified those qualities.
Performance is strong and well suited to the car's size and purpose – punchy but not surprising as perhaps the Volvo XC40 Recharge's dual-motor powertrain is. With half the power of the Volvo, you might expect the Lexus to feel slow, but that's not the case. The electric motor performs its function almost imperceptibly, with only the largest throttle inputs summoning an audible whine.
The overall feeling is of good engineering and high quality, and this is particularly apparent in the car's regenerative braking system. It's adjustable in strength using steering-wheel paddles and while it's not strong enough to stop the car fully (as Nissan's E-Pedal system can), it never feels intrusive or odd through the pedal.
The UX feels hugely relaxing, with very little wind noise and a very refined and well integrated drivetrain. Our test car with 18-inch alloys did create some road noise and found some larger bumps a challenge. We'd stick to a 17-inch set for this reason.
Lexus UX 300e 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
The UX 300e isn't as quick as a Volvo XC40 Recharge, but that's no bad thing, as it has just the right amount of power for a car of its size. With 201bhp on tap and a healthy 300Nm of torque available at any speed, it feels zippier than its 7.5-second 0-62mph sprint would suggest. It's quicker and more fun to drive than a Mercedes EQA, and there's even enough torque to overwhelm the front wheels if you aren't smooth with your inputs. Top speed is 100mph, but that's irrelevant in a car such as this.
In 2023 the UX 300e will be fitted with a larger 72.8kWh and is getting some tweaks to the chassis that Lexus claims will enhance the driving experience, but power from the single electric motor will stay the same. The electric UX's 0-62mph time will probably become longer as a result, but Lexus hasn't revealed the official figure just yet.
Despite weighing 1,840kg, the littlest Lexus is good to drive. Its steering is weighty and direct, body control is excellent and – while there's a lack of communication between the road surface and the driver, the UX feels responsive, planted and under control. The overwhelming feeling is one of refinement and luxury, however, with the UX remaining calm and composed unless you're truly unsympathetic with your inputs.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Lexus UX 300e electric car suits its drivetrain well and is one of the most refined small SUVs around
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe electric Lexus UX finds itself close to the bottom of the pack when it comes to range and charging
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe usual balance of savings applies here: you won't spend money on petrol, but insurance and asking price are factors
- 4Performance, motor & drive - currently readingAdequate performance, a controlled chassis and a well engineered drivetrain make the UX 300e a pleasant drive
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Lexus UX 300e is made even more relaxing to travel in by an electric drivetrain
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityIt's not very big inside, but the Lexus UX 300e is extremely comfortable
- 7Reliability & safety ratingSafety and reliability are assured in the UX 300e thanks to Lexus' time-earned reputation