Behind The Steering Wheel of a Lexus UX300e

Groningen, The Netherlands 14th May 2021;
Cross-over vehicles are still trending at the moment in Europe and with the regulations leaning to a greener society, the need and desire for electric cars increases vastly. Therefore, Lexus swapped the hybrid heart of their Urban Crossover for an even greener heart only two years after its initial release; And voilà, we present you the Lexus UX300e! Thanks to Louwman Groningen for providing us with this ‘Sonic Titanium’ UX300e so we can delight you senses regarding this electric crossover.

Text: Roley Richardson, Benjamin Wefer
Picture: Benjamin Wefer, Roley Richardson

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With the technology from LF-30 & the LF-Z Electrified concepts on board, Lexus foresees an electrified future for their flawless designed Urban eXplorer (UX). It shares the same GA-C platform and body as its hybrid brother. The UX300e’s chassis has optimized shock absorbers damping force to match the dynamic changes of electrification. With a Length of 4.495 meter, its 1.840 meters width and its 1.545 meters height, the UX300e sits in the sweet spot of the compact segment. This first generation UX hasn’t got its first facelift yet, but just a few minor interior tweaks. What can we expect from Lexus on their first full electric car?


To start with the obvious, the engine. This has been traded for an 85 kg weighing single synchronous electric motor. It produces around 200 Hp and 221 lb. Ft of torque. The Electric motor is located in the front, where the engine used to be, and uses a single-speed automatic transmission to pass the torque to the front axle. The power output translates in a modest smooth acceleration that will please many that just made the switch from a combustion engine to a full electric one. This electric motor hauls the massive 1860 kg weighing body from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. Which is a good acceleration for a SUV on a 54.3 kwh battery pack. Unfortunately, all-wheel drive is not available on the UX300e.


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Driving the UX300e is very pleasant. The low center of gravity due to the low placed battery packs really gives this electric crossover some advantages. The UX300e reacts properly in the corners and feels much lighter than it sounds on paper. One thing pedestrians need to get used to is the mandatory sound for all electric car. The UX300e emits a weird grinding sound at low speeds. At 30km/hrs and specially in reverse the grinding noise sounds like a train on the railway. The driver and passengers however don’t hear it at all.

The UX uses the new generations Lithium-ion battery pack that is as you may expect, integrated into the chassis to under the rear seats. This helps to keep the center of gravity low and improves the cars steering, especially in the corners. Besides a battery cooling system, Lexus added a heating system for each battery cell to ensure a stable temperature to maintain maximum efficiency (charge) even in minus 30-degree Celsius. Lexus provides a 5 year warranty on the battery packs of their BEV or first 100.000 miles (depending on what comes first). This can also be extended to ten years or 600.000 miles!


Due to the battery being integrated in the chassis, that leaves you with more space in the trunk. The UX300e provide a decent 486-liter trunk space loaded to the roof with the seats unfolded. A down side of this is that the rear passengers have an awkward seating position. To incorporate the batteries in the chassis, Lexus had to use some of the floor space of the rear passengers. This has as disadvantage that the rear passengers may find it less pleasant on long journeys but it was an absolute necessity for the drivability of the car.

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Moving on to front seats is where you will start to appreciate the UX. The interior is a pleasant place to spend time in. The cabin is quiet thanks to insulation added to suppresses outside noises, making it a very relaxing car to drive or be in. Even though we found the wind noise to be a little loud when the inside sunroof cover is open. The seats are very comfortable and the dashboard is a museum piece on itself. The dashboard consists of different textured layers, based on the traditional Japanese paper sliding doors. This grain paper texture is truly visible through the dashboard. The seats are decorated with the ‘Sashiko’ (meaning little stab) stitches. Sashiko is an ancient Japanese hand-sewing technique, which uses a tightly twisted heavy-weight cotton thread. Both these techniques blend nicely in to each other and gives the interior of the UX a chic ambiance. The heads-up display is clearly visible on bright daylight and the traditional Lexus clock remains a luxury addition to this car.

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The car pillars have become thicker and bulkier to accommodate all the air bags, but unfortunately reduces the visibility because of increased blind spots. To remediate this the UX300e is equipped with a 360⁰ view to give you a more peace of mind. Cool thing is that the 360/front camera can also be turned on on demand.

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We spent our sunny Saturday cruising this Urban crossover on the highway and on urban roads in the province of Groningen. At the end of the day, we still had about a quarter of battery charge left without turning off the car. On the left of the car, you find the CHAdeMO (Charge de MOve) fast connection or you may choose the regular connection found on the right side of the car. In theory you will be able to charge the UX300e from 5% to 80% in 51 minutes using the CHAdeMO charge connection. Charging the UX300e here in The Netherlands, took us around 1 hour and 24 minutes to charge from 23% to 100% (Outside temperature was 9 °C). At Home using the ‘Lexus Wallbox’ you will be fully charge in just over eight hours. A fully charged battery should give you around 315 km (WLTP) on the 17-inch wheels (305 km range on conventional rims). On a full charge the car indicates that you will be able to get 267 km.

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In terms of EV experience the UX300e did not disappoint. It will not give you an adrenalin rush neither will it be our weapon of choice for a long road trip or family vacations. The UX300e guarantees a smooth ride for those who look for every day commute in a luxury ecstasy and for those who value their lunges the most.