Can it stand out from the electrical SUV gallery?

In a very interesting presentation recently from Toyota Ireland, the company’s overall goals for the next few years were outlined by the top people and what was really interesting was the details of the company’s “electrification journey”.

While the objective of the exercise may have been to focus on Toyota’s massive success in the hybrid space and its continued efforts to convince us, the automotive press and – more broadly – you the public that hybrid is and will remain a cornerstone of their vehicle operations.

Toyota, we have been told, will lead a market change that by 2025 – just four years away – will focus 45% of Irish sales on hybrids or PHEVs (plug-in hybrids) will also be “goodbye to diesels” .

Over the next 10 to 15 years, however, Toyota will work hard to a) get hybrids to “move people in bulk”; b) see the development of solid state battery technology; and c) further development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Interestingly, and aside from the main message of how great hybrids are, it was also revealed that Toyota – as one can reasonably assume – has been working on solid-state battery technology since 2012 and has already patented over 1,000 new developments in the area.

That’s a lot of patents.

Sure, you can control many of its functions using the alternate buttons for radio, phone, navigation, etc., but this system lags so far behind the technological masterpieces created elsewhere it’s almost embarrassing

But it shows, when needed, how much work is put into the whole field of electrification for Toyota. It also suggests that hybrid technology will eventually wither in the long run, and that what the world will eventually drive – on the road, if you will – will be a mix of electrics or hydrogen-powered machines.

This week we can try one of the first of those electrics to hit the market in the form of the Lexus UX. With Lexus being Toyota’s “premium” brand, it’s important to note that anything it does is quickly filtered down the ranks of mainstream products from the Japanese giant.

The electric UX 300e is – very surprisingly – the first all-electric production machine ever to come out of the stable and whatever may be said about the future of hybrids, this is definitely a sign of what Toyota City has in the near future.

As a premium product, Lexus / Toyota is keen to show this car’s place in the corporate sky, and the UX, along with several other new planned models, will replace the nameplate on models like the CT, IS, and RC in the coming months.

And since only Tesla and Polestar are currently competing in the premium electric segment, Lexus is exactly the right thing for many new electric enthusiasts.

But what about it? Is it any good?

It also only takes 50 minutes to charge from zero to 80% with a 50kW charger if you can find one, which is pretty decent.It also only takes 50 minutes to charge from zero to 80% with a 50kW charger if you can find one, which is pretty decent.

Well, a good place to start is that it’s a small SUV – the smallest in the Lexus lineup – and that will make it very attractive to the genre given the current propensity of buyers. The other most important aspect of an electric drive is range for many people and the UX allows you 315 km if you specify the 17 “wheels and 306 km if you specify the 18” wheels.

This isn’t “top of the class” among the premium cars available, and it isn’t even top of the class among the plebs either. The upcoming EV6 from Kia, for example, promises around 500 km, but the Lexus has enough range for many needs.

It also only takes 50 minutes to charge from zero to 80% with a 50kW charger if you can find one, which is pretty decent. Otherwise it takes eight hours and fifteen minutes to fully charge on a 6.6 kW wallbox and a full 19 hours on a household socket.

For the time being, only one power variant is available that delivers around 204 hp from a 150 kW synchronous electric motor paired with a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery. That in turn means a top speed of 160 km / h and the 0-100 km / h sprint in not inconspicuous 7.5 seconds.

Certainly it’s not the fastest – electric or otherwise – but it’s not looser either and it really feels like it would like to be driven – even pushed. The fact that he goes about his business and makes as much noise as a contemplative monk makes him even more impressive.

Add that this UX is blessed with the decorative appeal of any other Lexus – the interior is excellent and the chairs are very comfortable indeed, while keeping the spec. was placed in spades.

This isn't a big car, and as a result the rear end is a little tight and six-footers won't be comfortable back there.This isn’t a big car, and as a result the rear end is a little tight and six-footers won’t be comfortable back there.

This isn’t a big car, and as a result the rear end is a little tight and six-footers won’t be comfortable back there. The trunk, however, is large and well-sized, with the engineers and designers here taking full advantage of the underfloor battery installation to provide additional charging capabilities.

It’s not a particularly beautiful car either, although it’s not ugly either. The basking shark grid is massive and maybe a deal breaker for some or a real attraction for others. Overall, however, the design is neat and pleasant instead of being strikingly beautiful.

Operationally, it’s a breeze to live with and enjoy a typically lush Lexus experience. The only thing that was really annoying and that should have been addressed by the group shaker manufacturers is the touchpad-controlled infotainment system. It’s fiddly, distracts the driver and is generally annoying.

Sure, you can control many of its functions using the alternate buttons for radio, phone, navigation, etc., but this system lags so far behind the technological masterpieces created elsewhere it’s almost embarrassing.

For the time being, only one power variant is available that delivers around 204 hp from a 150 kW synchronous electric motor paired with a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery.For the time being, only one power variant is available that delivers around 204 hp from a 150 kW synchronous electric motor paired with a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery.

On the road it is immediately clear that this is a car that is designed for comfort and not as if stolen. The cushioning is on the soft side and the suspensions are tuned to provide a resilient but supple ride.

That does not mean that its driving characteristics are bad – they are not – just that it is obviously aimed at drivers who prefer to steer it comfortably rather than sportily. It’s actually a very relaxing car to drive.

So a good first electric for Lexus (and Toyota)? Yes, definitely.

The big surprise here is that this is an area the Japanese giant has not visited before. Given their massive hybrid successes, their delay could certainly be justified. But as everyone knows, the hybrid phase of the automotive world’s electrification journey won’t last forever.

So a good first electric for Lexus (and Toyota)?  Yes, definitely.So a good first electric for Lexus (and Toyota)? Yes, definitely.

In this case, this UX is a very strong sign that Toyota / Lexus is not being left behind by its competitors in making all-electric cars. This is a very successful first attempt at an electric vehicle and you will see many similarly crafted vehicles from this neighborhood in the not too distant future.

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