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Please welcome the latest and greenest member of the CarAdvice long-term test fleet – 'Forest Alexis Gump', the 2019 Lexus UX250h F Sport.
Finally, I have my hands on a vehicle that has a colour scheme representative of my love for all things green, and that continues to the powertrain, too. More on that in a bit.
Our 'Khaki Metal' Lexus UX250h F Sport with front-wheel drive starts at $56,950 before on-road costs and options, with the eye-catching paint you see here asking for an additional $1500 (ouch!), while the power moonroof is the entirety of additions of the $2500 Enhancement Pack 1.
As tested you're looking at $60,950 plus ORCs. While that may seem a little exxy for what is a small crossover, the little Lexus comes handsomely equipped.
Highlights in the top-shelf F Sport include 18-inch alloy wheels shod in Dunlop run-flat tyres, sportier bumpers, sports front seats trimmed in real leather with heating and ventilation, a unique steering wheel, metal pedals, an 8.0-inch multifunction driver's display with G-force monitor, wireless phone charger, adaptive suspension, Active Sound Control, adaptive high-beam, a powered tailgate, alloy scuff plates, privacy glass, cornering lights, and headlight washers.
That's already on top of the comprehensive level of kit standard on the base Luxury grade, which includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, all-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, speed sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, eight airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, 10-way driver and eight-way passenger electric seat adjustment, a 10.3-inch infotainment display with navigation, and an eight-speaker audio system with subwoofer.
Other highlights include a power-adjustable steering column (very swish), keyless entry with push-button start, LED head, fog and tail-lights, heated side mirrors, roof rails, and a roof-mounted rear spoiler.
The only available specification 'Forest' is missing is the Enhancement Pack 2 ($5600), which incorporates the power moonroof of EP1 and adds a 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, and a special 'card' key.
It's worth noting you can have some of the EP2 features, namely the sound system and surround cameras, by opting for the more luxe-focused UX250h Sports Luxury (from $56,500), though you miss out on the 'Sport+' and 'Custom' selectable drive modes, bodykit, adaptive suspension, sports seats, and 8.0-inch driver's display (down to 7.0 inches).
As for the green powertrain to match the green paint, the UX250h FWD is powered by a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle atmo four making 107kW at 6000rpm and 188Nm at 4400–5200rpm, hooked up to an 80kW/202Nm electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery pack.
Lexus quotes a combined power output of 131kW, but no system torque figure – Toyota and Lexus tend to not include combined torque output for their hybrids.
Our tester sends drive to the front wheels via a CVT automatic, with 'e-four' all-wheel drive available as an option (from $61,000 in F Sport guise).
While the eco-friendly drivetrain may sound underwhelming, the company officially claims a fuel consumption figure of just 4.5L/100km on the combined cycle, and can accelerate from 0–100km/h in 8.5 seconds (according to Lexus UK).
Supplementary specifications include a 364L boot, 160mm of ground clearance, a kerb-to-kerb turning circle of 10.4m, while the kerb weight is rated at 1625kg.
Having only recently launched in Australia, the Lexus UX has added sales volume for the marque in Australia. For the month of April 2019, the company saw 138 registrations for the UX range, representing a market share of 10.6 per cent in the premium small-SUV class – behind the GLA, XC40, Q2, X1 and X2. Year to date, 584 units have been registered locally, making it the second most popular model for the Japanese luxury arm, behind the larger NX.
Stay tuned for regular long-term updates over the coming months, where we'll test the UX in urban and long-distance driving situations, assess its infotainment and tech suite, interior comfort and practicality, along with input from the wider team.