The smallest and most affordable Lexus has just received its first-ever update. Refreshed for the 2023 model year, the luxury marque has given the UX a (very) subtle redesign. The changes are so minor, that we’re actually wondering what did Lexus actually update on the tiny crossover.
Let’s start with the updates you can’t actually see, the chassis. Lexus claims the 2023 UX has improved body rigidity over the outgoing model. This was made possible by a total of 20 spot welding points added to the body openings around the side and back doors.
Moreover, the updated UX was also driven at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama in order to refine the vehicle’s EPS, dampers, and other components. For added quietness, the automaker installed newly-developed run-flat 18-inch tires that come with a redesigned tread pattern that reduces road noise.
Stepping inside, the 2023 UX now comes with the brand’s new touchscreen infotainment system. It’s similar to the touchscreen system in the NX and available in either 8- and 12.3-inch sizes. Features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, satellite navigation, and intelligent voice control ensure that drivers have plenty of connectivity features available. Other key upgrades present in the 2023 UX include a panoramic view monitor, a digital key system, and expanded driver aids in the Lexus Safety System.
Don’t expect to find the center touchpad as that has been removed for the 2023 update. However, this allowed Lexus to redesign the center console and place a bigger wireless charging pad for smartphones. And in case your phone cannot be recharged wirelessly, there are two new USB-C charging ports near the pad where one can connect their charging cables easily.
Besides equipping the UX with more standard tech, Lexus was also busy giving the UX better ride and handling. Only available on the F Sport model are the adaptive variable suspension and Yamaha-developed performance dampers. Not only do these quickly absorb body flex and minor vibrations, but they also sharpen the UX's handling as well as improve overall ride comfort and quietness. To complement the UX F Sport's more dashing looks, it now comes with an aluminum footrest and scuff plate for added bling.
Powering the 2023 UX are two carried over powertrains. First is a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four that makes 174 PS with 209 Nm of torque and is available for the UX 200. The other engine is a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder that's helped along by an electric motor. Dubbed the UX 250h, the hybrid version makes a total system output of 184 PS plus 188 Nm of torque. Both engines are connected to a CVT that drives the front wheels.
With the 2023 Lexus UX now available in other markets, it might not be long before it arrives here in the Philippines. Hopefully, Lexus Philippines decides to bring the hybrid version since we only get the UX 200 and the UX 200 F Sport here in the country.