Lexus SUVs: full guide and latest deals

The full guide to sharp-edged and hybrid-powered Lexus SUVs

Simon Ostler
Jul 21, 2021

The Lexus brand is part of the wider Toyota family, used by the Japanese giant to build upmarket cars to reach an entirely new demographic of potential buyers. The Lexus-Toyota relationship works in the same way as Citroen and DS, or Seat and Cupra.

Where Toyota sees most of its competition coming from the likes of Nissan and Honda, Lexus sets its sights at rivalling considerably more high-quality and expensive models from brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes, adding a fair dash of luxury into the mix along the way.

Lexus, like every other car manufacturer aiming to make the most of consumer demand, has set it sights on developing SUVs, and it has a growing catalogue of high-riding and practical models already on the market. Better yet, Lexus has put an emphasis on hybrid tech, meaning every one of its SUVs is available in some form of hybrid guise, whether that's as a full (self-charging) hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. There's even an electric version of its smaller SUV - the UX.

As we mentioned, Lexus puts its focus towards luxury, so while these SUVs might look rough and rugged, they aren't designed with any form of off-roading in mind, so they aren't likely your best choice if you're looking for a capable 4x4.

But if you're looking for a high-quality, comfortable and deeply luxurious car with enough room for you and your family to travel in style, then one of these Lexus SUVs might well be your ideal choice. Read on for all the details on the entire Lexus SUV range.

Lexus SUVs

1. Lexus UX

Best Lexus SUV for small families

Less good for grown-up families

Used deals from £24,490
Monthly finance from £335*

At the smallest end of the scale, the Lexus UX sits in a group of cars that includes the Audi Q2, Seat Ateca and Nissan Qashqai among a wealth of other similarly sized family SUVs. 

It sits pretty low compared to many of its rivals, though, which gives it a sportier look and feel, although it does still feel relatively high-up from behind the wheel. The fact it stands only 28mm taller than a Volkswagen Golf does mean it drives surprisingly well. It changes direction fairly nimbly with decent feedback through the steering wheel, and there isn't too much body lean when you turn into a corner, which makes the whole thing feel very composed.

The UX is available as a hybrid, powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine coupled with an electric motor which together produce 184hp and relatively strong performance under acceleration. This is a so-called self-charging hybrid though, so there's no option to plug it in and run on electric power, but it does still offer good fuel economy and low emissions compared to standard petrol or diesel engined alternatives.

If it's zero-emission driving that you're after, the Lexus UX is also available as an electric car in the form of the 300e. This again produces plenty of power and handles in much the same way as the hybrid model, but the battery is only good for around 190 miles of driving per charge, which is a fair way short of rivals such as the Kia e-Niro (282 miles) or the Volvo XC40 Recharge (259 miles).

As this is a Lexus you can expect the interior to be of good quality, with plenty of tech and convenience features on offer - Android Auto and Apple Carplay have been standard kit since March 2020. In terms of space, the UX is limited, even compared to many rivals. There's plenty of space up front for the driver, but the compact dimensions mean that taller rear seated passengers will feel the squeeze for both head and leg room, while the boot measures up at 320 litres, which is smaller than the likes of the Audi Q2 (405 litres) and BMW X2 (470 litres).

2. Lexus NX

Best Lexus SUV for company car drivers

Less good for sporty performance

Used deals from £21,347
Monthly finance from £285*

The NX is the mid-sized SUV in the Lexus range, and it's one of the more striking-looking models among its rivals - a list that includes the Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Regardless of looks the NX stands up well against all of this opposition in terms of build quality and equipment.

That quality seeps into the ride, too. It's mostly quiet and refined even at motorway speeds thanks to a smooth hybrid engine and excellent cabin insulation - it's not sporty, but it is comfy. The NX feels much more like an SUV than the smaller UX, thanks mostly to its taller frame offering a much more imposing feel from behind the wheel. But this additional size doesn't make it feel unwieldy or a handful to drive, even parking in narrow streets should be manageable thanks to the wealth parking assistance tech on board including a 360-degree camera on Premier trim models.

Earlier versions of the NX were available with a traditional petrol engine, but it wasn't a popular choice, so it's now only available as a hybrid, and most of the used deals you'll find on BuyaCar are also for the hybrid version. The hybrid itself is capable of driving short distances (up to a mile) under electric power, meaning a cruise through town can be undertaken in near silence. Once the battery runs out of charge, or you decide you want to pick up some speed, the petrol engine kicks in to offer a little more power.

This is a full hybrid engine, so the batteries can only be charged while you're on the move. It's worth noting that the weight of those batteries can cause problems if you're traversing particularly rough ground, the ride gets a bit harsh and noisy as the suspension can struggle to cope. A plug-in hybrid version of the NX is on the way later in 2021.

In terms of practicality, the cabin is spacious with plenty of headroom for all passengers, but the boot is still relatively small compared to the competition, with 475 litres on offer with the seats up a long way behind the Audi Q5 (520 litres) and the enormous BMW X3 (550 litres), it is three litres larger than what's available in the Range Rover Evoque though.

LEXUS NX BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Lexus RX

Best Lexus SUV for comfort

Less good for driving enthusiasts

Used deals from £21,450
Monthly finance from £419*

The Lexus RX is another distinctive-looking SUV that stands out from the likes of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 which are two of its closest rivals in terms of price. The same themes apply here as with other Lexus models, there's quality and comfort in spades.

In terms of size, the RX is much smaller than the competition. The Lexus measures 4,890mm long, 1,895mm wide and 1,690mm tall, both the X5 (4,922 x 2,004 x 1,745) and Q7 (5,063 x 1,968 x 1,741) are longer, wider and taller. Both offer substantially more boot space than the Lexus whether the back seats are up or down. The RX offers 539 litres or 1,612 litres with the seats down, the X5 has 650 and 1,870 litres while the enormous Q7 opens up a whopping 770 and 1,955 litres. So if overall space is something that's important to you, you may well consider opting for one of these larger alternatives.

This more compact nature of the RX does make it much easier to manoeuvre around town - especially when parking, and it's also much lighter which helps to improve fuel efficiency.

Efficiency is where the RX really shines, it doesn't come with a diesel engine, but the hybrid 450h version is powered by a punchy 3.5-litre V6 coupled to an electric motor that's capable of covering around a mile under electric power. This means the engine will shut down when you're in traffic or cruising through town and can dramatically improve your fuel economy. Lexus claims the hybrid RX can manage 54mpg, which is great for a car this size. There's also a pure petrol option, but the hybrid is more efficient and faster, so there's no contest over which one you should pick.

LEXUS RX BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Lexus RX L

Best Lexus SUV for large families

Less good for carrying adults in the back row

Used deals from £33,490
Monthly finance from £423*

Finally we have the largest model on offer from Lexus, the RX L. This is an extended version of the RX, fitted with seven seats and generally offering more space throughout. 

In terms of size, the RX L is 110mm longer and 10mm taller than the standard RX in order to accommodate the extra row of seats, but boot space is limited to 474 litres when those extra seats are in the upright position. Fold the seats down however and the boot grows to a much more useful 1,656 litres.

You could make an argument that skipping the standard RX altogether and opting for the larger RX L could be a better choice even if you don't need the extra seats, so you can make use of a much larger boot when you need it without sacrificing too much else. This larger version isn't whole lot more expensive on BuyaCar either. 

If you do need to make use of those extra seats, though, you can be sure that everyone inside the RX L will be able to sit comfortably. The rear-most two seats are a touch cramped for taller adults, but those of average height will be able to manage for a while, if not perhaps a European road trip. The typical Lexus luxury can also be found here. There's triple-zone air-conditioning for all seven passengers.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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