All-electric Lexus UX300e – range, performance, charging time and specification

Lexus has long been a leader with luxurious and refined petrol-electric hybrid cars, but the new UX300e is its first all-electric model

Chris Rosamond
Aug 19, 2020

Say hello to the Lexus UX300e, the upmarket Japanese brand’s first foray into the world of all-electric vehicles. Given the firm’s experience – along with parent company Toyota – in making petrol-electric hybrid cars, it’s surprising that we haven't seen a battery-only model from Lexus before.

Part of this delay comes from Toyota believing that hybrid cars are the most economically viable stepping-stone to a super-efficient and environmentally sustainable hydrogen fuel-cell powered future. Toyota is on record as saying the case for battery powered electric cars is much less convincing from a long-term sustainability perspective. So how does this electric car, from a company that doesn't believe in electric cars, stack up?

We have to wait until 2021 for the UX300e to arrive in the UK, with prices tentatively opening at £43,900. With Toyota having such expertise in hybrid petrol-electric power, the company claims that its first plug-in model will be fully optimised to make the most of its electric motor.

It’s up to the UX300e to turn that aspiration into an electric car reality that delivers on the road, and judging by what we know so far it has every chance of doing just that. Keep reading for all the details.

Quick facts

  • Lexus’s first all-electric car
  • New version of the hybrid UX crossover
  • Claimed range of 196 miles
  • Fast charging takes less than 60 minutes
  • AC charging takes eight hours
  • Features a 50kW, 200hp motor

Lexus UX300e models and trim

Aside from the introduction of this new electric powertrain, not an awful lot else has changed inside the UX300e. It will be available in a single 'UX' trim, which can be augmented with a choice of two optional packages.

Standard equipment includes Bi-LED headlights with an automatic high beam function, heated and electrically adjustable front seats, parking sensors front and rear with a reversing camera, and smartphone integration with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Premium Pack upgrade includes leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, two heated rear seats, wireless smartphone charging and illuminated door handles - handy if you're out late.

Those looking for the most lavish experience, though, will probably aim for the Takumi option pack. This includes a 13-speaker surround sound system, a 10.3-inch media display with navigation, a 360-degree camera with head-up display, blind-spot monitoring and a panoramic sunroof.

Lexus UX300e pricing and delivery dates

Anyone interested in this new electric SUV can make a reservation with Lexus now. Prices are yet to be set in stone, but Lexus has indicated the UX300e will start from £43,900 for the standard model. 

Upgrading to the Premium Pack will bring the overall price to £47,400, while the Takumi pack will rise to £53,500. This will make the 300e by far the most expensive UX model on the market, but it's still cheaper than the electric Volvo XC40 Recharge.

These prices will be officially confirmed in October when order books are expected to open, with deliveries beginning in March 2021.

Lexus UX300e range and recharging

Lexus has claimed a range of up to 196 miles per charge, which is not bad for a chunky SUV, and ought to make the proposition of ownership realistic for many. Most drivers do less than 30 miles a day after all, which means charging would only be required every three or four days, if you don’t have access to a home wall charger.

The UX300e is equipped with a 54.3kWh lithium ion battery, which accepts a maximum standard AC charge of 6.6kW or a rapid DC charge at 50kW, so you can expect to be up to 80% capacity in well under an hour using the latter, while you’ll need eight hours to charge from a wall box at home. With its maximum charge rate of 50kW, you won’t be able to take advantage of Tesla-style superchargers with their 150kW output, however, so expect the UX300e to need around an hour for a full charge at the fastest.

Lexus UX300e rivals

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is pretty close in concept to the Lexus UX300e, offering contemporary and relatively compact SUV style with electric power. Volvo has been a bit less cautious with its spec though, as the XC40 comes with a considerably bigger 74kWh battery, and a more powerful motor promising more exciting acceleration.

If you’re not too worried about how upmarket your car feels, then both Kia and Hyundai offer less luxurious – and less expensive – electric SUVs called the e-Niro and Kona Electric, or you might consider the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense which is more affordable still. Apart from the Volvo none of the above offer anything like the luxury and refinement you can expect from the Lexus, however.

Lexus UX300e performance

Electric power will come courtesy of a 150kW motor - which equates to around 200hp - powered by a 54.3kWh battery. With plenty of instant power on tap you can expect brisk acceleration off the line, while 0-62mph is claimed to take 7.5 seconds.

The more expensive Volvo XC40 Recharge has more than double the power, and is reported to reach 0-62mph in a shade under five seconds – the Lexus won’t compete in a traffic light grand prix, but that's not really what these cars are for.

Where we expect the UX300e to excel is in the area of cabin refinement. Lexus has already announced there is extra sound-deadening to mask extraneous sounds that you wouldn’t be able to hear with an engine running in the hybrid version.

Lexus UX300e interior

Don’t expect much difference between the interior of the electric Lexus UX300e and its hybrid siblings. In fact, we’d be surprised to see anything much more than some bespoke graphics on the driver information screens providing detail on the electric motor and battery condition, and perhaps one or two minor dashboard changes for electric car-specific functions.

Otherwise you’ll get the regular UX experience which means superlative build quality and materials, plush and comfortable seats and lots of toys, plsu a sweeping driver-focused dashboard with many of the control features gathered on the centre console and a handsome central touchscreen.

Lexus UX300e exterior

There’s little about the UX300e that gives away its electric car credentials unless you’re a real car spotter. It looks almost identical to the existing hybrid version, apart from bespoke aerodynamic wheels, and there’s a charging point on the rear pillar instead of a fuel filler cap.

In terms of size, the UX300e stands at 4,495mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,545mm tall, roughly around the size of a Volvo XC40 or Audi Q3, and just 25mm taller than the UX250h hybrid.

Boots space is also increased - we assume thanks to the change to electric power, with 367 litres on offer with the rear seats in place. Those batteries have made the UX300e heavier, though, with a gross weight of 2,245kg and a kerb weight of 1,785-1,840kg.

Lexus UX300e technology

The electric technology under the skin of the UX300e is its most interesting trait, but many of the elements are variants of the kit and electric control systems you’d find in a Lexus UX hybrid. The UX300e gets a front-mounted electric motor driving the front wheels, with the 54kW battery located under the floor. Other related tech includes driving modes optimised for boosting how far you can travel per charge and paddles behind the steering wheel to control the regenerative braking system - which recoups energy otherwise lost when slowing down.

The UX300e also gets a bespoke cooling system for its battery, and an Active Sound Control system configured to transmit sounds into the cabin that ‘communicate the driving conditions’.

In other respects the UX300e features tech that mirrors that on the hybrid versions, and as you’d expect from a Lexus, the spec is pretty lavish. Items included or on the options list include a 10-inch multimedia display, surround view parking cameras, a head-up display and a full range of active driving and safety aids.

Lexus UX300e review

With the UX300e still some way off, Lexus has yet to provide examples for road testing. When we do get our hands on it, we’d expect the brand’s trademark refinement and comfort to be very present, and it will be interesting to see how much the weight of battery pack affects the amount of body roll in cornering. Performance and battery range in the real world will be in the spotlight too.

 

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