Midcycle refreshes take place about halfway through a vehicle’s intended lifespan, and they’re meant to bring older vehicles closer to parity with all the flashy new stuff in the lineup. This week, it’s the Lexus UX’s turn to get a massage.
Lexus last week announced the refreshed 2023 UX small crossover. In keeping with the automaker’s plans to increase its focus on electrification, the UX will lose its gas-only powertrain option. Starting with the 2023 model year, all Lexus UX models sold in the US will only be offered as a gas-electric hybrid. Two motor-generators combine with a 2.0-liter I4 gas engine to produce a net 181 horsepower. While the EPA hasn’t yet announced numbers for the 2023 model, the 2022 Lexus UX hybrid is rated at 41 mpg city and 38 mpg highway with all-wheel drive.
To further spice up the UX’s driving dynamics, Lexus also went to work improving the car’s underlying components: 20 new weld points add some structural stability, while new Bridgestone run-flat tires were developed to reduce noise and vibration. The electronic power steering and suspension also received updates.
If buyers want to take things a step further, that’s where Lexus’ new package for its F Sport trim comes in. The F Sport Handling package adds adaptive performance dampers for sharper handling. If you want to skip the stiffer stuff, the F Sport Design package nixes the suspension upgrade but still adds sport seats, a sportier steering wheel, aluminum pedals and a unique gauge cluster.
Perhaps the most important upgrade to the 2023 Lexus UX is its infotainment system. Lexus has added the Lexus Interface telematics system, which is a huge step forward from its outdated, low-resolution forebear. An 8-inch display is standard, but it can be optioned up to 12.3. Both screens include dual-Bluetooth capability, in addition to standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Lexus also improved the UX’s safety suite. Lexus Safety System 2.0 has been replaced with the upgraded Safety System Plus 2.5. The primary change here is a beefed-up automatic emergency braking system, allowing it to detect both pedestrians and cyclists. The upgrade also adds automatic braking capability during unprotected left turns, as well as evasive steering assist, which can boost steering input during evasive maneuvers to better avoid a collision.
The 2023 Lexus UX will reach dealerships later this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced, but for context, a 2022 UX 250h AWD starts at $36,825, including $1,075 in destination charges.