Deceleration on wheels
The first electric car from Lexus in the test: The Lexus UX300e has many plus points – and one shortcoming.
The course seems to have been set: Electromobility is picking up speed and is essential to achieve future climate targets. Hardly any manufacturer – with the exception of exotic small series manufacturers – can do without electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The Lexus, the premium brand from Toyota, must now take the next step – although hybrid drives have long been a matter of course here. However, a full hybrid that charges its batteries for the electric motors exclusively via braking energy is no longer efficient enough in the long run. Toyota already has plug-in hybrids on offer and Lexus is now launching its first car with a purely electric drive, the UX300e. Except for the drive, the Stromer is identical to the UX petrol or hybrid transmission, which has been in production since 2018. Visually, the Stromer differs only in details – and the space available has also been completely retained. So you sit comfortably and pleasantly high in the electric compact crossover. The seats are comfortably upholstered and fully adjustable. In the UX with an electric drive, you immediately feel comfortable and secure. It is operated via a touchpad on the center console, which takes some getting used to. The smartphone connection via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay works without any problems, so that music and navigation can be easily and up-to-date in the car.
The speedometer unit combines analogue and digital elements and thus provides information at a glance on the current speed, consumption and, above all, battery charge and range. According to the factory specification, the battery with a gross capacity of 54.3 kWh is sufficient for a range of 315 kilometers according to the WLTP measurement standard. This corresponds to a consumption of 17 kWh (WLTP). In the test, the Japanese used an average of just under 19 kWh/100 km, which would mean around 280 kilometers per battery charge. This is quite suitable for everyday use – especially because the on-board computer calculates the remaining range precisely and comprehensibly. So you can definitely rely on the forecasts. This is all the more important because the Lexus sat nav does not offer any help in finding charging stations, planning routes with charging stops or calculating the remaining range when arriving at the destination; here, as a driver, you are on your own because the system has not been thoroughly adapted for use in e-cars.
The real shortcoming of the successful Stromer is charging. At an AC charging station, for example a public charging station or a home wall box, the UX draws a maximum of 6.6 kW. The battery only has a range of around 30 kilometers per hour, and a full charge takes eight hours. Most of the competitors offer 11 kW charging capacity, which means that a range of almost 60 kilometers can be charged per hour.
The UX 300e charges at a maximum of 50 kW at a fast charging station with direct current, which means that the battery is 80% full again after 50 minutes. That in itself is not a top value. It is a pity, above all, that Lexus relies on the outdated Chademo standard, which is not very common in Europe. When expanding the charging infrastructure, the newer CCS standard, which allows higher charging capacities, is used in particular. Fast charging is made more difficult with the Lexus over longer distances, as there are significantly fewer charging stations available. So you should plan longer trips well in advance if you don’t want to risk stranding with the Stromer. This almost condemns the UX 300e as a second car, which is a big “but” for a car costing at least 49,900 francs.
Lexus also wants to offer peace of mind in terms of longevity; the manufacturer grants a guarantee of ten years or one million kilometers on the battery; Lexus guarantees five years or 100,000 kilometers for the rest of the powertrain.
Lexus UX 300e
Engine: electric machine
Power: 204 hp / 300 Nm
Drive: auto 1-speed, FWD
trunk volume: 414-1290L
0-100km/h: 7.5 sec.
Range WLTP: 315 km
Price: from CHF 49,900
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