Lexus is making a series of updates to the UX, its entry-level crossover, for the 2023 model year. Now only offered with a hybrid powertrain, the soft-roader receives a better infotainment system, updated steering and suspension systems and more capable safety features.
Shifting to a hybrid-only line-up brings a new name: UXh. That's not the only change you'll spot if you open (or download) a brochure. Buyers can select a pair of option packages called F Sport Design and F Sport Handling, respectively. The former focuses largely on appearance and equipment. It adds F Sport wheels, a specific grille, painted wheel arch flares, dark roof rails, a black roof panel, a moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, fog lights, cornering lights and self-leveling headlights. Inside, the list of F Sport-specific parts includes the front sport seats, steering wheel, gear selector, instrument cluster and pedals. The latter goes a step further with performance-tuned dampers, an Active Variable Suspension system and a brace to the steering gear. We're told that these changes noticeably improve the UXh's handling.
Even if you choose not to tick either box, the 2023 UXh should drive better and quieter than the 2022 UX. Lexus notes that it recalibrated the steering and suspension systems and, interestingly, added 20 spot welds to the body in order to improve structural rigidity.
Inside, the most significant changes for 2023 are infotainment-related. The UXh gets the Lexus Interface infotainment system already found in some of the other models in the range, like the NX. It's displayed on an eight-inch touchscreen (a 12.3-inch unit is optional) with anti-glare technology, and it brings with it a redesigned center console with a bigger wireless device charger and a pair of USB charging ports.
For 2023, every UXh regardless of trim level comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite of driving aids. This bundle includes a pre-collision system, emergency steering assist, lane-tracing assist and adaptive cruise control. Lexus notes that the pre-collision system's response range has been expanded with better hardware and that artificial intelligence helped it improve the lane-tracing assist function.
Lexus dealers across the nation will begin receiving the 2023 UXh in late summer 2022. Pricing information hasn't been announced yet.