With appealing looks, a smart interior and a highly-efficient powertrain, the Lexus UX has plenty of plus points.

Lexus says it has designed this compact SUV with modern urban motorists in mind, and expects the UX to be the first luxury vehicle for many of those who buy one.

The vehicle is equipped with the brand’s fourth generation self-charging hybrid electric powertrain, offering refinement and efficiency.

It’s also the first Lexus to be built on the GA-C global architecture platform, offering a lightweight but very rigid structure, as well as a very low centre of gravity.

The Mail: The UX 250h

With the suspension providing a nice balance between comfort and performance, it all makes for a car that handles superbly.

Out on the B-roads, the UX has great road hugging abilities and excellent agility in the tighter corners, with the handling instilling great confidence.

But it’s the powertrain that impresses most, with its efficient yet punchy performance.

It features multiple new components, including a 2.0-litre petrol engine, hybrid transaxle, compact battery and power control unit.

With 181bhp/135kW (184 DIN hp) total system output, it can perform the sprint to 62mph in 8.5 seconds while returning fuel economy of 51.3mpg.

The Mail: The UX 250h

In practical terms, that was enough to take us from West Yorkshire to London and back on a £50 tank of fuel, with some left over, with the cruise control system adding to the UX’s frugal motorway manners.

In terms of looks, the UX has some strong creases, leaving onlookers with an overall impression of a stylish yet functional vehicle.

At the front, the spindle grille is unique to the UX, as it features a mesh pattern with individual elements that gradually change in shape as they fan out from the central Lexus emblem.

The daytime running lights are arranged in an arrowhead shape above the headlamp units, emphasising the Lexus ‘L’ lighting signature.

The wheel arch mouldings, which protect the bodywork from gravel thrown up by the tyres, add a slightly rugged feel.

At the rear, the most eye-catching feature is the aero stabilising blade lights, which run from the top of the rear wings and across the width of the vehicle.

They guide airflow around the rear to help reduce turbulence and lift, making the car more stable when cornering.

The Mail: The UX 250h

Once inside, there’s a feeling of luxury, with plenty of soft touch materials and design flourishes in evidence.

This year’s UX 250h, tested here, introduces Lexus’s new multimedia systems, giving faster response and more intuitive, human-centred operation.

A crisp 12.3-inch display has touchscreen technology replacing the previous trackpad control.

It’s noticeable how the new displays have been moved forward on the instrument panel, bringing them closer to the driver.

The new voice recognition system includes the option of using the “Hey Lexus” onboard assistant to make it easier to give voice commands to make phone calls, operate

the audio and climate control and search the net.

It can link to cloud-based information, so you can ask for things like nearby fuel prices and other local information.

Legroom and headroom are good up front, while we managed to get two adults and a child into the back seats for a trip to the Capital with relative comfort, with the grumbling only beginning at around the 150-mile mark.

In conclusion, the UX is an easy vehicle to live with, offering practicality, luxury and excellent fuel economy.

The Lowdown

Lexus UX250h Premium Plus Pack

ENGINE: 2-litre petrol 4-cylinder in-line, hybrid
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and top speed of 110mph
ECONOMY: 51.3mpg and emissions of 125g/km
PRICE: £40,660