An orange Lexus UX

Which Lexus SUV is best for me?

What’s the difference between SUV models by Lexus and which one is right for you? Here’s our guide to the Lexus SUV range.

Cazoo Editorial Team Byline Icon

By Cazoo editorial team

Published: 18 July 2022

It may not be the first brand that comes to mind but if you’re in the market for a premium SUV, it’s well worth taking a look at Lexus alongside brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

As of mid-2022, there are three Lexus SUVs to choose from in the UK. From smaller to larger, they are the UX, NX and RX. Later in 2022, they’ll be joined by a new model, the pure-electric RZ. 

Every Lexus SUV is available with hybrid or electric power, is packed with features as standard and gives you a quiet and comfortable ride. Here’s an in-depth look at the Lexus SUV range, to help you work out which might be the best fit for you.

What’s the smallest Lexus SUV?

The UX is the smallest Lexus SUV. Measuring 450cm in length, it’s similar in size to the Kia Niro or the Mercedes-Benz GLA and, like those cars, it’s really more of a hatchback that sits a bit higher off the ground, rather than a ‘proper’ SUV. But that’s actually not a bad thing because it means the UX is a bit more fuel-efficient than many similar cars. It is, however, not the most practical of compact SUVs.

Moving up a size category there’s the Lexus NX, which is about the same size as the BMW X3 or the  Audi Q5 at around 460cm. It's taller and has a more conventional SUV look than the UX, and its larger, squarer body makes it a lot more spacious inside.

Lexus UX

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What’s the largest SUV that Lexus makes?

The biggest Lexus SUV available in the UK is the RX. The five-seat RX is 489cm long (a fraction shorter than a BMW X5) and the seven-seat RX L is 500cm long (slightly shorter than an Audi Q7). 

Lexus RX L

Do any Lexus SUVs have seven seats?

There’s just one seven-seat Lexus SUV available in the UK – the RX L. It’s basically the same car as the five-seat RX but its bodywork extends further beyond the back wheels to accommodate a third row of seats. Those seats fold into and out of the boot floor electrically at the touch of a button. 

There isn’t a huge amount of space in the third-row seats so they’re more suited to children than to adults. You can, however, move the second-row seats backwards and forwards by as much as 15cm if you need to create more legroom for those in the third row.

The RX L may also be a good option if you need a car with a really big boot. With the third-row seats folded down, it has an absolutely enormous 966 litres of space. That means it has one of the biggest boots of any SUV. 

Lexus RX L

Are there any hybrid or electric Lexus SUVs?

All of the Lexus SUVs you can get in the UK are available with hybrid power. Only one of them, the NX, is available with a non-hybrid petrol engine.

The UX 250h, NX 300h, NX 350h and RX 450h have ‘full’-hybrid power combining a petrol engine with an electric motor and a battery big enough to give a couple of miles of zero-emissions, electric-only driving. These models can give you similar fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions as an equivalent diesel car, so they’re quite cost-effective.

The latest version of the NX, sold new from early 2022, is available as a plug-in hybrid model called the NX 450h+. It has a petrol engine and a more powerful electric motor, plus a bigger battery, to give a range of up to 40 miles using purely electric power. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version of the next RX, which goes on sale in late 2022.

If you want to go for a fully electric Lexus SUV, there’s the UX 300e, which can give you a range of up to 196 miles on a full battery, according to official figures. If you can wait until later in 2022, you’ll be able to get the all-new RZ. It’s the first purpose-built electric car from Lexus and is expected to have a range of up to 250 miles when fully charged. 

A Lexus UX 300e charging

Do any Lexus SUVs have four-wheel drive?

Every Lexus NX and RX has four-wheel drive, as does the E-Four version of the UX. Unlike a conventional four-wheel-drive car, which mechanically connects the front and back wheels to the engine, Lexus’s hybrid four-wheel drive cars use an electric motor to power the back wheels, with just the front wheels being driven directly by the engine.

In normal driving conditions, that means the four-wheel-drive Lexus SUVs are actually just front-wheel drive. If sensors built into the car detect the front wheels starting to lose grip, power is divided between the front and back wheels, which improves grip and control. In zero-emissions mode, without the engine running, only the back wheels are driven.

Are Lexus SUVs good off-road?

While some Lexus SUVs can be driven off-road, it’s not their strong suit. With higher ground clearance than a conventional car, they can cross mild off-road terrain, like muddy tracks or fields, especially if you fit them with chunky all-terrain tyres. Ultimately, though, they’re focused more on feeling comfortable on normal roads.

Of all the Lexus SUV models, the petrol-powered NX 200t is probably the best for driving off-road because it has a more conventional four-wheel-drive system with mechanical components connecting the front and back wheels to the engine.

A Lexus RX driving off-road

Are there any sporty Lexus SUVs?

Every Lexus SUV is available in sporty-looking F Sport trim, which includes bigger wheels, deeper bumpers and a rear spoiler. Inside, you get a sportier look for the seats and steering wheel plus aluminium pedal trims.

However, no changes are made to the cars’ engines, suspension or brakes, so the changes are purely cosmetic.

Lexus UX F Sport

Lexus SUV models in summary

Lexus UX

The UX 250h is a compact premium SUV with full-hybrid power, which can make it as fuel efficient as an equivalent diesel car. There’s also the fully electric UX 300e, which can give a range of up to 196 miles on a fully charged battery. 

The UX isn’t particularly practical, with space for four adults and a small boot, but it will give you a smooth driving experience and a very comfortable ride.

Lexus NX

The NX was first sold new in 2014 and a brand-new version was launched in 2022. It’s a more family-friendly option than the UX. Being a bigger car, similar in size to the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the NX has significantly more passenger and boot space than you find in the UX. The older version is available with petrol and full-hybrid power; the latest version is available with full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power.

As is typical of a Lexus, the NX has lots of features included as standard, gives a smooth and comfortable ride and feels like it’s built to last a long time.   

Lexus RX

The current version of the RX has been sold new since 2015 and will be replaced by a brand-new version in late 2022. The current version is only available with full-hybrid power; the new one will be available with full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power. The five-seat RX is about the same size as the BMW X5 or the Range Rover Velar; the bigger RX L has seven seats.

The RX can give you excellent fuel economy for this type of car, averaging up to 48mpg, according to official figures. All models come very generously equipped as standard and give you a truly serene ride.

Coming soon – Lexus RZ

The RZ will be the first purpose-built electric car from Lexus when it goes on sale in late 2022. It’s estimated to give you a range of around 250 miles on a fully charged battery. In size terms, it fits between the NX and RX and should feel extremely spacious. 

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