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Sharper handling, more tech for Audi Q3, Volvo XC40-rivalling 2022 Lexus UX premium SUV

UX F Sport variants gain body-coloured wheel arches as part of the update.

Lexus will upgrade its UX this year with new safety and in-car tech as well as mechanical tweaks designed to improve ride and handling.

It marks the first update to the premium small SUV following its launch in Australia in 2019.

The Japanese luxury car maker is yet to confirm pricing, but that will be revealed closer to its launch in the second half of 2022.

The UX200 Luxury gets a boost with the addition of fuel-saving idle stop, digital radio and two more speakers for the audio system which is now up to 10 speakers.

It also gets a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia system, up from 10.3 inches, as well as Lexus Connected Services and a new voice recognition system using the command, ‘Hey Luxus’.

Similar systems are found in BMW and Mercedes-Benz models.

The UX200 and 250h F Sport grades gain body-coloured wheel arches and aluminium pedals.

Under the skin these variants now have a steering gear brace that aids ride comfort and, according to Lexus, works with the adaptive suspension setup top sharpen handling.

The addition of 20 spot-welding points on the UX body ensures better road-holding characteristics and body stiffness.

Safety wise the UX now has a more responsive pre-collision system and artificial intelligence has improved the functionality of the lane keeping aid.

Other systems to benefit from upgrades include the curve speed control function and surround-view monitor.

It’s unclear if the UX will increase in price as a result of the updates. Currently, the UX starts from $44,445 for the UX200 Luxury and tops out at $81,000 for the all-electric UX300e Sports Luxury.

Sales of the UX have dipped this year by 36.2 per cent to 370 units, meaning it is being well and truly beaten in its segment by the likes of the Volvo XC40 (1656 sales), Mercedes-Benz GLA (964), Audi Q3 (975) and BMW X1 (780).