As was explained last week, jumping from one of the best hot hatchbacks ever made into a soft petrol-electric hybrid was always going to be something of a shock.
The Fiesta ST had a 1.5-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder engine, the UX has a 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated four-cylinder. The ST had 200 horsepower, the UX has around 146. The ST weighed around 1,100kg, the UX weighs between 1,540 and 1,620kg, depending on the spec. See what I mean?
But, obviously, they are very different cars, and I am always interested to drive a new car, regardless of what it is.
For me the questions going forward are how does the UX drive as a hybrid and, secondly, would it be worth getting a hybrid over a standard petrol or diesel crossover? I’ll put those questions to one side for the time being.
My first impressions are a little mixed. The brake pedal isn’t the easiest to judge, the boot is much smaller than you’d expect and the infotainment system will take some getting used to.
On the other hand, where some dislike Lexus’s design philosophy I actually quite like the look of the UX. The cabin is well finished, too, the powertrain smooth despite being hideously complicated, and the performance not too bad at all. 8.5 seconds to 62mph for a little SUV? That sounds perfectly adequate to me.
What has struck me most of all, however, is the silence. I love hearing, or rather experiencing, the deep, guttural V8 thunder produced by an AC Cobra at the Revival – the sound a car makes is so intertwined with how a car makes you feel. Which makes the near-silence of an electric car pulling away feel so futuristic and weirdly exciting.
No, the UX will not be like the ST, but I’m all for having as many different motoring experiences as possible. It’ll be an interesting few weeks.