The Lexus UX has just received a suite of updates for the 2021 model year. In Australia, the automaker’s entry-level SUV gets an improved Direct Shift CVT that provides a more “engaging and comfortable driving experience,” thanks to the new clutch oil pressure control. Acceleration is also more refined due to ECU recalibration, although outputs remain unchanged.

Lexus says the cabin is now even quieter – it now features more sound-absorbing materials in key areas, as well as thicker insulating materials for the boot floor. The acoustic glass from before is also retained. Other handy updates include the inclusion of two new LED-lit USB C ports in the rear console, which replaces the pair of USB A ports. These support faster charging.

In a rare move, boot space has somehow been increased. Non-hybrid variants see a 50- to 90-litre increase in boot space. Models equipped with 17-inch wheels get 419 litres of boot space, whereas those with 18-inch hoops get 424 litres of space. This is achieved with a lower deck height.

UX 250h hybrid variants also get a slight increase in boot space, courtesy of the double deck-tray system. This adds between four litres (UX 250h F Sport and Sports Luxury 2WD) and 44 litres of space (for UX 250h Luxury 2WD only).

For safety, the updated UX can now detect school-zone speed signs. This has been added to the Lexus Road Sign Assist system, which is part of the rather comprehensive Lexus Safety System+ that includes Pre-Collision Safety system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active cruise control (operable at all speeds), and lane keeping assist.

More importantly, pricing has been adjusted. The entry-level UX 200 Luxury sees its price reduced by AUD$2,000 (RM6,000) to AUD$44,445 (RM134k), but at the expense of several features. Previous standard items like LED fog lamps, roof rails, parking support brake, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, smart entry, and DAB+ digital radio have been bundled into an optional package called Enhancement Pack 1.

Other variants of the UX also get slight price reductions between AUD$75 (RM226) to AUD$325 (RM981), depending on the model. Lexus Australia CEO Scott Thompson said: “The new UX is packed with improvements across all grades in terms of practicality, refinement and technology, and now our entry UX 200 unlocks the Lexus luxury lifestyle at an even more accessible price.”

As of October this year, Lexus Australia sold 1,090 units of the UX, 42.1% of which were of the hybrid variant. Across the entire Lexus range, hybrid models account for one-third of sales in Australia.