Toyota UX is offered in 2 separate trims and powertrains: UX200 and UX250h, both of which utilize a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. The UX200 is paired with a Direct Shift-CVT transmission designed for peak fuel economy and the more direct feel of a traditional gear-driven automatic. The UX250h hybrid pairs that 2.0L engine with a pair of electric motors, one powering the front axle and one powering the rear for a total output of 176 horsepower driven through Lexus' fourth-generation eAWD system.
Each model is available in three separate trims: Premium, Luxury and F Sport. All UX models come with plenty of standard features, as is generally expected in this class. They include power locks and windows, a 6-speaker audio system, two USB ports, cruise control, XM satellite radio, power front seats, keyless ignition and a 7-inch infotainment system to name a few. Lexus also is among the first to feature Amazon Alexa integration and also comes with Apple CarPlay phone integration functionality as standard.
Premium models have a power sunroof, washi textured dash, heated and cooled leatherette seating, while a wireless charging pad ahead of the shifter, navigation, a 10.3-inch infotainment display and an 8-speaker audio system are optional.
Finally, Luxury models add to that a power tilt/telescope steering, blind-spot monitors and a hands-free tailgate. F Sport models have active sound control adding a sportier exhaust note to the interior, sport seats with added bolsters, paddle shifters, F Sport badging, aggressive suspension tuning and a bigger LED gauge display.
Of course the Lexus UX offers world-class, advanced safety systems. All UX models come with Lane Tracing Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist and a Pre-Collision System that can recognize pedestrians at night. Additionally, PCS radar capability has been extended to enable detection of cyclists during the day.
There's been a tidal wave of new crossovers SUVs of all shapes, sizes and price points hitting the market, because consumers continue to turn to them in droves over regular passenger cars. In particular, smaller, more budget-friendly entries wearing luxury automakers' badges are red-hot, with models such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40 battling it out. The most recent to join the fray is the 2019 Lexus UX 200.
Slotting in below the NX, the UX becomes the new gateway model in the Lexus SUV range. Like its larger siblings, the UX offers an interesting design, comfortable cabin and generous feature menu. All of that sets it up nicely to conquer the urban jungle.
While Lexus' bold design language may turn some off with its louder appearance, on the UX, I think it works, making it a welcome sight next to the comparatively sterile German competition. Lexus' now-trademark aggressive spindle grille dominates the front end, with plastic cladding dressing the sides adding some toughness. By far the best visual element is out back, with three-dimensional light housings connected by a full-width LED strip that's undeniably slick at night.
The Good The Lexus UX's aggressive styling makes it stand out from other small luxury crossovers. Interior quality is impressive for the class. It delivers compliant ride quality and a healthy list of tech features.
The Bad The engine is down on power compared to competitors, and infotainment is handled by a frustrating Remote Touch Interface.
The Bottom Line A small crossover with style, comfort and a lot of tech, but it could use more power and a smarter interface.
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