2019 Lexus UX 200: A high-style crossover low on performance
It's no secret that consumer's appetite for crossovers of all shapes and sizes are big and only getting bigger.
So here I am, well, with a new crossover, the 2019 UX 200, which becomes Lexus' small century in its luxury crossover lineup, and, I have to say, it's an aggressive looking little guy.
Now, I know Lexus's spindle grill isn't for everyone, but there's no denying that it does make the UX stand out, especially next to its softer looking competition like the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes GLA.
Subtle body lines along with plastic wheel arch cladding for some toughness dress the sides, and then out back there are three-dimensional light housings.
Connected by a full-width LED light, that's rather slick.
It's also a looker inside, with this luxury model getting a wash and trim panel on top of the simple dash.
But what's more impressive is that the materials inside of here are very good for the class, with plenty of soft-touch panels and nice finishes making up most of the surfaces.
Things are comfortable and roomy up front while in the back there's enough legroom and headroom for two adults.
But if you go three deep, it's gonna get a little cozy back there.
And then in the way-back, there's a respectable 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space even with the UX's high load floor and sloping lift gate.
Being a Lexus, infotainment is quarterbacked by the remote touch interface with a 10.2 inch screen.
It remains my least favorite system in the luxury care realm, being clunky and distracting to use.
It does feature navigation, a wi-fi hotspot and ample car playing capabilities that you can get a closer look at along with you access safety features in a separate tech chat video.
When it comes to driving the UX, it's underwhelming with a 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine making 169 horsepower and 151 pound via torque.
That works with a continuously variable transmission programmed to simulate a 10-speed gearbox Helping it return 29 miles per gallon in the city and 37 miles per gallon on the highway.
Even in sport mode, acceleration is leisurely, requiring you to really boot it to get on the expressway and make passes.
Making it a bigger let down is that the Turbo fours and all of it's German counterparts make at least 200 horsepower or more and aren't straddle with a CD.
I will say that it's not bad dynamically.
With [UNKNOWN] responsive steering, it takes corners well with a little bit of roll and there's all right grip from the 18-inch all season Bridgestone tires.
I'm not gonna call it sporty, but it's competent when you push it a little with good road Scanners.
It's quiet going down the road, and the suspension smooths out impacts well to be a good all around handler.
So the 2019 Lexus UX200 has a lot going for it.
It's sharply styled, cabin quality is good, and it has an impressive mix of handling and ride comfort.
As for issues, it's down on power, and has a pain in the **** infotainment system.
If you can deal with those flaws, the UX starts at $33,000, which slightly undercuts the Q3, X1 and GLA.
This luxury trim here stickers at $38,000.
What would I do if I was shopping this segment?
As much as I like the UX's styling and interior, its weaker engine and CVT are deal breakers for me, meaning I'd end up With one of the Germans.