Lexus UX Joins The Increasingly Crowded Small Luxury SUV Niche

The market for small luxury crossovers is heating up, with models like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Acura CDX and Infiniti QX30 all vying for market share on the small, but rapidly expanding niche. Lexus has joined the fray with its own contender that was just unveiled in Geneva.

Called the UX, it slots below the NX as the new entry level model in Lexus’ lineup.

The UX is the first Lexus built on the new Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform that also underpins Toyota models like the Prius, C-HR, Auris, Corollla and Avensis – only this one is , naturally, a premium offering.

The styling is pure “new” Lexus, of course, from the Spindle grille on back and the interior looks suitably upscale, drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese design.

The premium compact crossover stretches just 177 inches (4,495 mm) long and rides on a 103.9-inch (2,640-mm) wheelbase, boasting a best-in-class 34-foot (5.2-meter) turning circle to help it maneuver around town. The electric power steering works with a MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone setup at the back.

Though complete specifications have yet to be announced, Toyota’s luxury brand will offer the UX with two powertrain options. The UX 200 packs a new 2.0-liter inline four rated at 168 horsepower that’s mated to a direct-shift continuously variable transmission (CVT). Meanwhile, the UX 250h features a new hybrid powertrain with a combined output of 176 hp and all-wheel drive courtesy of an electric motor at the rear axle.

There’ll be an F Sport package available for both versions, bringing with it a sport suspension and a sportier appearance inside and out, while an Adaptive Variable Suspension and Active Sound Control system will be offered as well.

Lexus will begin production of the new UX this fall and will start shipping it to US dealers towards the end of the year, when we expect that its pricing will be announced.

Article updated with live images from Geneva

more photos...

  • They tried, not sure if it was their best shot, but they tried.

  • I think it looks pretty decent.

    • AEE91

      looks like a riced-up NX.

  • Deckard_Cain

    That rear… Ugh.
    They almost nailed it and then they had to screw it all up in the rear with all those kinks.

    • Jason Panamera

      That’ rear light is pretty practical for such city crossover. You got no place to eat? Here we go. Now this flat surface makes it possible.

    • Mill0048

      Yeah, it looks chunky and clunky with the tail-lights, rear overhang, and odd surfacing/proportions from the rear-most side windows to the bumper. Odd…

  • Mike Gonzalez

    really ugly… all they had to do is re-brand the Toyota CH-R and add a more powerful engine…

    • Lexus unfortunately is not like 80s GM when they launched Cimarron.

  • Jason Panamera

    I’d pick it over Volvo XC40. I like this interior style.

  • CADOX

    I love it. Good job Lexus. The rear view mirrors are little masterpieces.

  • atomicbri

    From the side view, the rear door looks really small and where the rear door handle is placed the overall look is awkward.

  • erly5

    I like it a lot. And best Lexus interior so far!

  • Wow the car look big from the picture. Not sure about the name though.

  • Mill0048

    Is a 168hp enough for a small luxury crossover in the US? That’s economy CUV power.

    • G82FS

      Not at all. The NX does not have enough power to move it around and get reasonable gas mileage, I never got more than 18mpg because it was too heavy for the engine to move economically. Not to mention, the back styling was so drastic that the rear headroom was impacted for anyone over 5′ 8″ and the cargo area was nearly useless. This thing is smaller so I cannot imagine how it will be any better…

  • salamOOn

    ok, i like more things than i dont on this car…. rear is pretty spectacular, especially tail lights… front is also fine, but i have a problem with design between both ends…. interior is really nice.

    i would like to have this interior and tail lights in a current NX with some punchy 6cyl petrol…..

  • Enter Ranting

    I imagine the designers at Lexus doing a mountain of cocaine before sitting at their workstations. This thing looks desperately frantic.

    • Leconte Dave

      Only cocaine?

  • Nordschleife

    I love that Lexus hasn’t changed their names to L1, 2, 3 or LX1, 2, 3 etc. looks decent but I feel the why one is doing this vehicle no favors.

  • Bob White

    Why is the front grill so small? Lol

  • Six_Tymes

    yeash… its ugly. the wheel arches are the worst

  • Elpatore

    its nice, but WHY does lexus insist on the tacky dashboard clock!?

    • salamOOn

      maybe because “everybody” thinks that analog clock in a car is a “premium” feature… idk why.
      btw after you mentioned it…they are pretty intrusive in that place where they are.

  • haudit
  • Rich Money

    Horrific.

  • Rich Money

    I really like how none of the lines, inside or out, relate to each other.

  • SteersUright

    For those graduating from a Rav4 XLE Limited…

  • THE FRONT END IS JUST NASTY.. THE INTERIOR THOUGH IS QUITE SHARP. IF ONLY YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO WALK UP TO IT TO GET INSIDE.

  • getoffme

    Looks way better than than let’s say the Audi Q2 and the MB CLA.

  • TrevP

    When are we getting a new GX!?!

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