Lexus is entering the small luxury SUV segment with the new UX, planning to steal sales from established rivals such as the BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40.
Based on the company’s new GA-C platform, the Lexus UX features a very low center of gravity combined with a refined suspension tuning; the Japanese car maker even promises that the new UX offers an engaging drive and a “Lexus-smooth demeanor”.
Customers in the US will be offered two engine options. In the front-wheel drive UX 200, power comes from a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 169 hp and 151 lb-ft of peak torque that’s paired to a DCVT gearbox that promises to offer a more direct driving feeling, compared to other CVTs.
The second variant is the all-wheel drive UX 250h, which makes use of Lexus’ new-generation Hybrid Drive powertrain. With a combined output rating of 181hp, the new hybrid powertrain combines the aforementioned 2.0-liter petrol engine with two electric motors, making the 2019 UX 250h the most fuel efficient hybrid SUV without a plug, according to Lexus. The smallest of the hybrid Lexus SUV models achieves 38 mpg (6.2 lt/100 km) on the highway and 41 mpg (5.7 lt/100 km) within the city walls.
The interior features premium materials and plenty of tech features, while room for passengers is enough to carry four people in comfort.
Kelley Blue Book finds the UX to be a rather competitive entry in the segment; it might not be the sportiest or the roomiest of the bunch, but it is mature and confident enough to succeed.