Lexus is casting its crossover net far and wide; after releasing the 3-row RX and the 2-row LX during the last quarter of 2017, the automaker is now adding yet another crossover to its stable. The new model christened, the “ 2019 Lexus UX ” will be the smallest in the Lexus crossover lineup. Subcompact SUVs are a hit among the young generation as their small size makes them easy to navigate in the city, easy to park while their tall height makes them more comfortable and provides a good view of the road for drivers. The models also offer decent fuel economy and advanced technologies. The new Lexus UX delivers on all these characteristics and will thus be a hit in the market. Lexus targets buyers who are in their 30s. It will be offered in two trims; UX 200 which is powered by a gasoline engine and UX 250h which uses a hybrid powertrain.
2019 Lexus UX Exterior
You will definitely not mistake the UX for any other brand but a Lexus due to its spindle grille as you might have guessed. The signature spindle grille is joined by a stylish hood that is designed to make the vehicle longer than it really is. The grille, however, features block-shape mesh pattern whose individual parts are designed to change shape as they branch out from the Lexus badge. The grille is flanked by attractive LED headlights. The UX measures only 177 inches in length which makes it slightly longer than the GLA and the X1; it is however 5.6 inches smaller than the automaker’s current smallest crossover, the NX which measures 182.6 inches long. The model has a wheelbase 103.9 inches.
At the rear, the model has full-width taillights which the automaker first showcased with the UX Concept. The model rides on 17-inch wheels uniquely designed to boost airflow to the brake discs.
The small crossover is also the first Lexus model to use the new GA-C (Global Architecture- Compact) platform which according to Lexus has granted the UX a very low center of gravity (the lowest in its class according to Lexus). It is also easy to maneuver in tight streets courtesy of its 34-foot turning radius.
Inside, the dash seems to connect to the engine hood which creates an excellent view for the driver. The cabin is offered in four colors; there are also two-grain options (leather and one inspired by “washi”, a Japanese paper). There is also an attractive instrument panel with an upper section that seems to stretch beyond the windshield. The designs of the instrument panel along with that of the A-pillar moldings are wisely designed to help improve visibility. The cabin accommodates five passengers but is most suitable for four due to the tight rear space which makes it uncomfortable for three passengers.
The UX also features a host of advanced safety and driver-assist systems; they include lane trace assist, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, adaptive high beams and pre-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection.
Engine and performance
Being a city car, the UX is hooked up with engines that do the job right without going overboard. The model comes with a conventional as well as a hybrid engine. The conventional engine is a 2.0 L, 4-cylinder unit good for 168 horsepower. It mates to a unique CVT system that features an extra gear-set for restarting the engine after a stop. This makes the transmission system quicker compared to the regular CVT. The hybrid drivetrain features the same 2.0 L, gasoline engine; it is paired with a motor and a nickel-hydride battery. There is an extra electric motor at the rear axle which supports AWD functionality. The entire setup accounts for 176 horsepower. The system is so designed such that when it detects loss of grip on the rear wheels, it sends up to 80% of power to the rear axle at speeds that do not exceed 43 mph. This helps increase the vehicle’s stability. Hybrid models are also equipped with a system that analyzes a driver’s habits and traffic conditions to improve battery use.
For better performance, Lexus offers the F Sport package on both trims. The package features a specially tuned sportier suspension, a unique rear bumper design, and a black trim on its moldings (front and rear). The F Sport package also offers 18-inch wheels. Inside, the package features front sports seats, aluminum pedal and an F Sport steering wheel. To do justice to the “sport” name, the package features Active Sound Control which fakes the sound of the transmission system’s downshifts and upshifts which traditional CVTs don’t make.
Price and release date
The 2019 Lexus UX will be available this December according to Toyota. Pricing details will, however, be communicated later. Considering it slots below the bigger Lexus NX, expect the new Lexus UX to start at around $30,000 (the NX starts at around $37,000).