The all-new Lexus UX is the smallest crossover in the Lexus brand.
It slots just one step below the Lexus NX by its overall size and very much like the rest of its competition in the luxury segment. This was really designed for Europe initially, but they’re also bringing it to the US, because Americans just love crossovers, and we expect this to essentially replace the Lexus CT in their lineup up front. The UX definitely looks like a member of the Lexus family, but I also think this is one of the more attractive designs in the Lexus family, because the grille is not quite as large as we see in the Lexus. Rx doesn’t dominate the front in the same way and I think the headlamps are a little bit more stylish than some of the other modern Lexus.
As we see there, we still have the same sort of stylistic Lexus swoosh there in the headlamp. We have two different full LED headlamps available. These are the base headlamps. There is also a try module lamp that you can upgrade to the grill changes based on the model that you’re in – and this orange model in front of me is the F Sport trim.
You can get this in the hybrid or the non hybrid, and it has this distinctive squiggly grille going on here. If you don’t get the F Sport trim, we have a different grille that is sort of themed on L, shapes or interlocking shapes, and they get a little bit different as they go down towards the bottom of the front bumper, even though the UX was ostensibly designed For urban driving, I find it interesting that we don’t have a 360-degree camera or front parking sensors. In this particular model. Lexus has been on a mission to change the way you think about value and safety in their luxury vehicles and all Lexus vehicles come standard with a high level of active safety technologies that we don’t find in even safety obsessed brands like volvo.
So we have a camera right back here behind the windscreen, a radar sensor right there behind the lexus logo and that gives all models of the UX, including the base, trim, radar, adaptive cruise control, lane, keeping assistance automatic, high beams and a number of other safety technologies. Again that you don’t find standard in this segment, usually now, let’s talk about where the UX fits with the competition. This is 177 inches long, which actually puts this on the longer end of the subcompact luxury crossover category. This is again where the X 1 X, 2 Q, 3 X, C, 4 T and evoke live overall.
This is about five inches shorter than the Lexus NX, which is a compact luxury crossover designed to do business with the xc60, the bmw x3 and the GLC crossovers. In this category fall into two sort of style categories, we have the more lifted hatchback, like appearances, that we find in this vehicle in the qx30, from infiniti, the mercedes-benz GLA and arguably the BMW x2 as well, and then we get the x1 X C 40. Perhaps the new q3 that are a little bit more classic crossover shaped overall, the UX incorporates styling elements from other Lexus vehicles and adds a few of its own. We have a very distinctive swoosh up here that we see in other Lexus models these mimic.
What was going on up front, but the overall styling of the elements is actually quite different, so we actually have this lamp module. That does have an actual physical kick up right here. It actually goes up right there on the side to give it a little bit of a winged profile. I really like the way that looks, and I hope this makes its way into other Lexus models and then joining everything together.
We have one lamp module. That is right there on the lift gate itself. We also have amber turn signals. Everything is a little bit blacked out back here, but these are still amber, not red, and that is my preference.
A lot of modern lugs, your vehicles, especially the European ones, have gone to red turn signals because they think Americans, like them better. Let me know what you think about that down there. In the comments section below personally, I prefer an Amber element: Lexus tucks up the exhaust tip in the hybrid model right there under the rear, bumper and the hatch actually opens a little bit higher than you might think. So.
The license plate right here is not part of the hatch, it is actually a part of the bumper element if you’ve read or heard anything about the UX so far, then you probably know that, what’s under the hood is probably the most controversial aspect of this new Crossover the base engine is a 2-liter four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine, not a turbo like we find in many of the European competitors. It produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, which is definitely lower than the average entry-level model in this particular segment. It also sends its power to the front wheels only via a continuously variable automatic transmission. That CVT is an all-new design that is actually shared with the Corolla hatchback, and it incorporates a physical first gear for improved launch and improved launch feel so.
First gear takeoffs feel very normal, very direct, very linear, and then it will actually switch out of first gear and into the continuously variable transmission mode, which will imitate nine additional gears, giving you ten gears total for this particular transmission. Thanks to the CVT and the overall power output figure, fuel economy is quite high for this segment at 33 miles per gallon combined, but the acceleration is definitely on the low side at 8.9 seconds. According to the manufacturer, then we get this model here, which is likely going to be the more popular engine by hair in the United States, and that is a hybrid system based off of a number of components that Lexus has used in other vehicles. This is not the hybrid system that we find in other world markets in the Toyota CHR, we’ll talk about the CHR a little bit later.
This is a 2-liter four-cylinder engine and a hybrid system that is somewhat related to what we see under the hood of the new Lexus ES hybrid. Only under this hood, it produces 181 horsepower, that’s notably more power than we find in the base engine and as a result, even though this vehicle is heavier, it will get you 0 to 60, almost a half second faster. This vehicle has a standard, a all-wheel drive system with an electric motor in the back, so the engine is mechanically setting power to the front wheels an electric motor handles the rear wheels and that a all-wheel drive system is standard on all hybrid UX models. This will give you 39 miles per gallon, combined and well over 40, depending on how you drive the vehicle.
So if you’re driving this nicely gently out on the road, you should easily expect way over 40 miles per gallon on your daily commute. That’s thanks to the new design of this hybrid system, which is able to operate in evey modes at higher speeds and for longer periods of time than previous toda and Lexus hybrid systems. Front seat. Comfort is pretty good compared against mainstream models in this segment, but not as comfortable as some of the top-end trims that have more adjustable driver seats.
One noticeable omission is that we have only two way adjustable lumbar support here, not four-way adjustable lumbar. We do, however, have a power adjustable tilt, telescopic steering column that can optionally be memory linked with the driver seat memory over there on the door, although this particular trim does not have that feature now, it’s worth noting that the front passenger seat does not offer power Adjustable lumbar support, apparently not even in the top trim. So if you are interested in passenger seat comfort, some of the European options will offer a little bit more adjustability over there hopping into the back. I’m going to have to drop this vehicle a little bit below some of the mainline European competitors, mainly because of the legroom figures.
We have combined legroom of seventy five point two inches here, which is below many of those European competitors like the x1, x2 X C. 40 etc, and it is likely going to also be below the brand new Audi q3, although this is more room than you find in the current generation model. That’s even though this is actually a little bit larger on the outside than some of those European competitors. We do have a relatively generous amount of headroom. However, if I sit upright, I still have about an inch left and that surprised me a little bit, because this is not as boxy as something like the XC 40.
So the seating position is actually a little bit more relaxed a little bit more car-like or sedan-like than we see in that particular Volvo. Now keeping in mind that this is a subcompact crossover. If I move over to the middle, I have an adequate amount of headroom. Probably still about an inch left, but obviously this bench is going to be narrower than something like a Lexus NX or a Lexus RX.
If I move all the way over to the right with this front seat back all the way in its tracks, you notice that my knees do dig into the seat back there. Although again, I have enough Headroom that I could do this for a while. If I need it to the outer seating positions have fixed height headrests, but they do pop out and then forward like that, in order for them to be almost flat with the cargo area in the back. Now that does change depending on whether you get the hybrid or the non hybrid trim.
Cargo capacity varies based on whether you get the hybrid or the non hybrid model. The hybrid has a little bit less cargo capacity than the non hybrid model because the battery does have to go somewhere and unfortunately, Lexus chose to put that somewhere right back here under the load floor now we still have definitely enough room for 22 inch. Roller bags right like that and the hatch will close with them all in a row. We have a removable cargo cover here.
That is one of these flippy sort of sunshade variety. This is one of those covers that you grab on both ends and then give it a twist, and then it sort of folds into itself right like that. This is a little bit more compact than the average roller covered. It is easier to find somewhere to put this particular style of cover under the floor.
We find some additional storage area right there and if I out that foam divider you’ll actually see the hybrid battery pack right there in sort of the well where the spare tire would normally go. If you get the UX 200 instead of the hybrid model, then the car dreary does get a little bit bigger, mainly it’s because of the depth, and that’s because the battery is obviously not right down there at the bottom of the cargo area. If you lift up the cargo area load floor, we still don’t find a spare tire under here. Although it does appear that, under all this foam, there is actually accommodation for a compact spare tire if you wanted to try and get one after market for our walk around the interior, I’ve hopped into aux 200, that’s the non hybrid model, but the model with the Luxury package, so you can see what that changes on the inside.
We have a pretty standard sized moon roof right over here above the driver and front-passenger heads height, adjustable shoulder belts for the driver and front passenger and height adjustable headrests as well. These are not four-way adjustable. You can see from this angle the seats kind of kick up right there, a little bit a little bit of a shoulder design like we see in some modern Acuras, as you’d expect out of a vehicle in this category. The majority of the doors are made from soft touch plastics, but the bottom portion of the door is made from hard touch material.
We have a door handle right here that mimics the style going on in some of Lexuses more expensive vehicles, where it appears to just sort of float right there out of the door more of that same camel, colored material right there for that soft touch. Armrest soft touch plastics in the upper section of the door and then a hard touch piece right on top moving from the doors on over to the dashboard, we find an air vent on that side. We’ll take a closer look at those in a little bit and then we find some material on top of the dashboard that has the same color as the seats. But, interestingly enough, this has another texture to it’s a little difficult to see this texture on camera.
But it has more of a sort of grass paper like texture and it is a stitched material. You can see the real stitching right there on that side and then some more trim. This has a lined linear texture to it again slightly different than what we find over there on the door panels. Then some soft touch injection, mold materials below that and then harder plastics around things like this glove compartment lid, which is more of a slot style glove compartment.
You could fit a large tablet computer in there quite easily. The infotainment system appears to float on top of the dashboard like some of the more tablet styled systems we see from the Germans, but actually as part of a housing. That really does extend a little bit further back and has more of a built in look than some of those others, especially from the outside of the vehicle. We have an analog clock over here on the left, because apparently every luggage or car must have an analog clock, and then we have this optional widescreen infotainment system, a seven inch screen is standard and you get this particular screen.
If you bump up to the model with navigation apple, carplay is standard, but Android auto is not available at this time in this system. This is basically the same software that we see in the brand-new Lexus ES as well. If you don’t have an Apple, smartphone, Lexus tells us that there is Amazon Alexa integration available. If I unplug my connected smartphone right there, you can see that we do have built-in apps.
So all these apps are built-in right here into the vehicles infotainment system and then, of course, we’re driving the model with the built-in navigation system. So we have the navigation software, that’s native to the vehicle right there other than that. This acts very much like all of the other lexus infotainment systems that you’ve seen out there. If we move over to the climate control option here, you can see the climate control is on there and we do have the climate concierge.
Setting like we see in some of the more expensive Lexus models as well, the screen is surrounded by the same camel, colored material. We then have two air vents right here in the middle. These feature illuminated little knobs right in the center Lexus is very proud of that, but we haven’t been able to see this at night we rotate the knob clockwise in order to close the vent counterclockwise to open it below that we have the controls for the standard. Dual zone automatic climate control and the keyless go button, a single slot, optical disc player and then below that we have the controls for the heated and ventilated seats.
Our model does have that ventilated seat upgrade and then right over there to the left on your screen. You’ll see the electric parking brake button, there’s a space right down here where you can store your smart phones, but it is not a wireless charging mat and then we have a 12-volt pop-up power port over there on the right. Continuing back from that, we have two large cup holders. These are positioned, so it really looks like they’re not going to interfere with any of the buttons in the it’s.
A really nice touch, something that we see frequently in Lexus and Acura vehicles and less frequently at some of the European competition. Moving back from there, we find a pretty traditional shifter drive us all the way back man and mode over to the left. Right there very same shifter used in the hybrid model and the non hybrid model. Then we have the controls for this infotainment system, which are a variation on what we’ve seen in Lexus as before.
Lexus uses two different input methods. We have this touchpad right here that we see in some Lexus vehicles and then other Lexus vehicles use sort of a remote joystick like interface. They operate basically the same way. You wiggle your finger around on this.
It Wiggles a cursor around on the screen, doesn’t hop from option to option like we see in most of those rotary knob systems. It is a little bit different now this does make interacting, with apple carplay, a little bit easier than some of those other systems out there, but the rest of the input method. I find a little less intuitive and there’s no finger writing recognition supported on this touchpad. For address or other entry, we have an direct access button to map there.
The main menu button, a contextual pop-up button from the bottom – and then this section right here is what is really new for Lexus, because we now have the tune button. We have tracked forward and backward buttons, a radio button media button and then a power and volume knob. So I turn this to turn the volume up and I click it down like that to turn the audio system off. This has kept nice and close to these controls right here, but I’m not exactly sure about their overall organ amah kissed.
Yet I did find them relatively easy to use once I got used to them, but getting used to them did take a bit of time. Let me know what you think about this down there in the comments section below there’s a button right over here on this side, for the automatic break hold system between the front seats, we have a padded centre armrest. This opens from either side and it gives us access to a fairly large storage cubby for this segment. We have two USB inputs and an auxilary input up front, definitely enough room for smartphones, water bottles, all that kind of stuff you can see in there.
The estimate cluster in the non f-sport model uses this LCD over here on the left side of the instrument cluster and then to physical gauges over here on the right in the centre of everything we have, that large tachometer and digital speedometer, and then you control the Display using some buttons on the steering wheel, the steering wheel, is a round design styled very much like the one that we see in the new Lexus LS. If we were in some of the models, we’d find shift paddles on the back. You find the buttons that control that multifunction display over here on the left side, along with volume, up/down a phone button and a voice command button. And then we have the buttons for the radar adaptive cruise control, which is standard over here on the right, along with a mode button, lane-keeping assistance button, and then this button changes the following distance for that radar.
Adaptive function above the instrument cluster. On each side, we find some knobs on the right side right here we have the drive mode selector. This allows us to toggle up for sport down for eco, and then we press this button in on the side for normal you’ll find the button to enable and disable the stability control on an identical button on the other side of the instrument cluster. Let me know what you think about these right here.
Personally, these look a little bit funny to me. They sort of stick out like little antennae on the top of this instrument cluster overall on the inside. The F Sport is very much the same as the other trims. We get an F Sport logo, embossed right there on to the headrests, there’s some red stitching on the dash components to make things look a little bit sporty ER and the instrument cluster gains a physical ring.
Like we see in some of Lexus’s other vehicles, you can see that it actually slides over there to the right when you press the Menu button on the steering wheel and then slides back well, the image actually chases that physical ring moving around the red stitching continues On the steering wheel, and then we have an F Sport logo right there at the bottom of the wheel, with just under 170 horsepower in the base model. The quoted eight point nine seconds there 260 time seems to make logical sense. Having the physical first gear helps. Acceleration feel in this just like it helps it in the Corolla hatchback, because you get a slightly more aggressive, slightly more linear start and then a definite engagement in the second gear.
After that point, it really does feel more like a traditional CVT that is imitating. Gear shifts than a traditional 10 speed automatic now on the downside when it comes to overall acceleration imitating a step. Automatic transmission actually reduces your acceleration scores. So if this vehicle was not imitating a 10 speed automatic, it would likely do better in the 0 to 60 and in the quarter mile times, but people seem to prefer the way that a traditional automatic shift.
So that’s why they’ve programmed this to do that? Just like Infiniti does in their vehicles with CVT s as well. Now, moving on up to the hybrid model, not only gives you, the electric all-wheel drive ability, but it also has a positive impact on performance. This will go 0 to 60 in 8.6.
Second, supporting de Lexus, I suspect that it is likely going to be just a little bit faster, or at least it actually feels faster when you’re driving it out on the road, as with other Lexus hybrids. This uses a planetary, gearset style, hybrid system, so it feels a little bit like a CVT and that’s why they call it an e CVT. But there really is no mechanical relationship between this and the CVT that we find in the non hybrid model. It’s not like.
They just add an electric motor to that model and then call it a hybrid. It actually is a very, very different system and that’s why, when driving this out on the road, this feels more like an electric vehicle, then hybrids out there that actually do use traditional physical cvts. You see them in the Infiniti lineup, for instance. That’s one of the reasons that acceleration times in this field, perhaps a little bit faster than they actually are on paper, because the response from the electric motor is very immediate and you get a decent amount of torque.
So the engines not really spinning as fast as you think it might need to in order to give you the acceleration that you’re, actually getting overall braking distances, are likely going to be in around the 120 foot range for this hybrid model. Remember that this is a little bit heavier than the non hybrid version of the UX, so expect stopping distances to be just a little bit longer when it comes to overall handling ability. The UX does fairly well out on the road that shouldn’t surprise. To many.
Of course, because the Lexus NX also actually performs quite well when it comes to overall handling ability, we’re talking about handling ability. It is important to remember that we have 225 with tires, and these are all season tires in this particular model and a lot of the European competition. They do have available up level tire packages that get wider. They get stickier, etc.
So when compared against vehicles that have similar tires on them, this is still going to handle well, and if you were to put grippier tires on this, then this would compare well with some of those alternatives. The overall level of composure in the suspension is very good as well, so if you’re driving this harder out on rougher roads, you’re, definitely going to notice that the suspension has an excellent design to it. When the road really starts to wind, you will start noticing that this just doesn’t have the same kind of thrust that we find in the European competition and the more fun you’re trying to have in the car. The more that will be noticeable.
Not that many people will be taking their subcompact luxury crossover us out on a track, but to use the track as an example makes a little bit of sense here, because this is going to go around corners just about as well as many of those mainline European Competitors with comparable q3 comparable XC 40 comparable BMW x1, however, in the straightaway, as those vehicles are really gon na pull away and over all times, are definitely going to be faster in those vehicles. That’s really what I mean about the overall driving dynamics of this again handles well, but not as fast as the competition out on a rougher road. Like I found out here on Bainbridge Island, you can definitely tell that the UX has a relatively firm suspension, whether we’re talking about the F Sport trim that we’re driving right here or the regular tune of the suspension, and that surprised me a little bit because Lexus Is crossovers of the past have generally been a little bit more softly sprung compared with the Europeans, but that’s not really the case in the NX or this smaller UX right here. These are definitely on the firmer side of things.
One thing that you’ll really notice in the cabin of the UX is how quiet it is whether we’re talking about this hybrid model, where the engine isn’t even turning at the moment, because we’re operating in evey mode or the regular non hybrid model. I actually thought that the non hybrid UX model had start stuff and was spending a lot of its time off, but the engine is just so smooth and the cabin is so quiet at a stoplight that you really don’t notice that the engine is spinning. I expect these models are going to come in right around the 70 decibel mark once we can get these home to do our usual battery of tests and comparisons. One thing I can tell you right away, however, is that fuel economy is absolutely excellent in this hybrid.
Just as we’ve come to expect from Lexus and their hybrid vehicles in the past over a day of mixed driving acceleration tests, I link for photo shoots, etc definitely driving this vehicle harder out on fun roads out here we have been averaging just over 40 miles per Gallon right around 41, really, if you were to treat this gently, I suspect you could easily get into the mid-40s as far as overall fuel economy goes, and unlike some of the competitive hybrid systems that we see out there, higher speeds don’t seem to affect the overall Fuel economy as much so it’s likely that this vehicle will still be getting pretty decent fuel economy at 70 or 75 miles an hour out on the highway. Just as we see in other toda and Lexus hybrids out there, one of the things that you’ll really notice in the e all-wheel drive hybrid system that we find in the UX. Just like the NX and the rx. Is that if you really put your foot into it, you are going to get some front wheel slip and it’s gon na take a little bit of time before the system decides to send power to the rear axle.
But if you want a high mileage hybrid – and you want that extra insurance of having that extra traction in the back, then this is going to be an excellent option. As we’ve come to expect from Lexus, they have priced the UX very aggressively. It starts at $ 32,000 for the front-wheel drive UX 200. Now, when comparing this with other competitors, remember that basically every entry in this segment is now front-wheel drive, including the BMW x1 and the BMW x2.
So front-wheel drive is no longer really a problem. As far as driving dynamics go in this particular segment, if you want to get the F Sport trim, that adds an extra $ 2,000. It gives you the appearance package on the outside. We also get a slightly different suspension tune if you want the hybrid model.
That is also a $ 2,000 bump, starting at $ 34,000, and you could add the F Sport package on to it, which is what we’re looking at here in orange you’ll, be able to get your hands on these starting in December for the regular model and January. Approximately for the hybrid model, because they’re gon na take a little bit longer in order to get produced and then shipped over to the United States when it comes to comparisons. The first and most important thing that you have to decide as a shopper in this segment is how much does outright performance matter to you, because if you want the fastest entry in this segment, you simply won’t find it over here with the Lexus. U X, on the other hand, if you’re looking for one of the best deals in this segment, one of the highest expected reliability ratings in this segment and active safety features for a decent price.
The new lexus is definitely going to be a top pick because we get radar, adaptive cruise control, all those autonomous safety systems, autonomous braking, pedestrian detection etc. All for that base $ 32,000 price, and you won’t find that in any of the competition, not even the Volvo XC, 40 and Volvo is ostensibly the brand that is really really obsessed about safety. If you move up to the hybrid model, we get about forty miles per gallon in real world driving for $ 34,000 and again all that active safety tech. When it comes to overall driving dynamics, the UX really does very well, and that’s thanks to the TNG, a platform that we discussed earlier.
This really does have a good driving dynamic, even when pitted against a lot of the German entries in this particular segment. The difference is that this just doesn’t have the acceleration that we find in those German options, but when it comes to actual handling ability and handling, feel they’re actually really quite similar, and that’s again because every entry in this segment is a front-wheel drive based vehicle. Now, when it comes to some of the all-wheel-drive options versus the all-wheel drive hybrid model, then things do get a little bit different, because this can’t send as much power to the rear axle as we find in some of those other options. So it is still going to feel a little bit more, like power is going to the front wheels than the rear wheels in this versus something like the x2 or the x1.
But going back to the original price point remember that this is going to be significantly less expensive than those German options, especially by the time you’ve added all the feature, content that we find in the base models of the UX or when you start taking a look At some of the mid-level or upper end trims of the UX and trying to get those same features on the European competition they’re going to cost you a great deal more so yes, the UX is not a speedy as some of those others, but it is still a really good value.