Driven: 2019 Lexus UX200
Words and Images by Gigi Leonard
Purpose-built for modern living, with the latest tech, a bold design inside and out, and a spirited ride, the all-new UX200 is a great new entry point to the luxury brand. Read on to learn our favorite things about Lexus’ compact crossover utility vehicle.
The UX looks great from every angle. With its dynamic, highly-sculpted body, and sharp angles, it stands out among the crowded crossover market. The contrasting lower body trim helps ground the design, while the bright aluminum roof rails and liftgate spoiler top it all off nicely.
Tricked out in F Sport trim, the UX200 gets sweet dark metallic 18" rims, a more aggressive look for its front and rear bumpers, and a number of interior enhancements.
We dig the red accent stitching on the F Sport model, along with aluminum pedals, and the high-tech, digital information display with a moving dial inspired by the one in the LF-A sports car.
Lexus' pinched "spindle" grille might be divisive among some, but we think it looks perfect on the UX. It's just the right size here, with shimmery geometric facets, and flanked by crisp bi-LED headlamps.
While the UX is a sound daily driver in the big city, it's equally at home on road trips and idyllic adventures in nature. Its ride is smooth and well-behaved, and its seats and cabin are comfortable even on long trips. The all-speed adaptive cruise control is also great for giving your feet a break on the highway.
The 2.0-liter, 169 hp engine isn't going to break any speed records, but it's peppier than you might think, and the UX handles deftly enough to provide an engaging drive. When you flip into Sport mode, its acceleration and steering sharpen up nicely, and for a little added excitement, the active sound control system kicks out a throaty exhaust note throughout the cabin.
Fuel economy for the UX200 is exceptional, offering up to 37 mpg on the highway, 29 mpg in the city, and a combined 33 mpg. There's also a hybrid model - the UX 250h, which hits an even more impressive 39 mpg combined.
The interior of the UX is clean and modern, and especially comfortable for front seat passengers. Options include a variety of sleek and eye-catching seat designs crafted from NuLuxe, from the bold red and black stripe in the F-Sport, to beautifully quilted, two-tone seats in the Luxury trim.
One unique feature we've not seen in another car is the smartly-designed ergonomic media control pod, which perfectly fits the shape of your hand to provide access to volume, tuning, and track functions. We're still not fans of trackpad interfaces, but the audio controls are a welcome addition.
The optional 10.3" multimedia display offers built in navigation, plenty of room for displaying information, and every UX offers Apple CarPlay compatibility so you can use apps from your phone, like Waze and Spotify. There's also Amazon Alexa on board, for making lists, getting news updates, controlling smart home devices, and more.
For storage space, there's 21.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which is perfect for small suitcases, backpacks, groceries, and sporting goods. Plus the rear seats fold in a 60/40 split for hauling larger items.
We enjoyed our time with the Lexus UX200, and buyers looking for a sleek compact crossover with luxury features, unique styling, a comfortable ride, and great fuel economy, the Lexus UX should definitely be on your test drive list.