2019 Lexus UX Review | Asian Car Guide
September 21, 2020

2019 Lexus UX Review

2019 lexus ux

The strongest trait setting Lexus UX apart from peers is a high level of refinement, with fine materials and attention to detail, as with Lexus LS nearly 30 years ago. Lexus shows how a compact crossover can be luxurious, comfy and dynamic.

The new Lexus UX (urban SUV-Hatch cross-over) is similar to a dozen premium compact-crossovers, whilst also unique. Based on the Toyota C-HR, it’s a Johnny-come-lately, so has to be quite special to be more than an also-ran.

The world has changed dramatically since the LS debuted in 1989. Every premium brand has descended the product pyramid to increase market share.

Lexus is no stranger to this, the CT hybrid hatch, the world’s first luxury hybrid hatch, having had some success, and now, riding the crossover tsunami, it is trying again with the UX, created by Chika Kako – the same chief engineer as the CT.

Can Lexus UX compete with such cars as Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Audi Q3, Volvo XC40 or Jaguar E-Pace? In a word, yes, looking, feeling and driving nothing like competitors, re-engineered extensively, no similarity to the C-HR except the wheelbase.

Body panels of the UX are smoothed to a new 0.01mm stamping tolerance, the shell strengthened with more laser-welding points, tailgate opening reinforced with a ring structure improving overall rigidity and dynamic performance.

Lexus’ signature flat underbody cover minimises turbulence noise. Wheel design reduces wind resistance while increasing disc brake cooling airflow, pulling air from inside the wheel arch.

The Lexus UX exudes contemporary styling, emphasising aerodynamics, elegance and accessibility.

The prominent spindle grille takes pride of place up front, flanked by two slim LED headlights. A spoiler sits atop the rakish rear windscreen. A standout ultra-thin LED strip across the tailgate joins two tail-lamp clusters.

The exterior look is elegant and aerodynamic, not quite as busy or edgy as the C-HR.

Inside, Lexus UX presents extremely high quality for its segment, with excellent fit, finish, and spaciousness.

Centre stage is a large 10.3” info screen with attractive anolog clock, paired with a user-friendly touchpad, easier to reach and use than a touch screen, hi-fi controls very handily recessed in front of the centre armrest. Air-con vents are controlled by a single knob.

Active cruise control uses radar and camera to maintain speed and safe following distance, including stopping then accelerating to set speed again. Detecting a turn indicator it commences preliminary acceleration for overtaking!

The speedo is digital only, inside an analog tacho, which is the setup we prefer, easy to see and precise. The driver’s display allows choices of various information. Speed signs detected by camera are displayed on screen, with colours inverted if the car exceeds the limit.

Both front seats have heating, with seat ventilation available on F Sport and Sports Luxury models. There are 2 USB outlets in the centre console, and also behind, auxiliary audio input in the centre, adjustable air-con outlet behind the console, and child restraint tethers on the rear seats.

The spare wheel is a space saver, and there is a powered opening/closing tail gate, with optional hands free foot sensor. Audio features cd player/auxinput /AM/FM/Digital radio – easy to use with controls on centre console and steering wheel.

There is Sat Nav with live traffic, and voice control for everything makes things easier.

There are 3 different specifications options, Luxury being the base model, and then Sports Luxury and F Sport according to preference, both about equally priced, optionally AWD.

Powered by a new high compression 2-litre naturally aspirated engine, paired either with Continuously Variable Transmission, with new fixed launch gear (UX200), or self-charging hybrid drivetrain (UX250h), the car feels well at ease in any situation. The fixed first gear is to overcome CVT hesitation at lower speeds, to about 60 kph, after which the CVT switches in and operates.

We found that the new engine is fun to drive with, very economical, and that the car handles well in all situations, good on manoeuvrability, balance and poised well on cornering, not a powerhouse, but you don’t expect that with 2L naturally aspirated.

3 drive modes – Sport, Normal and Eco, alter engine and gearing setups. F Sport also has Sport S+ mode for racier steering, suspension, and acceleration settings, then Custom setting.

What you get is a car that does mostly everything you want, is economical, and accelerates reasonably, in other words does it job well.

Lexus UX non-hybrid Specifications:

  • Engine: 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder
  • Power: 126kW at 6,600rpm
  • Torque: 205Nm at 4,800rpm
  • Transmission: CVT automatic with first launching gear, front-wheel drive
  • Fuel use: 5.8L/100km combined
  • Recommended Drive Away Price: Luxury $51,345, Sports Luxury $60,256, F Sport $60,723
  • Warranty: Four-year/100,000km warranty, service intervals 12 months/15000km, with free loan car, or free pickup and delivery of car.