2020 Lexus UX 200 Review | Asian Car Guide
September 21, 2020

2020 Lexus UX 200 Review

lexus UX 200

In many ways, Lexus UX is similar to the other dozen or so premium compact-crossovers available today but also like no other. The first small SUV Lexus has made is two steps down from the classic SUV and the RX.

In three decades the brand has only made one other small car, the now out-of-production CT 200h hatchback, which did not fare too well due to less popular body style and pricing.

The UX looks more promising. No surprise, since the brand has transformed in recent years. Lexus has successfully spanned the high-performance divide with its F-badged cars, such as the wildly-entertaining RC F and GS F, offering strong
competition full of Lexus-specific character to the Germans.

Our test car is the entry-level Lexus UX 200 Luxury, retailing at $44,450 plus on-road costs, with 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct-injected petrol engine that outputs 126kW power and 205Nm torque.

At 4,495mm long, 1,840mm wide, and 1,520mm tall, the UX is in the same ballpark as small luxury SUVs such as the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, though closer to the latter in terms of profile – the BMW has classic tall SUV stance (1,598mm tall)
compared to sleeker Mercedes-Benz (1,498mm) and UX (1,520mm).

The UX is aimed at young drivers with small families, with emphasis on style and drivability rather than off-road image and huge space.

If you rate your car-buying dollar on visual impact, the UX does not disappoint.

Neatly packaged sitting on a 2,640mm wheelbase, the new generation architecture is shared with Toyota C-HR; not a bad thing at all.

Boldly designed tail lights which run across the rear of the car feature vertical fins which are not only unique, but according to Lexus, play a functional role in aerodynamics, keeping the rear planted during high-speed driving and cornering.

The Lexus Remote Touch infotainment system has a generous 10.3-inch screen, and while its touchpad surface might appear less sophisticated than a rotary controller, simple point and click is probably the easiest infotainment system to use.

Audio controls are within easy reach in-front of the armrest.

At the base of the dash is a wireless charging pad for mobiles, its spring-loaded 12V point neatly hidden at the side.

Boot space is small at 371-litres, with a deep, multi-compartment space below the floor. Seats fold for additional space, but the aperture is not huge – not the car to carry multiple bicycles on a regular basis.

Four average Asian size adults fit with decent comfort, though the middle of the rear bench is best for short trips only – firming the idea that the UX is aimed at younger couples who would have otherwise bought a 2+2 coupe.

Overall, the cabin is one of the best we have been in of the class, truly a car you can feel happy getting into on a daily basis.

The cool thing is the driving experience backs that up: Beneath the guise of an SUV lies a small Lexus that is actually quite a ball to drive in contrast to its appearance.

Drive gently and the UX is very much Lexus as we have always known it. The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder is ultra-smooth, at low speed, it almost feels you are driving a hybrid, almost no wind noise to speak of, and the whole experience is where you do
not feel inclined to rush anywhere at all.

Press on and you discover a deeper side to the UX, one that has no trouble with high speed, actually encouraging fun behind the wheel.

CVT transmissions are notorious for sluggishness during take-off, and this is where the Direct Shift system shines, relying on an actual “first” mechanical gear to get the UX moving, before releasing two clutches, on the drive and driven pulleys, effectively deploying the CVT side of the transmission for drive duties.

With 126kW of power and 205Nm of torque, the UX is not expected to be quick, and 0 to 100km takes 9.2 seconds.

Ride quality is very good, with front MacPherson strut and rear Double Wishbone suspension delivering well both on handling and comfort. Steering feel is good, with enough feedback, and braking just right.

Adding to safety and convenience, the UX is equipped with features like Lane Departure Alert (LDA) helping keep in lane, Blind Spot Monitor System, warning about cars behind to left and right when switching lanes; and Dynamic Radar Cruise
Control to maintain safe distance from the car in-front – also eight airbags.

Even with a compact like the UX it helps that Lexus include their Panoramic View Monitor to aid with parking, allowing full 360 degree view of surroundings. Backing is safer with inclusion of Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), for traffic as you back out.

The UX is available in 13 exterior colours, plenty of choices, but truly shines in refinement, comfort and build quality.

Lexus offers four-year/100,000km warranty and once every 12 months or 15,000km servicing. Capped-servicing is $495 per first three visits, after that quoted by Lexus dealer case-by-case, but expects costs to rise as vehicle ages.

For peace of mind, the Lexus UX maintains five-star ANCAP safety rating.

How much does the entry-level 2020 Lexus UX 200 Luxury cost?

  • Price: $44,450 plus on-roads.
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Front wheel drive
  • Output: 126kW/205Nm
  • Transmission: CVT auto
  • Fuel: 5.8L/100km (ADR Combined)
  • Tank: 47 litres
  • Dimensions mm: 4,495(L) 1,840(W) 1,520(H) 2,640(wheelbase)
  • CO2: 132g/km (ADR Combined)
  • Warranty: 4 years/100,000kms