Looking to buy a small but affordable crossover designed for the modern urban explorer? The all-new 2019 Lexus UX could be just the vehicle for you.
This urban-centric ride in the fastest-growing compact SUV segment is available in two trims: the front-wheel drive UX200 with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine putting out 169 horsepower; or the all-wheel drive UX250h gas/electric hybrid with a 2.0-liter developing a total of 181 hp. The former is mated to a 10-speed direct-shift auto gear box, and the latter gets a continuous variable transmission. A 34.2-foot turning circle means maneuvering sharp curves or making a U-turn is a breeze.
The UX250h employs a four-cylinder gas engine, two electric motors and a 216-volt nickel-metal hydride battery. At higher speeds, power comes primarily from the gasoline engine. During deceleration and braking, the vehicle uses regenerative braking to apply much of the wasted energy toward recharging the hybrid battery.
Standard bi-LED headlights and daytime running lights flank a massive three-dimensional mesh spindle grille to give the UX a muscular stance. Attention to detail is apparent in the cabin with its robust three-spoke steering wheel, which turns effortlessly. The driver and front-row passenger get eight-way power seats, while the rear 60/40 seat folds for storage if needed. As summer approaches, the dual auto a/c will keep the front-row occupants cool.
Tech-driven aficionados will appreciate the six speakers, four USB ports, wireless phone charger, and Amazon Alexa and Apple CarPlay integration. A mouse-like Remote Touch enables the driver to toggle navigation, climate, audio and phone controls, which are displayed on a 7-inch or the optional 10.3-inch screen, next to the familiar analog clock. Passenger volume is at 90.4 and trunk space at 21.7 cubic feet, which is laudable for a compact SUV.
Add $2,000 if you would like the sporty F Sport trim, which includes a sport-tuned suspension, perforated leather shifter and heated steering wheel, F Sport grille, front/rear bumpers, 8-inch display screen, and more.
Apart from the standard airbag/stability control features, the Lexus Safety Sense + 2.0 fetches you a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist, dynamic cruise control and intelligent high beams at no cost.
Starting at $32,000 for the UX200 and $34,000 for the UX250h, this Urban + X-over (crossover) is a purposeful vehicle with no compromises. Taking into consideration its Lexus label, it truly is great value for the money. This immensely pleasant and rewarding UX is a welcome addition to the lineup of the luxury division.
Wheelbase: 103.9 inches
Length: 177 inches
Weight: 3,307 pounds
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, trailing arm multilink rear
Steering: electric power
Fuel capacity: 12.4 gallons
City: 29 mpg
Highway: 37 mpg
Web site: LexusOfWesleyChapel.com
Test drive the Lexus UX models at Lexus of Wesley Chapel, 5350 Eagleston Blvd., Wesley Chapel. For more information, call the dealership at (813) 907-5350.
Published February 20, 2019