All-new 2019 Lexus UX offers entry-level luxury in a crossover

The UX is an all-new luxury compact crossover designed for urban living.

The all-new 2019 Lexus UX 200
The all-new 2019 Lexus UX 200. –Lexus

The 2019 Lexus UX is an all-new luxury compact crossover designed for urban living. It comes at a time when crossovers are replacing sedans in many a driveway, offering luxury buyers a new entry-level option in the Lexus lineup.

There’s a choice of two powertrains, each available in three trims. The UX 200 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. It will do 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.9 seconds with a top speed of 118 miles per hour.

Your second option is the UX 250h, which features a hybrid powertrain. This version of the UX has the same gas engine as the 200 with the addition of two electric motors for a combined 181 system horsepower. It posts a 0-60 miles-per-hour time of 8.6 seconds with a top speed of 110 miles per hour.

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In addition to the powertrains, there’s one other big difference between the two versions of the UX: The UX 200 is available only with front-wheel drive, while the UX 250h is available only with all-wheel drive.

Regardless of the powertrain you choose, this crossover gets exceptional fuel economy. The UX 200 gets an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon in the city, 37 on the highway, and 33 combined. Those numbers jump to 41 miles per gallon in the city, 38 on the highway, and 39 combined for the hybrid UX 250h.

Both offer Drive Mode Select, which lets you tailor the drive experience to your personal preferences. Normal provides a balance between performance and fuel efficiency, while Eco puts the focus on fuel efficiency. Lastly, Sport mode offers a more performance-oriented drive.

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Those looking for an even sportier experience can add the F Sport package for $2,000. This includes sport suspension tuning and 18-inch, five twin-spoke aluminum alloy wheels that are more rigid than the standard wheels. It also adds a unique front grille, front bumper, and rear bumper so its looks match its drive.

Inside, F Sport versions of the UX get front seats with more supportive foam and a digitally-rendered instrument cluster modeled after the Lexus LFA supercar. Finishing touches include a leather-trimmed F-Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, leather-trimmed shift knob, aluminum pedals, and aluminum scuff plates.

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Even if you don’t opt for the F Sport package, the Lexus UX is a fully-featured compact crossover. There are standard eight-way power adjustable front seats with two-way lumbar for the driver, automatic dual-zone climate control with rear vents, and a manually reclining 60/40 split-folding second row.

Further ensuring passenger comfort is Lexus Climate Concierge. This system works in conjunction with the climate control system to automatically adjust the heated, ventilated seats, ensuring comfort throughout any drive.

Infotainment includes the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, which offers haptic feedback like what you feel with a smartphone. This unique touchpad is located on the center console and recognizes the same gestures as your smartphone, too, making it an intuitive experience even for new users.

There’s a standard 7-inch color screen and a six-speaker audio system or an available 10.25-inch screen with navigation and an upgraded eight-speaker audio system. Apple CarPlay with Spotify, which includes special playlists exclusively for UX drivers, are also standard. There’s also 4G Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity, four USB ports, and Lexus Enform Remote with smart watch and Alexa skill integration.

Standard safety includes Lexus Safety System+ 2.0. This features pre-collision with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, and intelligent high beams. Additional available safety includes blind-spot monitor, parking-support alert, and parking-support brake.

The 2019 Lexus UX is an affordable and well-equipped compact crossover designed to appeal to the entry-level luxury buyer. Pricing starts at $32,000 for the UX 200, which will be available at dealerships nationwide in December. The UX 250h starts at $34,000 and will arrive slightly later in January.