Lexus UX is a new model of the brand, which entered the well-represented segment of urban crossovers. And how this premium car coped with this challenge, I will try to answer in the following lines.
For the editorial test, I earned a Lexus UX in the "non-hybrid" basic specification, i.e. with a classic atmospheric two-liter engine, automatic continuously variable CVT transmission and front-axle drive only.
The exterior design of the new UX, fully in the spirit of the automaker's signature
In the context of the scale of Lexus brand cars, the "small" UX certainly causes the same uproar as its larger siblings with its external appearance. The cars of this Japanese car manufacturer currently have a clearly legible, original and uncondescending handwriting.
Quite logically, the front part does not lack a huge curved grille going all the way to the bottom of the front bumper. The composition of this part of the car is completed by a pair of "hockey sticks" in which fog lights are integrated. The charming look of the front part is then underlined by the shape and line of the daytime running lights of the front headlights.
The side profile of the car is enlivened by relatively massive "plastering" of the fender edges, which contrast effectively with the car in the tested white version. Another interesting element not only of this lot are the individual lines in which the car body breaks. The side part has three such distinct breaks.
The rear part is clearly dominated by the horizontally oriented and connected rear lamps, which have functional outputs on the sides, which according to the manufacturer actively improve the car's aerodynamics.
The Lexus UX certainly does not disappoint with its dynamic appearance and is fully in line with the brand's current characteristic style.
The interior is calm and comfortable
The interior of the UX model certainly does not deny the brand. Its processing is at a very high level, and its ergonomic control is likewise. The elegant horizontal proportions and layout of the dashboard play a major role here.
We will begin our introduction to the dashboard at the instrument cluster in front of the driver, which is dominated by the centrally located tachometer with a digital speedometer in the middle (the graphic description of this part changes color depending on the selected driving mode). To the left of the tachometer is a digital display that spews out a lot of information at you, and to the right are classic fuel level and engine temperature indicators. It wouldn't be a Lexus if the upper part of the instrument panel wasn't equipped with a pair of cylindrical controls that turn off stabilization or change driving modes.
The central part of the dashboard is dominated by an elegantly fitted, height-matched with the instrument cluster, on-board infotainment display. The display of the tested piece had a more economical 8.3-inch wide diagonal, and this part was traditionally equipped with a classic analog watch.
The long-remembered infotainment control and its environment are quite familiar to me from previously tested cars of the brand. Its control takes place from the "touchpad", which is located in the center panel. The pleasantly massive center panel is also equipped with an automatic transmission selector and another controller protruding from the armrest. Its operation is very comfortable, because the individual buttons are arranged in line with your fingers.
Lexus UX, as an urban specialist, is more oriented towards the crew in the front in terms of internal dimensions. Traveling here is very comfortable and with plenty of space. It is significantly worse in the rear seats, there is less space here, both in the knee and headroom.
The luggage compartment is also not quite ideal. It offers 320 l of volume and a very high loading edge. This is user-friendly, but unfortunately with a considerable overlap in the size of the luggage compartment.
Classic atmospheric two-liter engine
The tested Lexus UX 200 was equipped with a four-cylinder atmospheric two-liter gasoline engine. It is an engine that, except for a few changes, is identical to the engine that also drives the hybrid version. The engine has an output of 126 kW (171 hp) and a torque of 205 Nm. This engine can accelerate to 100 km/h in 9.2 seconds. It is a completely new two-liter engine that uses high-speed combustion, thanks to which it achieves the highest thermal efficiency in its class of vehicles.
The announced motorization cooperated with a completely new Direct-Shift CVT transmission with continuously variable transmission and direct shifting, as well as with nine preset virtual stages.
Unfortunately, the feelings from its functioning were quite embarrassing for me. In a quieter urban environment, to which the new UX clearly belongs, its operation was pleasant. Thanks to the continuously variable transmission, the transmission practically does not "shift" and the ride is quiet and comfortable, just like the rest of the car.
However, as soon as you want a more dynamic drive from the car, the weaknesses of this gearbox begin to show. Forget the cadence of changing speeds, which we know for example with dual-clutch transmissions. Here the engine is cranked up to high revs and this rev is held constant until you let off the gas. In this situation, the engine emits a rather unpleasant monotonous sound.
On the other hand, there are far more positive aspects that the interplay of this engine and transmission brings you. Lexus cars are primarily about comfortable driving characteristics, and the new UX is also very well set up for them. The Lexus UX stands on a new chassis platform that it shares with the new Corolla or the C-HR crossover. However, the tuning of the chassis, steering and excellent sound insulation make you feel like you are driving a much bigger and more powerful car. The steering is therefore rather comfortable with little feedback, but you will be pleased with the high speed and excellent maneuverability with the car, for example when parking.
As a result, the absence of a hybrid design had no significant effect on the car's consumption, and with the new UX I achieved an average consumption of 6.5 l/100km during the weekly test.
You can buy a Lexus UX 200 as part of the special offer in the BUSINESS EDITION version for as little as CZK 799,000 including VAT. The cheapest hybrid, i.e. the Lexus UX 250h BUSINESS EDITION, is available within the same promotional offer for CZK 849,000 including VAT. The top version with AWD drive, i.e. Lexus UX 250h LUXURY 4×4 E-FOUR for CZK 1,249,000 including VAT.
It could be said that it is quite a lot for an urban crossover, but the Lexus UX, like its siblings, is a car without compromises, which continues fully in the spirit of the rules of this premium automaker.
An original and dynamic design, a very high-quality and ergonomically well-crafted interior, a quiet and comfortable driving performance, these are all attributes that make customers buy cars of this brand.