Lexus has debuted a new crossover luxury SUV this year: the UX model, available in both traditional gas and hybrid forms. Though it may seem a little clunky on the outside, it’s a far more affordable luxury vehicle than others in its class. Perhaps to compensate for its boxy body, it comes in several unique color choices to inspire youthful energy and showcase its sharp edges. Both the gas and hybrid models come in three trims: base, Luxury, and F Sport. All levels offer more tech options than may be expected.
Each trim comes equipped with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and FWD for gas or AWD for the hybrid. The 250h series features a hybrid engine, providing a 41 mpg city-highway average. While speed may not be this model’s forte, as it only reaches 169 horsepower, it does offer a range in driving experiences. The F Sport allows for greater agility with steering wheel paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension, an augmented engine sound generator, and sport front seats. The Luxury trim level, on the other hand, provides those features expected of the Lexus brand: a hands-free tailgate, sound-damping windows, a navigation display, and a 10.3-inch central display. Additional optional features range from heated and ventilated front seats, automatic windshield wipers, and a sunroof.
Standard features are also plentiful: several drive models, simulated leather upholstery, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and LED headlights. Infotainment features may exceed some expectations, as they include a 7-inch touchscreen display, onboard Wi-Fi, several USB ports, smartphone integration, and satellite radio. All trims also feature the Lexus Safety System 2.0 that includes everything from automatic emergency braking to lane keeping assist to forward collision warning. The Lexus Enform Safety Connect emergency service comes standard as well so that anxious drivers can relax and enjoy their commute.
What is important to note, however, is that as a crossover, this vehicle already challenges notions of spaciousness. While it is not comparable to an elevated hatchback, it is also not more substantial than it looks. Drivers will find plenty of legroom, but it gets tighter in the backseat. Also, the trunk space only measures to 22 cubic feet (17 in the hybrid). So, if you’re in the market for a more affordable Lexus and don’t plan on lugging heaps of cargo all over town, this is probably just the right model for your lifestyle.