2019 All-New Lexus UX 200 F Sport

New for 2019, the luxury crossover from Lexus, the new UR200 is a sporty, fun little hatchback to drive, but can one justify the price tag? Especially when there is so much out there to choose from. This driver had a smile on her face when first climbing into the 5-passenger luxury crossover. Hard to imagine anyone who can’t appreciate a Lexus product.

It’s just the crème of the crop and one can sense this upon first entry and driving experience. Some may argue the point for a niche SUV, but with many of the manufacturers offering a small SUV, perhaps Lexus felt they had to compete.

Pluses for the new UX 200 include good fuel economy, an array of standard and optional safety technology, and a pleasant driving experience. The cons would include no all-wheel-drive available, the infotainment interface is confusing and awkward, and cargo space is limited.

The UX 200 has looks going for it. It’s appealing and snappy, if one is interested in looking ‘hip’ in their small luxury SUV. For many drivers, though, performance does matter and the UX 200 just doesn’t have it. It’s enough for most around town errands, but when out on the road, a little extra would appeal. As are their natural strengths, Lexus has added a few to this new small SUV. More so in the ranks of a small Audi, the UX 200 is much classier than say, the Honda CR-V. To most people’s minds, Lexus stands for luxury, smooth and silky engines, comfortable ride and top-of-the-line everything. While achieved in the new UX 200, a large price tag may discourage some.

It appears the targeted demographic for this small SUV is the millennials whose favorite things about a car include style, technology and connectivity. While older drivers-and car nuts-look for drive trains, and horsepower. Couldn’t one opt for the UX 200’s stablemate, its cousin the Toyota C-HR?? And at a lesser MSRP.lexus-ux-fwd-specs-chassis-filler-455x259-lex-uxg-my19-0005-02

The all-new UX 200 is available in three trim levels: SUV ($32,150), F Sport ($34,150), and 4 dr. luxury ($37,350). Competition for the UX 200 includes Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Lexus NX 300. The small luxury segment also includes the likes of BMW X1 and X2, Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40. All powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, with over 200 horsepower.

This small SUV is roomy despite its outside appearance. Room is sufficient up front for taller drivers and passengers, lesser than in the back. It seats five, but it’s a tight fit, with little cargo space. The power-adjusted front seats are heated and ventilated (appreciated in the past week of 95+ temps), however, not in the F Sport package. Passed off as a ‘small’ SUV, the UX 200 resembles a hatchback more so, with great possibilities around town.

Our test UX 200 came with over $6,000 worth of options, hiking its price into the $40,000 range. Remember when ‘luxury’ automobiles cost $40,000! The options included several packages, namely Blind Spot Monitor ($500), Wireless Charger ($75), Heads Up Display ($100), Navigation System with 10.3 inch color multimedia display; Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation (3 years), Dynamic Voice Command, Lexus Enform Destination Assist (1 yr.), 8-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, Auto-Dim linear mirror with HomeLink, Power Tilt/telescope steering wheel ($2,200), Parking Assist Rear Cross Traffic Alert w/braking ($565), Power Rear Door with Kick Sensor ($600), Premium Paint ($595), F Sport Premium Package-Moonroof, Rain sensing wipers, Heated front seats ($975), and Heated F Sport steering wheel w/Paddle shifters ($150).

As expected with Lexus products, there are plenty of goodies that come standard. The best in safety technology including LED Daytime Running Lights, door handle courtesy lamps, heated outside mirrors, backup camera, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and Location specific tire pressure monitoring system. In addition, Lexus’ Safety System + 2.0-pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, All-speed dynamic radar cruise control, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist, intelligent high-beam headlamps and Road Sign Assist. The 7-inch display screen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, voice command, Siri Eyes Free, Google Voice Control, and Lexus Enform is standard fare. Not one of our favorite sound systems, because it can be awkward to use.

UX 200 interior

UX 200 interior

The F Sport package, available on other Lexus products, includes 18-inch F-Sport wheels with run-flat tires, F Sport front/rear bumper, F Sport insert, LED fog lamp ,F Sport seats, F Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, F Sport shift knob, Aluminum front door scuff plates, Aluminum pedals, 8-inch multi-information display, and Active Sound Control.

We’ve become accustomed to the heads-up display which displays one’s speed, among other things. We liked having a compass which seems to be a thing of the past. All one needs is a cell phone? Some may find it distracting, but no more than any other feature in today’s automobiles.

While there is a lot to like in Lexus’ newest addition to the fleet, we just don’t think for the price, it’s different enough or that one would choose it over another product.

SPECS:

MSRP: 34,000; total vehicle price $41,285; options: $6,260; delivery $1,025
Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve,DOHC, VVT-1, 169 hp., 151 lb. ft. torque
Transmission: 10-speed direct -shift CVT,FWD
Wheelbase: 103.9 in.
Width: 72.4 in.
Height: 60.6 in.
Length: 177 in.
Weight: 3,307 lbs.
EPA fuel economy: 29/37 mpg.
Tires:Run-flat all season, 225/50R/F18
Wheels: 18-inch FSport
Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.4 gal.

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